07 October 2009

A return home

After new places and faces on the jazz scene, I’m welcomed back to Canberra with Miro and mates playing for Geoff Page at the Gods. It’s homely, but I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. These are capable players performing music that’s original and new, although with resonances of Miles around the jazz-rock period.

I’d heard this band at the National Portrait Gallery some time ago, but it’s developed since then. The compositions are still original, although I think it’s a newer repertoire, with tunes mainly by Luke and Miro, but also with one by Bill. The music is convincingly brooding, intense and atmospheric. The grooves are gentle and sustained. The solos build naturally to high points and with low, slow interludes. They are well-considered solos with dissonance and development and thoughtful search is evident. That’s something I’ve noticed developing in the more mature students. There’s evident knowledge (all the scales and arpeggios, etc) but it’s used for a purpose: solos have speed, but it’s not constant, rather it’s a natural outpouring from a search for a melody, or a way to navigate a tune.

This band is a combination of the old hand, Miro, lecturer and long-established international composer and performer, with top students at the end of their masters year. The students have been playing together for years, and the interaction shows. I noticed open gazes and with clear, unspoken interactions. I’ve often spoken here of Luke for his chordal and harmonic conceptions, Bill for his speed and clarity, Ed for his intimacy and fluidity, Miro for his maturity and strength and charming but uncomplicated melodies, so I won’t go through it all again. Suffice to say, this was an impressive outing with considerable sensitivity and inventiveness and lots of new and interesting compositions, and I enjoyed it lots. Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet, flugelhorn) performed at the Gods with Luke Sweeting (piano), Bill Williams (bass) and Ed Rodrigues (drums).

1 comment:

RRuzow said...

Very Cool