Tag Archives: George garzone


Hard core: Scott Tinkler

Hard core: Scott Tinkler

PREVIEW: Hard Core on the Fly, Australian Art Orchestra,
7, 14, 21 and 28 August at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, 8.30pm

Hecklers can gird their loins and other lovers of improvised music can get ready to strap themselves in and take the ride of their lives.

Tonight (7 August 2014) at 8.30pm at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club in Melbourne, and for the following three Thursdays, curator Scott Tinkler and the Australian Art Orchestra will unleash utterly unrehearsed music, created on the fly. Of course no one’s suggesting that anyone should heckle in the style of the curator, but anyone who decides to be there needs to hang on to their hat.

Hard Core on the Fly features  some of Australia’s most exciting musicians and, for two concerts only, special guest George Garzone (USA) will join the line-up.

Each week a different combination of players will feature. They will meet, sometimes for the first time, one hour directly before the gig.

George Garzone

George Garzone

Garzone will play in Melbourne on 21 August and also in Perth on 28 August during this third series of Hard Core on the Fly. 

According to series curator Scott Tinkler these performances are intended to “broaden the musician base of the AAO and introduce new energy and ideas into the improvising culture of AAO members, creating new musical relationships and recognising established ones”.

“Each of the established artists involved have very strong ideas about improvisation and varied, but well practised approaches. Each week will see some well established musical relationships with the added excitement of brand new ones lurking,” he said in a statement to eager media representatives.

 “It is my hope that in the course of collaboration through performance that every one involved is challenged to find ways to relate and communicate with the other artists. My ultimate hope is that each week the joy of exploring music through improvisation is experienced by the artists. Audiences in past years have delighted in witnessing and sharing this experience and we look forward to welcoming them again.”

As well as the gigs, for the first time the AAO will conduct private workshops on improvisation at WAAPA (Perth), the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (Perth), and Southern Cross University (Lismore). Facilitators include  Tinkler, Stephen Magnusson, James Greening, Gian Slater and Carl Dewhurst.

Peter Knight

Peter Knight fires up during the 2014 MIJF

The line-ups for each Bennetts Lane concert are as follows:

7 August

Peter Knight trumpet, electronics, Adrian Sherriff trombone, Adam King drums, Brett Thompson guitar, Matthias Schack-Arnott percussion, James Macaulay trombone

Erkki Veltheim

Erkki Veltheim

14 August

Scott Tinkler trumpet, Anthony Burr clarinet, Erkki Veltheim violin, Ren Walters guitar, Dave Beck drums, Jenny Barnes vocals

Ren Walters

Ren Walters

21 August

George Garzone (USA) saxophone, Simon Barker drums, Scott Tinkler trumpet, Samuel Pankhurst bass, Stephen Magnusson guitar, Scott McConnachie saxophone

Geoff Hughes

Geoff Hughes

28 August

Geoff Hughes guitar, Eugene Ball trumpet, Harry Shaw-Reynolds drums, Joseph O’Connor piano, Marty Holoubek bass, James Macaulay trombone



Dates: Thursday 7, 14, 21 and 28 August

Times: Doors open 8:30pm at each concert

Venue: Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne

Cost: $20 / $15 + booking fee for each concert

Bookings: www.bennettslane.com

Website: www.aao.com.au



Hiromi is among artists who will fly Qatar Airways to Melbourne. (All About Jazz image)

Ausjazz blog previews the Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2012, which was launched on March 13:

The hubbub on level 24 of The Langham in Melbourne gave way to attentive silence yesterday evening as Murphy’s Law treated the assembled multitude to about four minutes of Big Creatures & Little Creatures: The Modular Suite.

The music was a welcome relief from the necessary formalities of the official launch of this year’s Melbourne International Jazz Festival, which will run from June 1 to June 10.

If the fragment of this commissioned work by Tamara Murphy was any indication, its full performance at Bennetts Lane as part of the festival’s Club Sessions will be compelling.

And if the question on everybody’s lips as program details emerged was how the festival’s focus under artistic director Michael Tortoni would differ from its direction under Sophie Brous, the real story of the night was about a key sponsorship.

