3 October 2015
To two greats
Mingus and (Joni) Mitchell. Both greats of their fields and friends who wrote for each other and recorded together. The ANU Jazz Collective presented a concert to give due recognition to these two. They played a series of tunes from each and two originals influenced by them. Rhythm section, four horns, vocals. The Mingus tunes: Haitian fight song, Fable of Faubus, Goodbye pork pie hat; the Joni Mitchell songs: River, Both sides now, and the lyrics she added to Mingus' Goodbye pork pie hat; the two originals, Collective jazz by Brendan Keller-Tuberg and Fields by Andree Thompson. I could easily feel the relationship to Mingus in Brendan's composition given the switches to double time, the bass features and drum hits and collective improv and blues melodies. Brendan did a good take on Mingus throughout in his playing, too. Fields was more open, odd timed, perhaps more Joni-contemplative. I loved the ensemble sound of the four horns throughout: trumpet, trombone, tenor and alto saxes: nicely intoned and some decent solos. Rose Costi took the vocal role and did the Joni songs with considerable panache and involvement. One listener reported tears (Both sides now, I think) and another said she was close to it. I didn't quite feel this, and I was uncomfortable with the slow pace on River, but the singing was very impressive. I could not but love a concert dedicated to these two masters: bluesy, earthy and true. A great pleasure.
The ANU Jazz Collective presented a program called Mingus meets Joni at the Band Room. Performers were Rose Costi (vocals), Anthony Cotter (trumpet), Jack Schwenke (trombone), Hugo Lee (alto), Andre Thompson (tenor), Ben Forte (guitar), Brendan Keller-Tuberg (bass), Alec Brinsmead (drums) and Johannes Luebbers (piano).