Tag Archives: David Jones

IN SUPPORT OF SUPPORT ACTS

Johnny Tedesco

Johnny Tedesco and Chris Hale perform Sylvan Coda

REFLECTION:

Christopher Hale’s Sylvan Coda opens for Jorge Pardo “Huellas” at Melbourne Recital Centre, Saturday 31 May at 7.30pm

Here and Now opens for Larry Carlton Quartet at Melbourne Recital Centre, Wednesday 4 June at 7.30pm

In any international festival the established practice is for the visiting performers, as the main drawcards, to be on stage for much longer and to be preceded by support bands from Australia. This is a good way for our home-grown musicians to share in the festival limelight and potentially gain a following from the larger audiences who appear out of the woodwork.

I am always disappointed to notice how many seats that are vacant during the opening set and yet are filled when the main performers come on stage. It is a pity not only because it shows disrespect for Australian musicians, but also because the patrons who arrive late are likely to miss hearing some very talented and inventive artists.

The opening sets at MRC this year seem to be way too short. I have not heard any complaints from our “local” musicians — possibly they are glad to have even such limited exposure in such a large festival — but the balance does seem to have swung too much towards the main acts on the bill.

In the case of Christopher Hale’s Sylvan Coda, which opened for Jorge Pardo‘s flamenco jazz, what the audience heard and saw was a tiny taste or fragment of the original suite. I’m sure Johnny Tedesco‘s fantastic flamenco footwork was a highlight for many in the audience — I was struck by how his feet called to mind the fluttering of butterfly wings and the feather-light, incredibly rapid work by some drummers I’ve heard — but it would have been impossible to convey the way in which the original suite changed and developed.

Anyone who liked the snippet provided in this opener should watch for another performance of the full Sylvan Coda.

Sylvan Coda

Johnny Tedesco, Chris Hale, Nathan Slater and Ben Vanderwal in Sylvan Coda at Melbourne Recital Centre

Sylvan Coda

Jacq Gawler, Hannah Cameron, Gian Slater and Julian Banks

Chris Hale

Chris Hale

The other short opening set deserving special mention at MRC so far this year was the performance by Here and Now before the Larry Carlton Quartet.

I left a little early from Carlton’s set — to get to another festival gig and also because the music being played did not excite me. But a clear standout for me was the work of Andrea Keller on piano, Nilusha Dassenaike on vocals, Alex Pertout on percussion, Evripides Evripidou on bass and David Jones on drums.

I should confess that on this rainy evening I was tempted to arrive at 8.15pm to catch the main act, but decided I should respect the artists performing first. I am so glad I did.

Although this set was short, I felt that it took us to quite a special place. Each member of the ensemble contributed significantly, but Evripidou on bass was inventive and I found Keller’s solo, without needing to be loud, filling the auditorium as well as my being. I believed it would be one of the best piano solos of the festival. Her notes seemed to be drawing the audience into a state of total absorption. Dassenaike’s voice was integral to this meditative set.

Here and Now plays Melbourne Recital Centre

Here and Now plays Melbourne Recital Centre

Andrea Keller

Andrea Keller

Alex Pertout, Nilusha Dassenaike and Evripides Evripidou

Alex Pertout, Nilusha Dassenaike and Evripides Evripidou

Here and Now musicians take a bow.

Here and Now musicians take a bow.

I’d like to see opening acts given a fairer allocation of time in future festivals. But one thing is certain — it is never wise to come late and miss out on what comes first. It could well be what you appreciate most.

ROGER MITCHELL

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PETER PETRUCCI QUARTET with JAMIE OEHLERS

GIG: CD LAUNCH of This Way Out at Bennetts Lane, June 27, 2010

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

Peter Petrucci, guitar
Sam Anning, acoustic bass
David Jones, drums
Jamie Oehlers, saxophone

After being out of town for a week and back at work for one night, I was not sure whether I really wanted to venture into the cold, But I wanted to hear the music from the album live — always a smart move, because it is hard for a studio recording to match the real thing in a good venue.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Jamie Oehlers

The live rendition was a treat. My impression of the album had been that it was fairly laid back, with a languid feel. In the flesh, the band’s energy and spirited approach to the Miles Davis piece Side Car — played second after the album opener Tomorrow’s Passage — was more apparent.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Sam Anning

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Jamie Oehlers

The Denzil Best tune Wee had a certain fluidity (had to say that) of tempo and there was plenty of scope for Anning to solo. I loved the quartet’s rendition of Pat Metheny’s 80/81, with strong sax and guitar solos. Petrucci was fulsome in his praise of Oehlers, who he described as “an extraordinary musician” and “a great ballad player” and this was evident in the guitarist’s Soul Illusions, which was a moving way to close the set.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
David Jones

Oehlers’ Midnight Mourning opened the second set. As often happens I am writing this too long after the gig, but I know Petrucci said this piece had a really interesting form. This Way Out (Petrucci) was upbeat, with solos from sax, guitar and David Jones on drums, who had not really had a chance to break out before this. And he loves to do that. Point of No Return, from the album Nowhere To Be Found, followed and then the set closed with another Petrucci original — I did not catch the name.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Sam Anning

Given the time that has elapsed, I have to leave it up to the pictures to tell the story. But this launch was an absorbing interlude — a good chance to recharge and settle into some great playing. I particularly enjoyed 80/81 and Soul Illusions, and the chance to hear Oehlers in fine, relaxed and flowing form. Beautiful.

 Peter Petrucci Quartet
Peter Petrucci and Jamie Oehlers

WANGARATTA JAZZ 09 — JOHN McALL’S BLACK MONEY

John McAll on piano, Jordan Murray on trombone, Tim Wilson on flute and alto sax (David Rex broke his arm), Adam Simmons on reeds, Philip Rex on acoustic bass, David Jones on drums at Jazz on Ovens

I loved Black Money, John McAll’s first album as bandleader and composer, so I relaxed and enjoyed as the septet played tracks including Atlantis, I Should Care, Behind the Bushes (think sinister, think silly swaggering cowboy elements in America), Melbournology, the superb Glitter and Dust (“melancholy meets brilliant thoughts”) and Chick Corea’s Humpty Dumpty.

The audience loved it and queued to buy the album later. Shades of the wonderful Way Out West gig at Ovens the previous year.

I’m hoping there’ll be another album from the “lesser known McAll” soon, with this line-up or similar.

Pics to come