18 March 2009


I was about to comment on the many styles that Carl Dewhurst plays, when I overheard someone say just the same thing: “How versatile. He plays everything”. It was the end of the second set, and Carl and Chris Pound and Hugh Deacon had just finished a jumpy blues number, after a beauteous solo guitar version of Moonlight in Vermont. Before that, Wes Montgomery’s Full house was played with a dense and extended chordal solo. All the things you are was the base for a modern interpretation with contrasting rhythmic structures throughout. Baggy green was an original by Carl with a lovely bouncing bass and intriguing melodious chords. Well you needn’t and Summertime are common throwaways, but this time done with a modern freedom that we heard in All the things… There was another unnamed original that had Carl toying with tone, rough distortions with deadened sustain, and autowahs contrasting with sweet jazz guitar styles. I noted Chris’s ear here when he mirrored a few of Carl’s less furious melodies.

Carl’s a master of the guitar in Australia, appearing in a string of influential outfits in Sydney. He strides with fluent and fast guitar runs and alluring melodic work that explores the attributes of each scale, starting on any degree and finishing on ever-changing beats after runs of ever-varying length. But I was also taken by his clashing chords and tonal investigations, which seemed so unique and personal. Then again, his versatility shows in sweet, mainstream guitar and even chordal solos. None of this was short and bounded; his solos are long and intriguing explorations, and this just confirms his craft. Chris continues to blow me out. This was searching playing with considerable rhythmic and scalar freedom. There are walks but the essence is more open and free, and there’s a good deal of ear to guide this freedom, and a great sound to carry it over, clear and rounded with short sustain. Decent chops, too, but that’s taken for granted. Hugh is playing punchy and clean, moving rhythmic patterns around, soloing with sharp tones and exploring repetition, and I noted a lovely snare snap.

Trinity just keeps getting better at the moment. This is where the local jazz school crowd hangs out, with intriguing music, a comfortable environment, free entry and reasonable drink prices. One major local jazz club is a bit on the nose at the moment with complaints about pay and volume and noisy patrons. Trinity seems to do this well, with different areas for chatting and listening, and a decent listening audience. The stage is in a strange little corner, but it’s a good night and Candy’s doing a great job as organiser. A visiting master like Carl just adds to Trinity’s reputation. Recommended.

Carl Dewhurst (guitar) led a trio with Chris Pound (bass) and Hugh Deacon (drums) at Trinity Bar, Dickson. Carl plays again at the Belgian Beer Cellar at 6.30pm, Thurs 19 March. It’s late notice, but if you read this in time, get down there to catch one of Australia’s best jazz guitarists. Again, free entrance.

No comments: