17 August 2017

Classics all

These were Miro's classic hits, and classic they are. Just seven tunes, but every one hugely attractive, all different, all locking into a groove and spelling a hugely inviting melody. Also from somewhere, referencing something or someplace. Bronte gets in there. Bronte Cafe is a famed piece, having been used on Radio National for some program theme tune (was it Landline?). It's about a local cafe when Miro lived in Bronte by the sea in Sydney and it drives with the greatest of infectious grooves. Then there's one about Mandela and South Africa with the perfect title, Pressure makes diamonds. Wow! Again a work of mastery with an amusing story that Miro can recount for you sometime. The mysterious, caravanserai-relaxed Dakkar, all slow tones merging to form a long pensive theme against the unshifting regularity of an underlying groove. Or Delicatessence, somewhat similarly, thoughtful and gentle and inquisitive in melody and gently insistent in drive. Mambo Gumbo is a street-wise New Orleans beat and For Woody is a driving swing with a quintessential syncopated jazz melody overlying it. And Miro's masterpiece, Peace please, a ballad of optimism confronting sorrow. All great tunes, all heard often enough but never enough for me. And the playing was equally satisfying. Miro leading the lineup with John up front, always stunningly inventive and effective. Newcomers to Canberra, Hugh on piano and returnee Brendan on bass, both stunners, in solos and accompaniment. And Col again welcomed on the scene. I loved the African percussion colours in his intro and outro on Dakkar on a slit percussion box. In all, a intimate and communicative outing with Miro's great music and this hugely satisfying local band.

Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet, flugelhorn) led a band with John Mackey (tenor), Hugh Barrett (piano), Brendan Clarke (bass) and Col Hoorweg (drums) at the Canberra Grammar School Gallery.

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