19 June 2011

I say potato (DHJF-5)

Misinterprotato is actually pronounced as in potato, not as in tomato, and it’s not what I’d guessed. But far more interesting was the great music they made when they combined with Topology as Healthy. I found this the most exciting music I heard at Darling Harbour because it was so unexpected and so new to my ears.

Misinterprotato are a jazz piano trio. I heard them early on Saturday and was a bit non-plussed. Perhaps I should say bad-plussed, because that’s a clear influence on their music. This was rhythmic, original music with plenty of energy and intriguing titles like Sick, or Death of reality television (which they renamed as Shut up!). Very modern sounding, heavy, rock influenced, with solid, often funky grooves and an adventurous piano. I liked it lots. Misinterprotato are Sean Foran (piano), Sam Vincent (bass) and John Parker (drums).

But it was the jazz/classical fusion of Healthy that truly thrilled me. These were new sounds, still groove based, jazz-like, but with classical tones and conceptions. Healthy is the combination of Topology and Misinterprotato, both out of Brisbane. Topology derives from the classical tradition – they’ve played chamber music and bassist Robert told me he’d had several years in the Sydney Symphony – but they are obviously adventurous. Where does the jazz end and the classical start? Who knows; mixing is the nature of thing these days. This is a fusion of great beauty and considerable profundity. Soprano sax that’s delicate and pining with piano accompaniment. The bowed strings, classical percussion, even busy percussion on the double bass. I didn’t notice how the keys worked together, or the basses, but the strings were obvious and lovely. Interestingly, they even played a tune for Canberra: Round roads. Robert’s father had designed roads in the early days of Canberra and he spent some years here as a kid. An odd coincidence. But the music was a wonder: two bands, two traditions, in vibrant and inventive assembly. Topology are Christa Powell (violin), John Babbage (sax), Bernard Hoey (viola), Therese Milanovic (piano), Robert Davidson (double bass).

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