05 January 2017

Ripping up the place

I was amused at a comment about deconstructing the place. Someone had taken down a pot plant for better sightlines, then he'd responsibly replaced it at the end of the night. The jazz scene is like this. Likeable people who study complex things that pay little for arts-sake with a relaxed dress sense. Like one player who's in Canberra for his Philosophy PhD at ANU on a topic somewhere in Ethics. It's a quiet time for musos after the rush of Christmas. A few are back home to visit rellies: Aidan Lowe was back from Berlin for a time. Otherwise, it's good times and good beers and some excellent music. Hugh Barrett was filling in for Wayne Kelly; Aidan Lowe for Mark Sutton; Ben O'Loghlin was coordinator, calling in various players for the second, jam set. Ben Marston, Tom Fell, Steve Richards, some others. The tunes for the first set were less the obvious blow numbers - Blue in green, Nica's dream and the like. The jam set was more commonly known tunes, starting with Stella then Blue bossa. I got a go on Alone together then Blue Monk. The playing was excellent all round. Aidan's playing a storm, if lamenting his kit that's sat in a shed the last year (fair enough). Hugh smoothed through various harmony colours with extensions or substitutions or whatever and laid down sweet, unassuming solo lines: all the piano's role and done with great skill. Ben O'L floored me, interesting and varied, right on top of the beat and driving with a firm, full sound. Then the horns, Ben M and Tom, soloing nicely, spelling heads with ease but also harmonising melodies and accompaniments to hint at arrangements. Tom commented it's a great lineup for that (rhythm section plus sax and trumpet), but no surprise there, it's the quntessential bop-modern lineup. The last tune was a raging Rhythm changes: so much for deconstruction, this was ripping up the place in a more positive light. And there were chats and beers as jazz is. Much enjoyed. Thanks to all.

Ben O'Loghlin (bass), Hugh Barrett (piano) and Aidan Lowe (drums) were the support band for the jazz jam at Old Canberra Inn. Tom Fell (sax), Ben Marston (trumpet), Steve Richards (drums), Eric Pozza (bass) and others sat in. The OCI jazz jam is at Old Canberra Inn, every Wednesday, 6.30-9pm, free entry, good beers on tap.

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