Tag Archives: Mark Fitzgibbon

Sonya Veronica @ Dizzy’s

Sonya Veronica

Poster for Sonya Veronica

COMING GIG: 8pm, Thursday, March 31, Dizzy’s Jazz Club, 381 Burnley St, Richmond

Sonya Veronica vocals, Mark Fitzgibbon piano, Howard Cairns double bass and Raj Jayaweera drums.

Sonya Veronica has requested that Ausjazz blog mention her debut performance at Dizzy’s, which she says will be “a combination of jazz standards and a few chanson Francaise, like Léo Ferré’s Avec Le Temps“.

ABC Jazz includes in her repertoire for the night Miles Davis’s Seven Steps to Heaven, Billy Strayhorn’s A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing and Piaf’s La Vie En Rose.

On the gig guide Something We Know listing, Veronica says, “We’ll be playing from bebop style Pennies From Heaven to Cole Porter’s You’ll Be So Nice To Come Home To and curve it to Piaf’s La Vie En Rose.

Contact Dizzy’s Jazz Club (03) 9428 1233 or email dizzys@dizzys.com.au for bookings. Tickets: $15/12.



at Chapel Off Chapel

Bernie Mcgann in the groove
In the groove: Bernie Mcgann

As usual, Adrian Jackson creates added interest by nudging artists into new situations — e.g. Vince Jones adding lyrics to Australian instrumental compositions — or facilitating meetings of musicians that ought to have occurred, but have not so far.

McGann and Wilson
New combo: McGann and Wilson

I was convinced that I had seen alto saxophonist Bernie McGann play with Julien Wilson at Stonnington Jazz previously, but of course it was McGann with Jamie Oehlers in May 2008, also at Stonnington and also at Chapel Off Chapel, that was niggling at the edge of my failing memory.

McGann and guests
Fitzgibbon, Anning, Wilson and McGann

One of the larger-than-life figures of Australian jazz, McGann had not played with Wilson until Tuesday night. The program suggested Wilson would be invited to join McGann and the ensemble — Sam Anning on acoustic bass, Allan Browne on drums and Mark Fitzgibbon on piano — for the second set, but Wilson came on for the second piece of the night, the ballad Wendy by “late, great sax player Paul Desmond“, as McGann put it.

Allan Browne
On fire: Allan Browne

In a short set — it seemed so — that began with Monk and ended with McGann’s Spirit Song, the trio and guests treated us to a no-frills exposition of energetic and elegant, rhythmically rich grooves that were an ideal way to showcase the two saxophonists. There was no fuss, just accomplished playing that carried each piece forward in a way that was totally engrossing.

Anning and Browne
Anning and Browne

Browne seemed to be on fire from the start, if that can describe his apparent ease — he denies it — and evident joy. Add Fitzgibbon’s drive and Anning’s warmth and you have music that is deeply satisfying.

McGann and Wilson
McGann and Wilson

And what of the saxes? They are quite different stylistically. McGann does not move much as he plays, managing nonetheless to break out in those moments we all wait for in any solo, but without much more than a twitch or a slight incline of the instrument to show what the sound is saying so clearly. Wilson’s emotional input is more overt, which I like in any musician, but when listening is paramount — closing the eyes helps — the difference is inconsequential. Both players can express so much, but they don’t fuss about it. Here is Wilson, playing with a fellow saxophonist who he has long regarded as an inspiration, and he is just getting on with it. Playing with Bernie McGann seems to rule out anything overly dramatic.

McGann and Wilson
Together at last: McGann and Wilson

The second set began with Tin Tin Deo, by Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban Chano Pozo, with Browne and Fitzgibbon driving forward to meet melodic contributions later from McGann and Wilson, followed by two ballads, The Talk of the Town (featuring McGann) and Laura (featuring Wilson). Browne was full-on in McGann’s Brownsville, which was exciting, and the set closed with another McGann composition, D. Day.

This may have been just another night for a musician with the experience of McGann, but surely it must have been uplifting for him to play with a younger saxophonist of Wilson’s calibre. It was for the audience.



Nine Lives Slipping

JONES’S voice skates, floats, skips, darts and dives over an ever-changing sea of notes. The words — most from the pen of partner Deanne Adams — dance lightly, insightfully, into life’s pivotal and precious moments.

Hayden, as on his ARIA-nominated 1997 album Whisper Not, is ably accompanied. This line-up — Mark Fitzgibbon on piano, Eugene Ball on trumpet, Sam Anning on bass and Niko Schauble on drums — is a perfect complement, supporting the vocals then seamlessly exploring further.
When Adams sought permission from Freddie Hubbard to set her lyrics to his tune Little Sunflower, he agreed, via his publisher, with the query, “Who are you guys?” The result, Kiss the Sea, is a moving delight.

File between: Joe Williams, Jamie Cullum
Download: Kiss the Sea