11 May 2008

Two can with mates

Toucani (my old Trio Toucan with a sax) played a few sets with some friends for a birthday bash at the Soul Bar. It’s a lively place at 5.30 on a Friday, just after work, so quite fun, although I don’t recommend it to musos who want to earn a few pennies. It was a favour for a friend who was celebrating a birthday bash there, so that was OK, but you can easily feel a sucker.

The friend was Tony, and he sat in for a few tunes on trumpet. Nice to hear some horn harmonies on the very common tunes we played with him: Song for my father, All blues and Tenor madness. Toucani had started the night with a set of mainly originals. We’ve decided to make something a bit fresh, so I’ve penned a few latin originals and Daniel is being prolific with weekly new tunes in a modern post-bop style; good hard swing. Brenton has one on appro, and we’re waiting! Anyway, we’re pretty happy with them, and now they take most of our sets. A venue with busy and noisy drinkers gives an easier and more relaxed performance. We played well, the punters gave the requisite applause, and we managed some (moderately) indulgent solos, so all was well.

The final set was with other mates, two vocalists who perform as Ancient Mariners, Brad and Leanne. Their tunes are mostly jazz standards, but done in a cabaret, rather than as jazz, style. Both are competent singers; Leanne is particularly confident and poised. It’s always a pleasure backing competent vocalists, and you notice the difference voice makes in the responsiveness of the crowd. So, overall a much enjoyed evening.

Toucani are John Baczynski (tenor), Daniel Wild (piano), Brenton Holmes (drums) and Eric Pozza (bass). Tony Edwards (trumpet) sat in for his birthday bash. Toucani backed the Ancient Mariners, who are Leanne Dempsey (vocals) and Brad McDonald (vocals).

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