02 November 2008

Bass awards

Bass is the instrument for the National Jazz Awards at this year’s Wangaratta Jazz Festival. I'm not there, but I’ve just listened to the finals on ABCFM JazzTrack. The finalists don't seem controversial: Sam Anning, Phil Stack and Ben Waples. All are worthy players. I know the first two from several performances in Canberra. I’ve heard Ben, but don’t feel I know him as well as the other two. The judges were Mike Nock with Craig Scott and Jonathon Zwartz. I’m interested to see if I agree with the results this year. I was at Wang last year and came to a different decision from that of the judges. But they were capable judges, so it just shows the personal nature of such things. I have various thoughts on this year's performances and I’ll only give the smallest summary here. For the record (written before I hear the results), I would give it to Sam Anning for intellectual adventurousness and harmonic richness, second to Phil Stack for exuberance and drive, and third to Ben Waples. I'm not too keen on competitions like this and all three are all capable players, but life is like that.

And the results are ...

First: Phil Stack, Second: Ben Waples, Third: Sam Anning.

Congrats to all three, irrespective of results, and to the seven others who performed over the weekend, and who we didn't hear on the radio. Also to the great accompanists, Sam Keevers (piano) and Simon Barker (drums).

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