27 October 2011

Turossing it (Moruya 2011/2)

Matt Thompson has been an enigma to me, being a particularly sparse-cum-minimalist performer, but I heard him twice at Moruya and I loved it. Sparse is certainly the word. You ache for the next delayed note in a melody that’s not so much challenging as just right. And when the whole band does it together, it’s quite magical. It seems touched with blues (a blues connotation?) in its simplicity and its infectiousness and, with Josie’s words, it takes on a singer-songwriter significance. Then, given the desert-dry atmosphere, a waterfall of notes in Matt’s solo in the last tune was a stunner. I enjoyed these two sets. Matt Thompson (piano) leads a quartet with Josie Jensen (vocals), Rafael Jerjen (bass) and Henry Rasmussen (drums).

Lakeside Circus is a favourite of mine. It’s a creation of Jono Lake, but he was called back to Canberra and the band did the set without him. I listened to Sun Ra returning from the coast, and the Circus has a similarly playful and iconoclastic vigour. Trumpeter Shane Spellman took to the drumkit that Jono now leads from and Reuben Lewis sat in for Shane on trumpet. This is vibrant, fun, entertaining, even dissident music that thrives on its frolicsome composition and collective performance. Fun and refreshing. Jono Lake (piano, drums) is the leader and composer for Lakeside Circus but was not available. This day, the Circus was Andrew Fedorovich (alto), Max Williams (tenor), Patrick Langdon (trombone), Reuben Lewis (trumpet), Alec Coulson (bass) and Shane Spellman (drums).

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