The sad news of Bernie McGann’s passing has brought many tributes, and they will keep coming.
The Melbourne Jazz C0-operative wrote:
“The MJC is devastated to learn that Bernie McGann passed away last night, September 17, at 7.30 pm in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, with his beloved partner of three decades, Addie John, at his side. It had been such a long struggle for Bern and Addie over many weeks, and it had begun to look promising over the last week. Bernie would have loved seeing his team, the Rabbitohs, beat Melbourne Storm in the Rugby final on the weekend. Vale to an original voice in Australian music: one who received a Don Banks Award and belatedly received some Australia Council touring and recording grants, but never the gig opportunities and audience support in his home town that he really deserved.”
Personally, I have missed much of what Bernie brought to the world of music, but I caught enough to know its significance and its originality.
It seems appropriate to point to my blog post of June last year, ON BERNIE’S BIRTHDAY, IN WALKED BUD, when I was thoroughly entranced by Bernie’s playing in a set with Marc Hannaford on piano, Phillip Rex on bass and Dave Beck on drums at Bennetts Lane, Melbourne, on Friday, June 1 at 8pm for Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2012. It is a small tribute to what Bernie McGann could evoke.