Category Archives: MIJF 2010

Melbourne International Jazz Festival

STONNINGTON JAZZ 2010 — DAY 8

TEN PART INVENTION at Chapel Off Chapel

Ten Part Invention
Bertles, Robson, Evans, James

It was fantastic to have this Sydney ensemble in Melbourne, though the band’s obvious enthusiasm at having come south was tempered a little by the absence of the bandleader, Bell Awards Hall of Fame member John Pochee, and by departure of saxophonist Ken James, who has settled in Hamilton, Victoria. It is to be hoped Pochee recovers quickly and can make it next time Ten Part Invention returns to Melbourne — which must be soon. James is expected to be able to play with the band occasionally, but was given a send-off during the Chapel Off Chapel gig.

Filling in at very short notice on drums — he is making a habit of it — was Ronny Ferella, with virtually no rehearsal and without having played with the band previously. He did not have stories to tell, as Pochee likes to do, but he did a great job.

The line-up on the night was Paul McNamara on piano, Steve Elphick on bass, Warwick Alder and Miroslav Bukovsky on horns, James Greening on trombone, Bob Bertles on baritone sax, Sandy Evans on tenor sax, Ken James on soprano and tenor sax, Andrew Robson on alto sax and Ronny Ferella on drums.

Again, time is hampering my ability to add a review of the gig at this stage. Suffice to say it was exhilarating. The musicians seemed to be having a lot of fun and this came through to the audience, which disappointingly was not as large as expected given Ten Part Invention plays in Melbourne so rarely. We do seem to have a habit of not turning out in large numbers when a bunch of talented Sydney musicians come to town, but you’d expect this band to be well known.

For now, here are some images. In time I will add a few words about the concert.

 Ten Part Invention
Ferella and Greening

 Ten Part Invention
Robson, Evans, James

 Ten Part Invention
Greening and James

 Ten Part Invention
Greening, Bukovsky and James

 Ten Part Invention
Robson, Elphick and Evans

 Ten Part Invention
Evans, Ferella, James and Greening

 Ten Part Invention
Bertles, Robson, Evans and James

 Ten Part Invention
Greening, Bukovsky and Alder

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STONNINGTON JAZZ 2010 — DAY 7

The Malvern Town Hall concert may have been great, and Intangible Asset No. 82 was undoubtedly an asset, but I reckon we had the best of it with the double bill at Chapel Off Chapel. Time prevents me posting a review at this stage — life is getting in the way — so for the moment I am posting some pics from each set.

BRIAN ABRAHAMS DISTRICT SIX at Chapel Off Chapel

The line-up for Abrahams’ ensemble was Abrahams on drums John McAll on piano, Zvi Belling on electric bass, Nick Lester on tenor sax and Eugene Ball on trumpet.

Brian Abrahams
Brian Abrahams

Brian Abrahams District Six
District Six

Nick Lester and Eugene Ball
Nick Lester and Eugene Ball

Zvi Belling and Brian Abrahams
Zvi Belling and Brian Abrahams

Nick Lester
Nick Lester

WAY OUT WEST at Chapel Off Chapel

The line-up for Way Out West was Peter Knight on trumpet and flugelhorn, Dung Nguyen on modified electric guitar and Vietnamese traditional stringed instruments, Ray Pereira on percussion, Howard Cairns on acoustic bass, Paul Williamson on saxophones and Raj Jayaweera on drums.

Way Out West
Way Out West: Pereira, Nguyen and Cairns

Way Out West
Way Out West

Williamson and Knight
Williamson and Knight

Nguyen and Cairns
Nguyen and Cairns

Williamson and Knight
Williamson and Knight

Pereira, Cairns and Jayaweera
Pereira, Cairns and Jayaweera

Pereira, Knight, Nguyen and Cairns
Pereira, Knight, Nguyen and Cairns

Pereira and Nguyen
Pereira and Nguyen

Nguyen and Cairns
Nguyen and Cairns

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL — DAY 8

Please scroll down for Sangam review

CONVERSATIONS: ON TRADITION AND PROGRESS at The Wheeler Centre
with ADRIAN JACKSON, JASON MORAN, SOPHIE BROUS, JOHN McBEATH, SCOTT TINKLER

Post to come

THE CLAUDIA QUINTET at BMW Edge

Post to come

THE MUSIC OF JOHN HOLLENBECK: JOYS AND DESIRES at BMW Edge
with Theo Bleckmann and the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra

Post to come

SANGAM: CHARLES LLOYD WITH ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND ERIC HARLAND at Melbourne Town Hall

Opening set: STEPHEN MAGNUSSON / EUGENE BALL DUO

Post to come

SANGAM: CHARLES LLOYD WITH ZAKIR HUSSAIN, ERIC HARLAND and guests

Zakir Hussain
Zakir Hussain

THE final concert of Melbourne International Jazz Festival was announced as a confluence of three artists, but it ended as much more.

Sangam — the name that saxophone, flute and tarogato player Charles Lloyd, drummer Eric Harland and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain have given their musical collaboration — is Sanskrit for confluence.

But in the spirit of India’s revered meeting near Allahabad of three rivers, one of which — the Saraswati — is hidden, this musical meeting had much to reveal.
It began unpredictably enough, with Lloyd playing elegant, beautiful piano notes to open Hussain’s composition, Guman. Harland joined him at the piano, freeing his drum kit to be occupied by Lloyd on gentle percussion before he took up his alto flute, Hussain responding vocally and on tabla as the piece built in intensity.

Zakir Hussain
Virtuosity: Zakir Hussain

As they moved through Dancing on One Foot, Sangam and Tales of Rumi, all Lloyd’s compositions, virtuosity was paramount. Hussain brought his tablas to life in a dizzying display of dissonant pitches. This was music to feed the body.

Deep emotional fulfilment came during Kuti, when Lloyd’s quartet members Jason Moran and Reuben Rogers joined the confluence unexpectedly, but on cue, to inject new life.

Hussain, Moran and Lloyd
Hussain, Moran and Lloyd

Moran played sensitively on piano as Lloyd spoke excerpts from Lord Krishna’s words in the Bhagavad-Gita on the manner in which an illumined soul lives in the world.

He knows bliss in the Atman
And wants nothing else.
Cravings torment the heart:
He renounces cravings.
I call him illumined.

Not shaken by adversity,
Not hankering after happiness:
Free from fear, free from anger,
Free from the things of desire.
I call him a seer, and illumined.

The bonds of his flesh are broken.
He is lucky, and does not rejoice:
He is unlucky, and does not weep
I call him illumined.

The tortoise can draw in its legs:
The seer can draw in his senses.
I call him illumined.

The abstinent run away from what they desire
But carry their desires with them:
When a man enters Reality,
He leaves his desires behind him.

Reuben Rogers
Reuben Rogers

Hymn to the Mother brought a gradual evolution in mood and pace, beginning with Moran’s eloquent piano, Rogers’ bowed bass and Hussain’s quiet vocals illuminating Lloyd’s fluent sax.

Lloyd illumined as Moran plays.
Lloyd illumined as Moran plays.

The encore, The Blessing, saw Lloyd attain new heights in his standout solo for the evening. Moran’s piano was exquisite and Harland, with one stick and a tambourine, showed great sensitivity.

Charles Lloyd
Standout solo: Charles Lloyd

This was a fitting end to a festival with many highlights. The only thing to do after such a sangam was to go home and replay the experience deep within the soul. It was akin to discovering the Saraswati River.