Tag Archives: Ian Date Quartet


Ian Date Quartet

Doing the Hot Club in style: Ian Date Quartet

GIG: St Patrick’s Hall, 4pm, October 30

Ian Date guitar, Nigel Date guitar, Howard Cairns double bass, Ian Cooper violin

Ian Date

Intricate work: Ian Date

WHAT a quick trip — from Japan to the Hot Club of France in a few easy steps. With a sense of fun and much agility on strings, Date’s quartet ushered us into the world of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, into gypsy jazz and hot jazz. Cooper on violin was as nimble as a cat on hot bricks, sweeping and swerving and weaving between the cascade of guitar notes and chords. And behind it all was the energetic Howard Cairns, intent as he delivered impetus.

Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

Nimble: Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

What was it about this music that appealed so much? I thought about that as the quartet played Swing Guitars (Reinhardt), Norwegian Dance (from Grieg’s Peer Gynt), To Each His Own (recorded in 1947 for the film), Sour Georgia Brown (Date), Deep Purple (deRose) segueing into something Cooper wrote “on the plane coming down this morning”, Daphne (Reinhardt), Out of Nowhere as a waltz and Body and Soul, with Cairns playing a melody.

Howard Cairns

Impetus: Howard Cairns

The quartet displayed deftness and lightness of touch. The music was quick, jaunty and toe-tapping. It was intricate, with fingers falling over themselves on guitar and bass strings. The band was tight. The tempo often seemed like skipping. There was whimsy, fun and the music floated lightly over our heads, the ensemble not taking itself too seriously and obviously enjoying the outing. And there was a great deal of skill in the playing.

Nigel Date and Howard Cairns

Stringing us along: Nigel Date and Howard Cairns

It would be great to hear more music from the Reinhardt-Grappelli era and this quartet delivers it in style.

Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

Hot jazz: Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper


Kurt Elling

Impish humour: Kurt Elling the showman.


ROGER MITCHELL attempts to sum up Australia’s major festival of improvised music in a few words

WHEN Mike Nock’s New Quintet opened the 21st annual jazz festival at Wangaratta on Friday, the pianist told the audience, “This is jazz. Things happen.”

It was good advice. The festival program had not seemed to promise as much as in recent years. But things happen.

By midnight Saturday, a damp but satisfied audience left Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre still reverberating from a fiery set by saxophonist Oliver Lake’s organ quartet – the festival’s first experience of a Hammond B3 organ.

Patrons did not know a rubber band applied by Melbourne saxophonist Adam Simmons had repaired Oliver Lake’s sax in time for the visiting US quartet to deliver ferocious and virtuosic swing – topping its Friday night outing.

And by midnight Sunday two full houses had been amazed and entranced by the vocal agility and showmanship of Kurt Elling, with his impish humour and homage to jazz greats such as Dexter Gordon.

Belgian pianist Jef Neve’s trio took the international honours with lyricism, excitement and daring, closely followed by Tokyo’s Sisia Natuna, who provided an engrossing set with former Melbourne pianist/composer Aaron Choulai.

It would have been good to hear New York-based Portuguese vocalese singer Sara Serpa exploring more diverse territory.

The inventiveness of Australian musicians was highlighted in pianist composer Stu Hunter’s suites The Muse and The Gathering, with trombonist James Greening’s primal solo a monument to brass.

From Perth, Johannes Luebbers conducted a superb dectet in entrancing and original compositions. The Ian Date Quartet delivered delightful hot jazz and the controlled dynamics of Joe Chindamo’s trio took Simon and Garfunkel’s beautiful song America to new heights.

Sunday’s treats included a nostalgic brass outing from Bob Barnard and his UK mate Roy Williams, a sublime Greg Coffin Trio set and an engaging performance by Andrea Keller’s quartet.

Mike Nock, whose quintet opened with energy and ended in glorious disarray, was correct. At Wangaratta Jazz, things happen.

An abridged version of this review appeared in Melbourne’s Herald Sun on Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Roger Mitchell will be posting more festival reviews on ausjazz.net soon.