7 July 2015

Lazy Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon was just a quick outing to two interesting musical events: 77 trombones (or thereabouts) at the High Court and a visit to the Blues scene. Firstly, the Canberra Wind Symphony. I'd heard about this a few days before from a trombonist who wasn't playing (how many trombonists are there in Canberra?). I think he'd said there were to be 77 trombones, but I counted about 40 and a rhythm section. It's still impressive. The sounds were confident and billowing and fitted the environment to a tee. There's a love of the High Court acoustics amongst brass and choirs. It's vibrant and edgy and I thought I heard a distinct returning echo from where I sat. It made the strongly spoken introductions unintelligible (again from where I sat) but made the brass sound a treat: big and rich and fat. Lovely. Add a very decent rhythm section and this was a treat. I caught the end of the first concert of the day: a few standards, mostly played by changing trombone quartets (the bass trombone sounded outstanding) and they ended with an all-in that rose the roof. All well charted. Great fun. I then moved off to the Blues scene, to hear two jamming bands at the Pro-Blues and Roots session at Harmonie German Club. This is all 12 bars and guitars in a darkened environment and varied beers on tap. The greying hair was evidence of the period that influenced this audience when the Yardbirds and the Stones and Cream and the like taught us of their Southern predecessors. There's a certain sameness in the blues, of course, but also a commitment and attractive emotion to it all. It was a jam and we'd heard all the tunes before but you can easily say the same of much Real Book jazz. I liked this, the beer was economical and entry was free (it's a club so needing a sign-in) and there's a slightly rough and careless honesty in it all. I just wished I was up there on bass as I have been in the past, but maybe another time. Peter and John did great.

Blues sessions are held first and third Sunday 2-5pm each month at Harmonie German Club. For the full palooza, 11 bands are playing on 2 stages for the International Blues Music day at Harmonie German, 2-11.30pm Sat 1 Aug, $20/15. With Hot rods and the rest.

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