29 March 2006

Mike Nock Trio @ The Gods

The Mike Nock Trio appeared at the first of the Gods Jazz sessions at the ANU last night. The Trio is Mike Nock, piano, Brett Hirst, bass, and Toby Hall, drums. They all played excellently, with two highly inventive modern sets.

Mike Nock was his usual creative self, despite playing an electric piano with a key that was sticking. He led two sets of mixed standards and originals. Some were quirky, like his “Summertime … so what”. It started with Miles’ “So What” line, which then got Summertime superimposed over the top. Or the beautiful melody of “You don’t know what love is” as a strangely discordant e-piano sound over a free improvisation by bass-drums. But it wasn’t all like this. His “One for the children” (or similar title) was a simple and beautiful piece with a touching, African history, and his “Blue 4” was a great and complex modern blues piece. His improvising is fluid and inventive, and he introduces dissonance and rhythmic complexity at will – a master at work. As a fellow bassist, I loved Brett Hirst’s bass playing. He had a strong, woody tone which was always clear in both accompaniment and soloing. He was also very melodic, reminding me of Charlie Haden in style. Toby Hall was fluid; moving in and out of the music with constantly varying intensity and rhythm.

Another interesting thing was just how much fun they were obviously having. Mike Nock was constantly looking across with respect to his cohorts. Brett Hirst frequently had a smile on his face, occasionally replacing it with a look of intense concentration. Toby Hall was obviously enjoying himself, and occasionally shared quips with Mike Nock.

The Trio is returning, this time with grand piano, at the Southern Cross Club, 8.30pm Thurs 28 September, 2006, ph 6283 7267. This was an excellent start to the series, and was a masterful display of jazz at an international level.

19 March 2006


Sandpit were playing today at Edgar's Inn, for the Sunday afternoon sessions. They are a quartet: sax (soprano & alto), guitar (strat), electric bass, drums. I didn't recognise the faces. They played a 70s style jazz rock, in the tradition of Herbie Hancock and Bitches Brew Miles. I particularly liked the gentle, relaxed bass with a soft slap and, I think, autowah or some similar pedal. Sadly, my camera died last weekend, so no pics.

14 March 2006

A Neck & another @ CSM

Jazz Area Staff Concert - John Mackey, Eric. C Ajaye, Mike Price, Miroslav Bukovsky, Col Hoorweg and Matt Thompson perform standard and contemporary original material. Bandroom, Peter Karmel Building, ANU, 7.30pm Wed 8 Mar 2006, $12/$10/$2 ANU students

Right Brain Series - Chris Abrahams (the Necks) and Simon Phillips play an improvised soundtrack to black and white silent film footage. RR3, CSM, 7pm, Tues 21 Mar 2006, $12/$10/$8 Friends

13 March 2006

Jazz at the Gods 2006

Here's the lineup for 2006. Prices are $12/$8, or a season ticket for $45. Light meals available before the show. Eating is 6.30pm for concert at 8pm. For bookings, phone 6248 5538. There's limited seating (80) so make remember to book.

Tues Mar 28 Mike Nock Trio — Mike Nock, electric piano; Brett Hirst, bass; Toby Hall, drums

Tues Apr 4 Julian Banks Trio — Julian Banks, tenor saxophone; Damien Slingsby, electric piano; Sam Young, drums

Tues May 2 Bernie McGann Quartet — Bernie McGann, alto saxophone; Warwick Alder, trumpet; Lloyd Swanton, bass; John Pochée, drums

Tues Jun 6 Valdis Thomann Trio — Valdis Thomann, trombone; Neils Rosendahl, tenor saxophone; Michael Azzopardi, electric piano

Tues Jul 18 Straight Up Trio — Michael Azzopardi, electric piano; Eric Ajaye, bass; Christopher Thwaite, drums

Tues Aug 1 Luke Sweeting Trio — Luke Sweeting, electric piano; Bill Willliams, bass; Ed Rodriguez, drums

12 March 2006

Mike Nock @ Gods Cafe

Mike Nock plays Gods Cafe at ANU on Tues 28 Mar, apparently in a trio format. I'm unsure of time and other details. I believe this is the 2006 return of the Gods Cafe Jazz Series, which has been organised for several years by Geoff Page, our well known local poet and jazz lover. I've got more info coming, so return here for more datails. Geoff Page's website has a link to last year's Gods Jazz series (as I write this, it's showing last year's program).