I guess it was Covid that caused Sydney drummer Dave Goodman to be off the program at NPC. It's the standard way in these pandemic times. But the guy who walked by me, I guess seeing me alone and listening, the guy who said "excellent music", said it all. This was a blast regardless and with no drums! Just jazz blowing on standards and latins and bop with tenderness to curb exhuberance. Brendan and Greg were on the bill; Con replaced sticks with a tenor reed. This was truly a thing of beauty. Not too loud or insistent but gloriously expressive from all three. Greg works hard taking both solo and accompanist parts, but never a hesitation. Brendan was just a smooth speedster playing soft but deadly lines throughout his solos, then nonchalant accompaniment with equal finesse. Dave's ring-in was Con, on tenor. The role was different but mellifluous, sometimes, explosive, always melodically satisfying. I could hear the lyrics and lines of many players, from bop to latin, presumably a measure of his transcriptions, or maybe just listening. Transcriptions is my guess. Lovely. So a different experience but a deeply satisfying one. Just locals, but just excellent, in the words of my passing mate.
Con Campbell (tenor), Greg Stott (guitar) and Brendan Clarke (bass) played at the National Press Club.