18 June 2022


Good and bad here.  The bad was that I could only hear Sandy Evans Trio or Andrea Keller solo.  Well, I could walk between venues but how much would I miss.  I mentioned this to manager Zoe but I understand the problems with programming.  None-the-less, it's my greatest disappointment of these days.  I'd heard the two the day before and adored both and Andrea Keller is in Melbourne so more difficult to catch.  But life is like that.  The good? 

Sandy Evans Trio was my favourite event of the festival.  Not something new or unexpected. I'd heard them all before together and apart and admired all their playing.  Together, despite few gigs over recent times due to Covid, they just excelled.  To some degree, the style is a preference of mine, as we all have preferences given what's hot when we discover something.  For me, it was '70 modern jazz much like this.  I could have hiked down to Andrea K but I melted and decided to stay.  The sound was to die for and this was also part of the pleasure.  The bass was pickup into Ampeg and otherwise unamplified, so levels fitted to bass.  The sax was one large diaphragm, with distance nicely controlled by Sandy; the drums were one overhead and one kick mic.  And the space was good.  Brett sounded so solid and expressive, double stops and more and Toby laid deep grooves, but was also loud and explosive or varied and fluid.  Sandy played over, moving tonalities, delirious long phrases or reticent and restrained, always gloriously toned (I felt I could hear the bell itself this was so intimate; thus the pleasure with the sound), intellectually questing, grunts or space or abstract melody.  Then a tribute to Bernie McGann and wife Addie.  My god, so beautiful.  Then a quick tune with unison sax/bass and something "so you can contemplate your own identity" and then Invasion day at the beach, introduced as a "punk rock thrash disco yobbo feel".  Loved'm all.  An important band playing a gem session expertly and with integrity. 

 The Sandy Evans Trio played at the inaugural Orange Winter Jazz Festival.  They were Sandy Evans (tenor, soprano sax), Brett Hirst (bass) and Toby Hall (drums).

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