MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL — DAY 1

THE BIG JAM AT FED SQUARE

Big Jam

It could have turned out a colossal disaster, filling the city with the sounds of amateur musicians trying to be instant jazz musicians. In fact it was heaps of fun, with James Morrison walking through the packed Fed Square and on to the stage to join the team guiding the jam session. I took spoons and my trumpet, which was a sure way to prove how inadequate my performance skills are in public. This sort of thing may worry jazz purists, but anything that lets people have fun with music and may help break down the rarified air surrounding jazz is worth doing.

Samuels/Vanderwal
The Samuels/Vanderwal Latin Project

A free concert followed, beginning with the Dave Samuels/Ben Vanderwal Latin Project, which had people up and dancing.

Dave Samuels
Dave Samuels

drums

PAUL GRABOWSKY SEXTET AT BENNETTS LANE

From 8pm Bennetts Lane was crowded for this talent-rich ensemble. They played some familiar pieces — Tailspin, Passing Fancies, the beautiful Angel and The Return of Prince Planet while I was there. Great performances all round, but standouts for me were Shannon Barnett on trombone and Sam Anning on bass. I had forgotten how much I loved that Grabowsky album Tales of Time and Space. It is still a favourite. This concert was a timely reminder.

Shannon Barnett
Shannon Barnett

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