15 June 2012

Back from the Coast

Jazz Quest text by Nevin Temby; Merimbula pic courtesy of MJF

I missed the Merimbula Jazz Festival and the Exceptions playing at the Loft, but I caught McEvilly / Tarento / Kim / Moore at Hippo and it was decent consolation.

Firstly, the Merimbula reference, from my mate Nevin:

Merimbula Jazz Festival marked the first Open Jazz Quest, where non local under 25s could compete for $500 first prize, $300 second and $200 third prize. The Lakeview Hotel hosted the event and generously provided the prizes. The competition aims to promote excellence in jazz performance by offering not only a highly competitive performance platform but also cash and contra prizes to help young musicians further their musical careers. Fourteen entrants from around Australia performed to a very receptive capacity audience during the festival, with the modern jazz ensemble ‘The Exceptions’ catching the adjudicators interest on the night. First prize went to Tate Sheridan (paino), second to Joe McEvilly (alto) and third to Scott Temby (trumpet). / During the photo shoot the following day, the organiser explained to the guys that the current board is very interested in promoting the modern genre for the festival. Great news for festival goers.

Congrat-ulations to the band. As for the Hippo gig, I very much enjoyed their detailed, busy and skilled take on the standards. Joe surprised me with some rich substitutions and chromatic sequences, but he also performed with a lovely melodic sense. Sometimes playing slow and setting themes, one time stunning me with the most subtle intervention against Daniel’s excitable guitar. Daniel’s playing truly sets a scene. He’s physically frisky and it shows in his playing: busy, jumpy, contorted, inventive, over-provided with ideas. It’s intriguing and anything but relaxing, so I was a bit taken aback (although very pleasantly) by his complex but gentle guitar chordal intro/outro to Darn that dream. Jordan was on electric and I loved his hard tone and expert chops. He’s got easy knowledge to the highest frets and great fingerwork and an easy ability to drop into and out of solos and off times and fours with Rohan. I’d only seen Rohan play in a more restrained context. Here he was still serious and steady, but often enough busy and fun, like his few bars of melody played with tuned elbow on snare skin. It’s a great party trick that I’d seen from Ari Hoenig and he did it with confidence and panache. But this outfit also had an impressive presence as a band. I noticed in the way they moved grooves together, passed solos, understood conventions. These guys are presumably playing together every day and it shows. I particularly noticed when a blues degenerated into an undefined one-note holding pattern then fell back into a walking swing at the end of the 12 bars, but I’d seen the same mutations elsewhere. It was obviously improvised and very neat work.

Joe McEvilly (alto), Jordan Tarento (bass), Daniel Kim (guitar) and Rohan Moore (drums) played standards at the Hippo Bar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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