7 May 2012

Comping to clinking and clacking

There’s a regular migration to Hippo after the ANU Band Room gigs and I joined in this time. Andy Campbell was back from Sydney to play with Mark Sutton and a visiting Sydney bassist, Dave Groves. In the end, Matt Handel sat in on tenor sax. This is a chatty and clinking cocktail bar with clacking high heels so the jazz is partly ignored but also energetic and imposing. I only recognised Body and soul. If they were reading Andy’s originals, then I was impressed by the reading and the writing. I was there to catch Dave’s bass playing, and it was impressive. Good solid grooves with Mark but most interesting were his solos that were voiced in a sax-like idiom: fast and nicely fluid with call and response melodies and sequences and easy playing up into thumb positions. The others were no slouches of course. I was impressed by Andy’s increasingly identifiable musical personality, Matt is always a pleasure (even if I think I still prefer his alto) and Mark is just an established local master. Very nice and energetic playing all round. But as I write this, I’m thinking of the changes at the ANU School of Music. What did the Jazz school ever do for us? Well … this and more. Andy Campbell (guitar) led a quartet at Hippo with Matt Handel (tenor), Dave Groves (bass) and Mark Sutton (drums).

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