As Melbourne’s music glitterati watched a promotional video about the delights of the Middle East state of Qatar, it was dawning on us all what a coup it was to bag Qatar Airways as a festival sponsor. The benefit is obvious — it will be much cheaper to fly in international artists, thus countering to some extent the isolation of Australia from the jazz hotspots of the United States and Europe.

So who are the big names and what is the flavour of this festival? Tortoni described the focus as “jazz royalty alongside the voice of a rising generation” and said MIJF 2012 was “all about what jazz is when the talking stops and the music starts”. Well, every festival has to have its catchphrases, but to take up his theme with another well-worn phrase, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

An initial glance at the program shows it is not overly adventurous, and represents less of a challenge — or an enticement — to audience groups on the fringes of more straight ahead jazz. The very popular multi-stage day of music madness and mayhem at Melbourne Town Hall will not take place this year, due to an absence of sponsorship and most likely of Sophie Brous. That’s a pity, because that gave the recent festivals a welcome edge that it must now fall to the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival to fill.

The main international artists include pianist McCoy Tyner revisiting the 1963 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album, this time with vocalist Jose James and saxophonist Chris Potter.

Potter will also perform some of his own material with Sydney’s Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra as well as some commissioned Australian material. This should be exciting.

James will also feature in the Robert Glasper Experiment, “an Australian premiere event that smashes stylistic boundaries to reshape the future directions of jazz” by “taking hip-hop, R&B, soul and post-modern jazz to never-before-seen places”.

For lovers of Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, US vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater will visit Melbourne for the first time, and also from the ‘States’, Patti Austin will perform a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with one matinee and one evening performance.

The familiar vocal extravaganza at the Palais this year is entitled “The Way You Look Tonight” featuring Katie Noonan, Vince Jones and Kristin Berardi in an opening night gala.

Likely to attract a much younger audience will be keyboardist-composer Hiromi (Japan/USA) who blends jazz with progressive rock and classical styles. Her first concert will open with US bassist Robert Hurst joining locals Jamie Oehlers and Dave Beck.

Hiromi’s second gig will be a double bill with the Israeli Eli Degibri Quartet, featuring 16-year-old prodigy Gadi Lehavi on piano.

A film-themed package will feature five-time Grammy Award winner and cinematic composer Terence Blanchard on trumpet (in a quartet with Brice Winston on tenor, Fabian Almazan on piano and Kendrick Scott on drums), Australia’s Joe Chindamo performing his arrangements of Coen Brothers film music and an ACMI Jazz on Film program.

The Salon at MRC will host three concerts with Monash University under the Jazz Futures banner featuring the Terence Blanchard Quintet, The Fringe (with George Garzone on sax) and Tarbaby (with Oliver Lake on alto sax).

The Fringe and Tarbaby will also perform at a new venue for this festival, the Comedy Theatre. These outings should keep us awake.
From Europe will come bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons, appearing in the Arcoluz Trio at the MRC after a real highlight opener of pianist Luke Howard with Janos Bruneel (Belgium) on bass.

Samuel Yirga Quartet from Ethiopia will feature the piano prodigy at the Comedy Theatre, opened by locals The Black Jesus Experience.
For lovers of the Hammond B3 (and I’m one), Dr Lonnie Smith (USA) will perform at Bennetts Lane.

In the Club Sessions, Motif from Norway will feature along with Robert Hurst and the Luca Ciaria Quartet from Italy.
Allan Browne Sextet will celebrate the launch of Conjuror — a collection of his jazz poetry — in two sets which should be a festival standout. Sandy Evans will join Lloyd Swanton and Toby Hall for a special closing night celebration presented with the Melbourne Jazz Cooperative.

The Melbourne International Jazz Festival opens on June 1.



Allan Browne Quintet and Trio, Chapel Off Chapel, May 22, Stonnington Jazz 2011
Allan Browne drums, Eugene Ball trumpet, Phil Noy saxophone, Geoff Hughes guitar, Nick Haywood bass, Marc Hannaford piano

Given Allan Browne’s love of poetry and whimsical sense of humour — often displayed at Bennetts Lane on Monday evenings — I was expecting quite a bit of humour and maybe some of the stream-of-consciousness outpourings of that ilk at this gig. Instead we were treated to a trip down memory lane in quite a serious vein, with a fair amount of emotion amid the recollections, and some concise and deeply expressive verse. As well, the musical responses to Allan’s words were some of the most expressive compositions I’ve heard, though that was no surprise given the calibre and imagination of these musicians. Marc Hannaford, Eugene Ball, Geoff Hughes, Phil Noy and Al Browne were the originators of the music played in two sets that seemed to race past. Luckily, these evolving works will be recorded, and they should rank with suites such as The Drunken Boat, Une Saison En Enfer and Stu Hunter’s works The Gathering and The Muse (both of the latter to be played during this festival on Wednesday and Thursday this week).

