29 June 2013

That glorious acoustic twang

Megan and I dropped into the National Press Club for Friday evening jazz and a pre-dinner drink. Mike Price was playing, but this was more delicate than usual: a guitar trio of Mike with Greg Stott and Stuart King. Megan asked me at one stage if it was jazz. Who knows? There’s so much crossover these days. The guitars were nylon strung so the sound was crisp and earthy and acoustic: classical guitars… or John McLaughlin. Greg was miked and the others were using pickups into their amps. They played a few lively standards, but also several tunes that were more harmonically complex and balladic. It’s interesting to hear the different approaches to solos and comping and the different tones of each player, as well as admire the obvious reading skills. Luckily it wasn’t a busy night at the NPC because, even with a small audience, this detailed and intimate music was getting lost. It was a bit jazz-raw, as you’d expect, improvised and with a fairly undecided playlist. This would be a problem in a concert hall with classical players, but they were playing a bar and these are jazz trained, so playing somewhat off-the-cuff is second nature and part of the thrill. And these are capable players. So, one drink and one set was all we caught, but it was delightfully acoustic sounding and capably loose. Perhaps a stretch for the venue, but none-the-less it was worthy music well played.

Mike Price, Stuart King and Greg Stott (guitars) played as a trio at the National Press Club.

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