Tag Archives: James Milic

HOW SUITE, HOW SEAMLESS

Arlene Fletcher at the launch of Timing.

Arlene Fletcher at the launch of Timing.

REVIEW

CD launch of Timing by Arlene Fletcher Trio as part of the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz festival, Tuesday 8 December, 8.30pm at Bennetts Lane

Line-up: Arlene Fletcher double bass, Harry Cook piano, James Milic drums

This trio has been out and about for some time with the material from the new album, Timing, a live album that was recorded at Bennetts Lane in February, 2015, so the musicians know it — and themselves — well. The result — billed as “a turning point of pulling away from forms and improvising as a trio” — is seamless and organic, the intensity swelling and receding within the pieces composed by Fletcher and Cook.

I heard them at Long Play in Fitzroy North in mid November, Cook playing Nord, and it was evident then that the trio can build momentum and usher in changes that sustain interest, so that each piece is a journey.

In the first set they played mostly compositions from the album, plus an improvised solo from Fletcher. The title track and Fletcher’s Dandelion (“a happy tune with lots of minor chords”) were engrossing, Cook’s Break included some deft brush work from Milic and the closing Valley opened vistas as it waxed and waned.

Apparently this gig came with free icy poles, but for me the highlight came after the break when the trio played parts I, II and IV of Twenty Months — a suite Fletcher composed for a quintet and linked to her poetry, which was handed out to patrons.

Energetic renditions of Whiz Kid and Anti-Freeze followed, but I wanted to hear more of the suite, which really worked with the trio.

No doubt this trio will take us on new adventures — perhaps even recording Twenty Months.

ROGER MITCHELL

Here’s a few pictures:

 

 

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A MOVING TRIBUTE

Movement 9

Some members of Movement 9    (Image courtesy Harry Boyd-Gerny)

It’s fair to say that there is some unfinished business from 2014 that needs attention, but more of that soon.

Moving right along into 2015, Ausjazz is privileged to bring you a taste of audio-visual class from the exciting, young nonet, Movement 9, which has justifiably had rave reviews for its album Wings (four stars from John McBeath in The Weekend Australian).

That album, with a couple of guests and a different line-up, featured mostly compositions by alto saxophonist Joe McEvilly. It has been played a lot in this house and on the road.

Formed in 2012, Movement 9‘s gigs have been described by Canberra Jazz as “a joyous playtime… big, bold sounds and indulgent grooves”.

In its latest incarnation, Movement 9 features McEvilly alto sax & compositions, Tom Sly trumpet, Niran Dasika trumpet, Patrick Langdon trombone, Paul Cornelius tenor sax, Nick McCusker baritone sax, Joel Trigg piano & keyboard, Jordan Tarento double & electric bass and James Milic on drums.

Wings featured Ax Long trumpet, Tom Sly trumpet, Patrick Langdon trombone, Matt Handel alto sax, Oisin Smith-Coburn tenor sax, Tate Sheridan piano, Rafael Jerjen bass, Henry Rasmussen drums and Joe McEvilly baritone saxophone, with guests John Mackey (tenor sax) and Miroslav Bukovsky (trumpet).

Anyway, enough background to whet the appetite. Joe tells me this brand new song, titled Without Knowing, was recorded and filmed live at Sing Sing Studios with a four-man crew. It is a tribute to Swedish pianist the late Esbjorn Svensson, “beloved for the austere beauty of his melodies and the depth of his grooves, who was taken well before his time in a scuba diving accident”.

He explains that, “I hadn’t been listening to the Esbjorn Svensson Trio/EST long before he died, but their music had already made a lifelong impression on me. The first track of theirs that I ever heard was Seven Days of Falling, when Sandy Evans played it for me in high school. I’ve remembered that moment ever since.”

So, watch Movement 9 perform Without Knowing and enjoy:

Joe McEvilly would like to acknowledge that the whole project was funded by a generous patron (in the form of a “privately funded arts grant”) to whom we are deeply indebted. He is not naming names, so applause please to be passed on to whom it may be due.

On behalf of Movement 9, Joe says that if you enjoy the music, and if you have a YouTube account (or Gmail/Google account), you could do the band a huge favour by clicking the Thumbs Up icon or leaving a short comment on the video page to them us reach a wider audience. Shares on Facebook will also be welcomed.

We look forward to more music — and another album — from Movement 9 when time and finances permit.

ROGER MITCHELL