05 March 2019

What was that I heard?

This was definitive jazz, even if the makeup of the band was not so clear. It was advertised as a trio, plus one, then plus another. Who's to quibble when the music is just so good? The Palaver Trio (nice name and appropriate, too) was Miro Bukovsky with visiting Melbournians Geoff Hughes and Ronny Farella. The first visitor was John Mackey. I'd heard rumours of a bassist and Eric Ajaye appeared on the day. The location was the Drill Hall Gallery which is exemplary for its art if drenched in reverb. So the music was louder than it might have been and somewhat mushy. Each set was mostly just a single improv. The tunes were not much more. Geoff started out on subtly looped guitar then trumpet and softly pattering and sizzling drums and Eric's lithe, slurring bass and sax harmonies at times. All soft; all improvised; all gentle and insinuating. I thought maybe I caught a quote but it was not till towards the end of the first set that I realised they were playing a standard. It was a recognisable theme. I think Night in Tunisia, but I often recognise themes but can't place names. It was in the second set that it was more clear. Was it Caravan first up then Poinciana into Blue in green. The tunes were becoming more evident. Eric's bass lines sometimes spelled chords if extended in time and softer in swing. Geoff spelt the melody of Blue in green obviously enough and Miro did certainly play the Poinciana head, although again slowed and with some changed intervals, perhaps a flatted final note. John took a few solos, soft and fluidly rapid. I could only melt at some of this. There was once during set 2 where they stopped and Eric restarted with a soft groove. Perhaps unexpected but also most likely never practised together. At least this band, these tunes, this way. Jazz is like that and this was a superb example. I could only melt with admiration and envy. Some others spoke the same way. Did I mention that it was good and I enjoyed it? If I didn't, yes it was. A truly stellar outing.

Palaver Trio were Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet, flugelhorn), Geoff Hughes (guitar) and Ronny Ferella (drums). Visitors were John Mackey (tenor) and Eric Ajaye (bass).

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