KEEP THIS NIGHT CLEAR FOR BERNIE

Bernie McGann

Bernie McGann

GIG: Benefit concert for Bernie McGann, Sunday 1 September, 2013, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, organised by Melbourne Jazz Co-operative

This is one of my favourite pictures of Bernie McGann. I have plenty of others in which he is blowing up a storm, his brow covered in sweat, or gently transporting us with a ballad. But this picture shows Bernie seated, as is his habit, listening while other members of the band carry the piece forward. He is at ease, yet engrossed.

The picture was taken in June 2012 at a Bennetts Lane gig for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. On the night, and in the review, I got carried away with what Bernie gave us, along with Marc Hannaford, Phillip Rex and Dave Beck.

This post is intended to help pass on details already being publicised by the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative, about a benefit concert being held at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club on September 1, so that the word gets out to as many people as possible. Bernie is recovering from illness and needs our support.

The line-up  for the Jazz Lab gig ($20 & $15 concession) now includes Paul Grabowsky (solo piano), Italian saxophonist Mirko Guerrini, and Wilbur Wilde.

They are joining an already impressive line-up of leading Melbourne jazz artists (plus Perth’s Jamie Oehlers) with the confirmed artists including Julien Wilson, Allan Browne, Ian Chaplin, David Rex, Ken Schroder, Jex Saarelaht Trio, Bopstretch, Phil Noy, Philip Rex, Niko Schauble, and Sam Bates, among others.

Allan Browne (drums), Phil Rex (bass) and Phil Noy (alto sax) will open the concert by playing some of Bernie’s tunes (as will Julien Wilson and Boplicity).

More prizes for the raffle and auction include a collection of five CD albums by Julian Wilson’s groups (Festa, Trio, Assumptions), and five copies of Stephen Magnusson’s Bell-winning Magnet LP.

Prizes donated for the Silent Raffle now include a Melbourne Jazz Festival’s Golden Pass (value $1,000), four copies of the Australian Jazz Real Book donated by editor Dr Tim Nikolsky (value $100 each), and a JazzHead CD pack (in addition to the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues, which is donating a Gold Pass for this year’s festival to both benefit concerts in Melbourne and Sydney : value $350 each).

Both Rufus Records (Bernie’s main label) and JazzHead will be selling stock on the night, with a good percentage of profits going to Bernie.
We also hope to have some copies of the hard-to-find 1997 book Bernie McGann A life in Jazz by poet Geoff Page, as well as some photographs by Bruce Hart (who now resides in Canada).

Tax-deductible donations can be made via S.I.M.A. (just ask for details).

ROGER MITCHELL

(using material provided by Melbourne Jazz Co-operative)

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