14 June 2022


I'd expected more experimentalism from Amy Viola.  Yes, there was crossover, but a classical/roots/folk thing with vocals, quotes from Bach (first cello suite), I guess effects on the floors and even some guitar-like strumming, covers of Radiohead (interestingly another who came to pop from the classical training) and even covers of covers.  Amusingly she claimed a composition was perhaps the saddest Christmas song since Joni Mitchell.  Given the cold outside and the Christmas in July thing, it was close enough both ways.  And I'd also expected solo, but no, she was accompanied by drums and e-bass but I didn't find names anywhere.  It was good, interesting, earthy, just unexpected.  I expected a solo set with looping, but just goes to show.  Go with the flow.  She was good and a student of friends of mine, it turns out.  I am increasingly discovering musical connections to this town.

I couldn't even pronouce JAHL HESHI so again I was somewhat non-plussed to find a pretty straightforward modern jazz quartet.  I realise now that they are all initials but it had me flummoxed.  Tender and thoughtful tenor sax, intelligent and sometimes unexpected piano with delicious and well practised sequences,  nicely present and clear bass again with an extension, and Alex Inman-Hislop again on drums, an instant favourite after recent Hilary Geddes gigs.  Attractive and thoughtful modern jazz and nothing at all like what I'd expected!

Amy Viola and JAHL HESHI played at the inaugural Orange Winter Jazz Festival.  Amy Viola (viola) performed with drums and e-bass.  JAHL HESHI comprised Harry Sutherland (piano), Lachy Hamilton (tenor), Jacques Emery (bass) and Alex Inman-Hislop (drums).

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