16 April 2015

Horse needs course

I guess we've been spoiled over the years. The Jazz School; Loft; Smiths. Now we're back to Hippo for our jazz. I don't mind the venue for chatter and a few drinks. That's its role and it does it well with the cocktail making and notable whiskeys and the hipster beards and the pretty young things. But noone would claim it as a listening venue. Last night was Vulkan, a blend of Danish and Australian musicians featuring ex-locals Luke Sweeting and Max Alduca. This was a very nice band. I heard CTI with mid-tempo grooves and syncopated swing, the distinctive Rhodes, some busy chord changes along with lengthy solo spots on one chord or changes each 8 bars or so and a wonderfully open and clear sound. Very attractive and inviting, but also musically clean and capable and interesting. Think Freddie Hubbard or Milt Jackson. Vulkan is blessed with three composers Jakob, Jens and Luke. The first tune was smooth and driving with solos all round and clear Rhodes accompaniment in 6; there was one in 4 with dotted feel and unison taps; another yearning and with guitar chords softened with slow attack; another slow in 4 with heavy entry and guitar packing; and Days of wine and roses, for an old fave. I liked what they were doing, but struggled to hear any detail so just one set. I just long to be spoiled some more. A very nice band that deserved a closer listen.

Vulkan are a Denish-Australian collaboration with Jakob Sørensen (DK, trumpet, composer), Jens Fisker (DK, guitar, composer), Luke Sweeting (Aus, piano, composer), Max Alduca (Aus, bass), Harry Day (Aus, drums).

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