HOMAGE TO A GREAT COMPOSER

Seventh reason
___________

7. sculthorpe’s work in safe hands

These highlights chosen by Ausjazz blog — 12 great reasons for not missing the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival — are not ranked in any order, but this is one concert I really do not want to miss.

In 2009 I had the privilege to interview Peter Sculthorpe and Phil Slater before the performance of The Sculthorpe Songbook at Stonnington Jazz. Slater and Matt McMahon had deconstructed some Sculthorpe pieces, with his blessing, and revisited them. I recall the interview well because the recording device failed during what was, I thought, a special discussion with the distinguised Australian composer and I had to revisit the questions a few days later.

In The Sun Songbook at Wangaratta this year, trumpeter and composer Slater will again feature his adaptations and interpretations of Sculthorpe’s music. For this project, Slater (trumpet, laptop) will be joined by longtime collaborative partners, pianist McMahon and drummer Simon Barker, as well as guitarist Carl Dewhurst, bassist Brett Hirst and violist Erkki Veltheim.

Winner of the National Jazz Awards in 2003, Slater has created outstanding music with Band of Five Names and the Phil Slater Quartet, and has been heard with many other artists, including Baecastuff, Australian Art Orchestra, Gest8, Daorum, Matt McMahon’s Paths & Streams, DIG, Jim Black and Bobby Previte.

The festival website quotes Slater as saying, “The music is derived from many of Sculthorpe’s iconic orchestral and chamber works, including Kakadu, Irkanda 4, Djilile, Earth Cry, and the Sun Music series. The Sun Songbook explores several of Sculthorpe’s musical themes and points of influence, including the music of Japan, Indonesia, early Western liturgical music, and Australian Aboriginal music.”

This is definitely one concert not to miss.

Read Ausjazz blog’s review of the Sculthorpe Songbook, performed at Stonnington Jazz in May 2009.

Read Ausjazz blog’s 2009 interview with Peter Sculthorpe and Phil Slater about  The Sculthorpe Songbook: The composer’s work torn apart.

ROGER MITCHELL

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