21 March 2009

Busy night

I’ve been busy, but with few gigs, so I enjoyed getting out last night. This one cost me a chance to sit in on Joe Lloyd’s band at ArtSound, at least for the full session, but your dutiful reporter managed a few pics anyway.

First, the gig. This one was a quartet pulled together at the last minute to fill an offered spot. I’d named the outfit The Crispians expecting it to be made up of members of my commercial band, Crisp, but only pianist Peter was available in the end. Neveen from the Jazz School filled the tenor role and Robert Nesci of Kooky Fandango filled in on drums. We chose from the Real Book, had a great time, and even played with considerable liveliness. The gig was on the pavement at King O’Malley’s, with plenty of drinkers and passers-by, and later a big band in competition (Blamey Street BB started playing towards the end of our gig on the Garema Place stage). That just brought out the aggro, and we all turned up and played with that much more vigour. Much enjoyed and thanks to fellow Crispians.

Neveen Byrnes (tenor) played with Peter Kirkup (piano), Robert Nesci (drums) and Eric Pozza (bass) as the Crispians.

I caught Joe Lloyd’s Quintet on ArtSound’s Friday Night Live on radio, then another a few minutes in the studio for some pics. They play music of an era that I love immensely. I think Joe had written all the charts. I’ve heard this band once before and was hugely impressed both times. They play a modal style with pretty simple underlying harmonies, thoughtful heads, and intriguingly dissonant solos. To me, this is bliss. There were three saxes out front (Joe leading on alto, with John Mackey and Sebastian Macintosh on tenors) and a piano trio rhythm section (Luke Sweeting, Hannah James and Ed Rodrigues). Ed was sitting in for Matt Sykes for the night, and John was a featured extra. Listening on car radio is fraught, so I didn’t manage the subtleties. But all horns were playing an exploratory, open, harmonically inventive style. I noticed Joe and Seb drop into screaming outbursts, while John tended to hold more within (always mobile) harmonic statements with nice historical leanings. Luke was masterful with modern fourths sounds and jagged lines. Ed was pushing the band with incredible energy, and I felt the style suited Hannah, because it was a very comfortable and solid bass underlying the solos and melodies. JLQ is playing at Jazz Uncovered so catch them if you can.

Joe Lloyd (alto) led a quintet with John Mackey (tenor), Sebastian McIntosh (tenor), Luke Sweeting (piano), Hannah James (bass) and Ed Rodrigues (drums).

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