Allan Browne Memorial Concert, 8pm Friday, September 23, Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne.
A benefit concert for the family of Margie Lou Dyer and Allan Browne presented by the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative
When family, friends and fans of drummer Allan Browne mourned his loss and celebrated his rich life and considerable contribution to the Melbourne jazz scene, I was overseas.
There was a huge outpouring of grief at his passing, culminating in a New Orleans-style street music procession that accompanied his hearse up Collins Street after his funeral.
I felt his loss from afar, remembering with deep appreciation the times when I had the opportunity to enjoy his company and his music.
I now deeply regret that I will be en route to Australia from Canada when a stellar line-up including Paul Grabowsky OAM, Barney McAll, Bob Sedergreen (Onaje), Andrea Keller, Tim Stevens, Julien Wilson, Brett Iggulden (The Red Onion Jazz Band) and Margie Lou Dyer takes to the stage at the Athenaeum Theatre for this memorial concert celebrating the musical life and legacy of Allan Browne, OAM — drummer/bandleader/composer and poet, who passed away, just short of his 71st birthday in June 2015.
This one-off concert will feature some of Melbourne’s finest contemporary musicians, almost all of whom performed with Al Browne over his long career. Between them the line-up of artists are the recipients of a six ARIAs, three National Jazz Awards, a Melbourne Music Prize, Don Banks Award and many “Bell” Australian Jazz Awards for album or artist of the year.
The list of pianists includes Paul Grabowsky, Barney McAll, Bob Sedergreen,
Tim Stevens and Andrea Keller, all of who recorded with Browne.
Saxophonist Julien Wilson, bassist Sam Anning and Barney McAll (all National Jazz Award and Australian Jazz Award recipients) performed on some of Al Browne’s last recordings will pay homage to these works.
Artists from many of Browne’s long-standing bands will perform, including the Allan Browne Quintet with Eugene Ball, Phil Noy, Geoff Hughes, Nick Haywood and emerging drummer Maddison Carter; and Onaje, one of Browne’s first ‘modern’ bands which features Richard Miller, Bob Sedergreen and Geoff Kluke. Other artists performing include Tamara Murphy, James McLean, Howard Cairns and Cam Robbins.
In the traditional jazz style, well-known trumpeter Brett Iggulden, OAM, from Browne’s first band, The Red Onion Jazz Band, will be guest artist with Virus, which features John Scurry – another Red Onion, Andy Ross and Lyn Wallis. Vocalist Shelley Scown will perform one of Grabowsky’s most beautiful compositions, Angel.
Browne’s widow, Margie Lou Dyer (daughter of late jazz great, ‘Wocka’ Dyer) will deliver some classic jazz and blues piano and vocals to conclude the performance in rousing New Orleans style.
Allan was a pivotal figure in Melbourne’s jazz scene, regarded by many as the personification of Melbourne jazz; a living repository for the history of jazz, possessed of an unquenchable creative spirit. Conjuror, a collection of Browne’s poetry (including an accompanying CD) was co-released by extemporé and Jazzhead in 2012.
Profits from the concert will go Allan’s second wife, pianist Margie Lou Dyer, and five offspring who are all musical performers.
I urge everyone who can be there to come out and enjoy this wonderful opportunity to celebrate such a warm and wise man with the music that he loved.
Date: Friday, September 23
Venue: The Athenaeum Theatre, 188 Collins Street Melbourne
Tickets: $40 / $30 concessions / $20 Student Rush at the Door
Bookings: Ticketek or phone bookings on 03 9650 1500
More information: mjc.org.au