6 December 2014
French luxe down south
I finally got to Gary France's jazz session at Tuggeranong. Just a trio playing standards but what a great trio and what a luscious location. In the cafe, at Tuggeranong Arts Centre, overlooking the lake. Intimate with low stage fronting a wide room, luxe seating (although I was at a cafe table rather than chaise lounge or curvaceous French settee; where did they find that furniture?). Paul dal Broi, Eric Ajaye, Gary France, three of our best musicians playing for their pleasure and ours. Out of nowhere, How insensitive, Dearly beloved, Tune-up, All the things you are, but also an original ballad by Paul and Coldplay's Pictionary and a discomfortingly heavy take on La Vie en Rose. Was Paul casting a black magic spell with this take? I've missed Eric over the last year, but now I've seen him twice in a few weeks and his luscious, searching, glissando lines were intriguing for the positional moves and guide tones. I was chatting with a classical player after and she was commenting on how much knowledge is required for improv at this level. Of course. This is dense theory and harmonic knowledge, and then enough skills to twist it out of recognition with substitutions and dissonance. Paul was again a master. I was taken aback by one or two particularly clever twists but he's a wealth of this internalised awareness. Gary is just a joy, no doubt as a colleague but also as the MC and outgoing, supportive rhythm machine, ever-present, light and swinging and ready to embellish. This was just a hugely pleasurable outing, intimate, swinging, amongst friends and anyone who attends is that. Enough to get the Inner South boy to make the trip to Tuggers. Gary's series will be recommencing monthly from February. BTW, Gary mentioned a new music service coming to Tuggeranong, the Groove Warehouse, for tuition, gear and more. Keep eyes out for that.
Paul Dal Broi (piano), Eric Ajaye (bass) and Gary France (drums) played mostly standards at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre.