21 April 2018

Hints of refluoresence

I've got the story, several times over recent weeks, that the ANU School of Music is chuffing along. Apparently they had 80 new students this year after 30 the previous year (or thereabouts?). Plenty of jazz and contemporary players who are getting jazz harmony training and showing interest in the demanding arts. Nice. I haven't seen too many over recent years, but maybe they are coming out of the woodwork. Before Warwick Alder we had one such band as a warmup. The band was Gravy 'Trane. The composition was sax, piano, bass, drums. The tunes were both covers and originals, interestingly by a few members. All looking up. Gravy waltz, Naima, a Cedar Walton tune and Stephen Scott Like a child at play are covers. In addition, three originals by sax, piano and bass. The players were decent, too. Obviously fairly new but with an understanding and awareness of the music and instrumental history. I enjoyed some nicely structured sax lines, some very confident bass, aware and responsive piano and drums. I noticed in the past that the early year students tended to be in the background; the more mature, developed players, some second, but mostly third year and honours, were out and about and doing some impressive, creative, personally relevant stuff. With any luck, that's where we are going, so expect any flowering to show over a few years. Looking forward to it. Gravy 'Trane are a promising opener.

Gravy 'Trane were Thomas Coleman-Bell (alto), Caleb Campbell (piano), Isaac Said (bass) and Hugh Magri-Bull (drums).

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