Allan Browne

Allan Browne and Marc Hannaford

The pieces were tributes to artists Browne had played with and who had visited Australia. Marc Hannaford’s Suite for Swing Street was for pianist Teddy Wilson, who recalled for Allan the era of 42nd street and Kansas City big bands. His verse included the lines “The sound of art changing the brain, And the quip of course, It’s confectionery”.
I think the suite carried on into For Art Hodes, a late twenties pianist with whom Browne enjoyed “great kinship”. Hughes and Haywood had top solos in this. Eugene Ball’s A Short Verse for A Tall Man was for vibraphonist Milt Jackson, who AB described as “a tremendously swinging person”. After the piece he described Ball’s composition as having “an Ellington sound … lush”. Marc Hannaford’s solo stood out for me in this.

Eugene Ball, Geoff Hughes, Phil Noy

Eugene Ball, Geoff Hughes, Phil Noy

Before the break the ensemble played Firefly, Geoff Hughes’ tribute to Emily Remler, a “truly inspiring young guitarist” with whom AB said he had a similar close relationship apart from the music, but who “didn’t make it back to America”. She died at age 32 while on tour in Australia. One of her sayings was that despite her tiny frame “inside I’m a big black man”. This piece began with Hughes playing behind the words. Then came solos from Hughes, Ball, Haywood and Browne. Moving stuff.

Nick Haywood and Geoff Hughes

Nick Haywood and Geoff Hughes

After the break came Browne’s Wild Bill, for trumpet player Wild Bill Davison. AB recalled playing in the 100 Club in London when Davison came in, and launching into one of his pieces, Hysterics Rag. Davison played at the Limerick Arms in Melbourne with AB’s New Orleans band, but asked to sit in with his quartet, which was a lot different, and was happy because “normally I have to play with tubas and banjos”. Ball and Hannaford had solos in this.

Al Browne attentive to a Marc Hannaford solo

Al Browne attentive to a Marc Hannaford solo

The highlight of the night for me was Hannaford’s The Flooding, for pianist Mal Waldron. AB told of going to Sydney with bassist and close mate Gary Costello, very nervous about playing with Waldron and asking what they would be playing. “When I nod my head, just play”, was Waldron’s response, so they did — for more than an hour and then for another set after the break. “It was all completely different and a great introduction for me to playing free”, AB recalled. Marc Hannaford’s solo in this was a delight, and the following cacophony superb.

Marc Hannaford and Eugene Ball

Marc Hannaford and Eugene Ball

Phil Noy’s piece Johnny Griffin was a tribute to the tenor saxophonist AB described as “an amazing cat” and “totally happening”. He recalled playing Just Friends with Griffin, Paul Grabowsky and Gary Costello and Griffin “starting so far ahead of the beat that we ended up playing the whole thing at double time”. At the end, Griffin must have said, “Phew, that was not the tempo I expected.” AB said Griffin had influenced him tremendously and that being able to play Cherokee for 20 minutes was “handy these days when playing with (saxophonist) George Garzone“.

Allan Browne and Marc Hannaford

Allan Browne and Marc Hannaford

As soon as the applause died away to close the gig I wanted to have the band start all over so that I could hear Al Browne’s verses and again marvel at the strength of these compositions, which are so evocative and full of interest. We do have not only really talented musicians in this country, but composers overflowing with originality.

Geoff Hughes

Geoff Hughes (the red lighting was too much so I turned it off)

So that’s enough waxing lyrical. Another top Stonnington gig. Vastly different to the youthful vigour of Sarah McKenzie‘s opener, but deeply satisfying. It’s just a little sad that not more people get to hear this material, but as Allan Browne would point out, it’s available at gigs in Melbourne most nights and not only during festivals.


Marc Hannaford

Marc Hannaford ... Look Mum, one hand.