11 September 2018

Fight for the floor

Somewhere between Monteverdi and Miles is jazz of the '20s and '30s, variously styled as ragtime or Dixieland or New Orleans or trad, often played with banjos and sousaphones and plenty of brass (common instruments left over from the civil war) and with cut times and group improv and the like. Then into Satchmo solos and swing and big bands and off to bebop and the modern styles. But that early jazz, and later jazz played in a vintage style, remains immensely popular, not least with dancers, and Zackerbilks is a great local exponent. We caught them today at the Canberra Jazz Club's monthly event at Southern Cross Club, Jamison. It was packed. The dance floor didn't last 10 seconds before the swing dancers were up. Namesake Zach was in fine form, blowing a call of introduction (less sedate than his roles in CSO) then into song and dance. The dresses were full and bouncy, the guys wore waistcoats and the colour was on cheeks and lips but also in the lively, flouncy music. This is entertaining, fun, warmly welcomed. Not the steadfast seriousness of the jazz I normally attend, although still played with demanding skills. And was not just 2-feels. There was swing, too, but all pretty early in style, all bustling. Great fun from a great band. Much enjoyed by very many.

Zackerbilks played at Canberra Southern Cross Club, Jamison, for the Canberra Jazz Club. Zackerbilks are Zach Raffan (trumpet, vocals), Miriam Miley-Read (vocals, uke), Robbie Mann (piano), Christopher Harris-Scott (banjo), Thomas Manley (or Thomas Azoury , clarinet), Rob Lee (or Matt Ricketts, trombone), Scott Temby (bass), Simeon Staker (or Jamal Salem, drums).

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