10 July 2016


Finally I get to Tilley's for the Wayne Kelly Trio residency. Wayne, Ben and Mark have been doing this since at least last Christmas and let's hope it continues. It's sometime since I've gone to Tilley's, too. It's renowned (and in some conservative sectors, denigrated) with a history dating back to Whitlam, but it's obviously quite a local institution on the north side. Lots of families for dinner, relaxed, plenty of tables, dark with bright lights shining off glossy russet surfaces, big central stage and real PA system. I remember it in its first incarnation before the extension over the whole corner and the glory time of visiting international acts like Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Canned Heat, Jose Feliciano, Janis Ian and Kurt Elling as well as the cream of big Aussie names. It's a great venue, but still used for our local heavies, Wayne and co. They were great; playing a calm storm. This night Mike Price sat in. Next week, Wayne's Trio is recording with a string of friends. The volume is not too high; the food and drinks and chat continues but there's also an obvious respect and even the non-jazzers look on with interest. And the balance and space is good for listening, even with the ongoing cafe life. They played standards repertoire but also some winner originals. Ben was playing a storm. They say one way to get husband and wife talking is to start a bass solo. No need here, these were worth the listen. Wayne's authoritative at all times; Mark, too. Mike was out front, shredding clear jazzer lines. My choice was hard: cassoulet or beef and porter pie. How's that for life on the north side? Great.

Wayne Kelly (piano), Ben O'Loghlin (bass) and Mark Sutton (drums) play each Saturday night at Tilley's. Mike Price (guitar) sat in for several tunes.

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