21 July 2019

Wander at will

I did just see them passing by - I have a few times - but I was blown out as always. Miro got Wandlerlust together for a gig at the Jazz Haus and it was a stunner. From the first bars of a lengthy, adventurous piano solo from Alister to open up, through the renowned Wanderlust songbook and a few newbies and a delightful standard by Duke Ellington called Wanderlust, no doubt, this was a thing of wonder. Bronte Cafe is famed not just for the band but for its incarnation as a theme on ABCRN a few years back. Dakkar just sits luxuriantly. There a good bit of Africa here, with one from Jeremy (missed the title) and Miro's Pressure makes diamonds (a fabulous title dedicated to Nelson Mandela). And deep grooves with Delicatessence and the latin/New Orleans Mumbo Jumbo. And that deliciously beautiful tune, again by Miro, Peace please, which they played as an encore and profound ending. This was Wanderlust as lustful as I've ever seen them. Gloriously tight and intoned heads that sit over infectious rhythms; James with his ever-gleeful presence and deeply satisfying solos; John and Brendan as the local visitors and insanely effective; Alister as deeply, harmonically investigative, Fabian all infectious latin, Jeremy often unobtrusive then guitar clean and melodic. Megan asked about some of the background, where these overly capable musicians on riffs spelling complex African grooves. Backing solos or backing out completely for solo bass or drums or guitar to play genuinely alone. Just so good. Great players know when to talk and when to sit. And again, those perfect heads. Someone mentioned there's not much ensemble playing. No, not written. These are mostly infectious grooves with gloriously melodic heads and space for improv that they leave to these great players. Did I say I enjoyed it? Hugely enjoyable tunes from the best of players. What's not to like?

Wanderlust appeared at the Jazz Haus. Wanderlust were Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet, flueglhorn), John Mackey (tenor), James Greening (trombone), Alister Spence (piano), Jeremy Sawkins (guitar), Brendan Clarke (bass) and Fabian Hevia (drums).

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