Tenth reason

10. A bounty from baecastuff

Among these highlights chosen by Ausjazz blog as 12 great reasons for not missing the Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival is one concert that is especially intriguing.

I have not heard Baecastuff, led by saxophone player Rick Robertson (of d.i.g fame), but the band comes highly recommended. I have no idea what to expect, but a glance at the line-up shows this group is guaranteed to produce extraordinary music.

Baecastuff features Phil Slater on trumpet, Matt McMahon on piano, Alex Hewetson on bass, Simon Barker on drums. Robertson formed the band in 1996 after he and Slater returned from a European Tour with d.i.g, which included appearances at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz festivals. The concept was to create an ensemble to present original compositions with influences from 1970s Miles Davis, Dave Holland, Ornette Coleman and Jan Garbarek, and to combine that with modern rhythms such as jungle and drum’n’bass. The band has developed a unique sound that one reviewer described as “jazz in spirit, but open to developments in funk and electronic music such as drum’n’bass.”

To Robertson the heritage of Norfolk Island, where he was born, is an important part of the music he has written for Baecastuff. His family descended from HMS Bounty mutineers, who occupied Pitcairn Island before being removed to Norfolk Island.

On the festival website he explains that Baecastuff will play Mutiny Music, “a musical narrative based on the music, language, and culture of the Pitcairn Islanders, depicting in musical terms what happened as a direct result of the Bounty mutineers’ need to retrieve their Tahitian ‘wives’ and hide successfully from the wrath of the English in tiny Pitcairn’s Isle. The music draws on Pitcairn hymns, melodies derived from spoken word and Polynesian rhythms.”

Performances: Saturday, November 3 at 3pm, WPAC Theatre; Sunday, November 4 at 10pm St Patrick’s Hall


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