Tag Archives: Jeff Lang


Peter Gaudion

Peter Gaudion with The Syncopators

The Syncopators: 30th Anniversary Concert, Malvern Town Hall, Saturday 24 May, 8pm
Paul Williamson’s Hammond Jazz Party, Chapel Off Chapel, Saturday 24 May, 10.40pm (second set)

This has to be the first of two “Twitter-style” reviews, or how to sum up two sets in very few words indeed. Truth is, time has marched on and we are now in the opening days of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. But some Stonnington Jazz gigs deserve a mention — and much more if time permitted.

The Syncopators

The Syncopators

So, for their 30th Anniversary Concert, much-loved traditional jazz band The Syncopators treated us to a first set full of swing, humour, energy and good old-fashioned foot-stomping music played with clarity and finesse. Frontline players Peter Gaudion (trumpet, vocals), Richard Miller (clarinet, saxophone, vocals) and Chris Ludowyk (trombone, vocals) were joined by Steve Grant (piano), Peter Baylor (guitar, banjo), James Clark (bass, tuba) and Rod Gilbert (drums, vocals).

Chris Ludowyk and Peter Baylor

Chris Ludowyk and Peter Baylor

I had to leave before the break, regretting that I would not hear guest Bob Barnard bring out his trumpet. Fem Belling was also to join the band on vocals in the second set. It was great to at last hear The Syncopators live rather than on a recording. But many patrons at tables in the town hall were renewing old acquaintances. Bring on the 40th anniversary concert.

Paul Williamson's Hammond Jazz Party

Renee Geyer joins Paul Williamson’s Hammond Jazz Party

Paul Williamson’s Hammond Jazz Combo, teaming the saxophonist-singer with Tim Neal (Hammond organ) and Mike Jordan (drums, vocals), has become a fixture at Stonnington Jazz. It is always a hoot. Paul loves to surprise with guest players on the night. This time we knew from the program that the combo would be joined by Bob Sedergreen (piano), Ross Irwin (trumpet) and Dave Palmer (trombone), but it was a huge thrill to see Jeff Lang appear for the fourth song and later Renee Geyer entering into the antics.

Jeff Lang and Tim Neal

Jeff Lang and Tim Neal

The taste of Lang’s slide guitar was not enough for me. I could have listened all night to Sedergreen’s swinging notes. And Tim Neal on the Hammond can send out vibrations that are sensational in bodily sense.

There were serious moments — Let The Good Times Roll was played as a tribute to the recently departed Gil Askey — but this gig had its usual party feel, with some delicious brassy farts and lots of horns either going ballistic or delighting in their united power.

If you’ve never been to this jazz party, make sure to come next year.


The Syncopators have some gigs coming up:

Thursday 5th June: Rising Sun Hotel, 2 Raglan Street, South Melbourne. 6.30 – 9.30pm

Sunday 22nd June: Rosstown Hotel, cnr. Dandenong & Koornang roads, Carnegie. 1.30 – 4.30pm

The Syncopators

Half Seas Over — Jeff Lang

CD cover to come


JEFF Lang performing live (he’s touring now) will move most with his lyrics — poetic and at times bleak or acerbic — and impress with his skill on guitars, whether acoustic, lap steel, bottleneck, electric, dobro, Glissentar (11-string fretless) or Chumbush (12-string Turkish).
Lang’s 12th solo album comprises eight original tracks, one written with Suzannah Espie and one with Alison Ferrier, and two arrangements of traditional tunes.
Half Seas Over, which harks back to the simplicity and power of Everything is Still, is vintage Lang. With Grant Cummerford on bass, he draws on Gothic tales for a compelling, disturbed folk feel.
Typically for Lang, the lyrics are often dark — “She’s face down on the dresser . . . By the time that they found her the smell was real bad” — but the biting edge has softened.
Lang’s guitar work is contained, but aficionados should look to Ghosting on My Mind and Night Draws In.

DOWNLOAD: Ghosting on My Mind
FILE BETWEEN: Richard Thompson and Sonny Landreth


Devil in the Woodpile — Collard Greens & Gravy

Devil in the Woodpile

(Black Market Music)

A WONDERFULLY spooky Noah Lewis song gave this long-awaited fourth Collards album its title and it suits the mood. Not that it’s all dark music, but, as Jeff Lang writes, these are “grown men with something real to say” and they do play serious blues.

Ian Collard (vocals, harmonica, guitar), James Bridges (guitar, fiddle) and Anthony “Shorty” Shortte (drums and chicken feet) make some dark music on this superb mix of Ian Collard originals and classics. Aptly, it’s recorded live amid the “iron woodpile” of a metalwork factory in Brunswick.

There’s sweet sorrow in Dyin’ Bed, with Collard’s weeping harp; lyrical slide guitar in So Sad This Morning; and heartache in the wail of Take Me When You Go.

Yet there’s also foot tappin’ aplenty (Sometimes I Wonder); raw and fiery harp (Come Back and So Much Trouble); and sublime guitars (Streamline Train).

The best yet from CG&G, this is real blues real well done.

In short: Be happy these three musicians play the blues