Tag Archives: Ronny Ferella

COLLIDER

GIG: Bennetts Lane, Sunday, February 27, 2011

Adam Simmons tenor saxophone, Kynan Robinson trombone, Ronny Ferella drums, Anita Hustas bass, Jason Bunn viola, Andrea Keeble violin

Jason Bunn on viola

Jason Bunn on viola

This was an unusual line-up, but not a surprise given the involvement of Simmons, Robinson and Ferella, who are always imaginative. It was formed in 2006 for a visit by San Francisco saxophonist and composer Phillip Greenlief, but he could not make it and neither did the charts for his suite, which was to draw on material from Ornette Coleman. So Simmons hurriedly put together a suite — untitled, but Adam suggests something like The Language in Beauty — inspired by Coleman, Greenlief and in part by the “what am I gonna do” panic that arose from wanting the gig to go ahead. Simmons asked Robinson to join and the band was born.

Kynan Robinson points the 'bone

Kynan Robinson points the 'bone

Collider has played infrequently since, at Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival and the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival. Most compositions are by Simmons and Robinson.

Jason Bunn on viola

Jason Bunn on viola

The evening opened with a Simmons piece entitled Words from Clouds, followed by three Robinson compositions — A Night on a Rollercoaster Turns a Woman’s Hair White, Midori and Malt as Water — followed by the Keeble and Hustas composition New Black SuiteNew Black 1 & 2 and Homeland.

The second set at Bennetts included three pieces from the Language of Beauty suite — Raskolnikov’s Folly, What Were the Names of the Karamazov Brothers?, and  All You Needand then Simmons’s Seven.

The pen I use to record track names and random responses to the music ran out early, so I hope the above is reasonably accurate. It certainly wasn’t accurate when this was first posted, but after multiple revisions and much help from Adam Simmons I’m hoping it is almost correct.

Andrea Keeble on violin

Andrea Keeble on violin

This was a most enjoyable and fascinating performance, but I feel as though words are a poor substitute for being there.

Collider at work

Collider at work

Collider works. It is unusual to have a violin and viola mixing it with more traditional instruments of improvised music, but the compositions and the musicians gave the whole performance an inspired coherence.

Ronny Ferella at the drum kit

Ronny Ferella at the drum kit

There were some absolutely entrancing standout solos — Robinson digging deep into the gravel and realising mid-solo he was breaking Ferella’s earlier appeal for quieter playing, Ronny Ferella taking the space to take us on a sublime journey of intricacy and introspection, Anita Hustas opening the final piece of the night with great presence, and Simmons on fire in slow-burn fashion that etched tenor notes into the dark room.

The viola gives voice

The viola gives voice

Jason Bunn on viola and Andrea Keeble violin were responsive, excited and exciting, ever adept as they set up and ran with rapid escapades that were often answered by the horns.

This was really visceral music and its effect was felt physically. The combination of instruments provided a timbre-laden treat that would gladden the heart of a Tasmanian conservationist or an Orbost logger, or both.

Anita Hustas

Anita Hustas on bass

I loved the contributions of each instrument, though Hustas seemed to be a little lost at times from where I was sitting. I loved the percussive interludes and the way Ferella intervened with such sensitivity and minimalism. And I loved the drawn-out string notes as the sombre final piece, Seven, came to a close.

Now that Collider has made such an impact, let’s hope the band gets out more.

Collider

Collider

MELBOURNE JAZZ FRINGE FESTIVAL 2010 — DAY 9

CLOSING NIGHT AT BAR 303 IN NORTHCOTE

It was a hectic day as the two festivals crossed swords for our custom. So with the sounds of the Big Jam ringing in my ears, and after literary delights at the extempore launch, and after the Paul Grabowsky Sextet at Bennetts Lane (phew!) it was time to see off the fringe festival in the best way possible — with great music at a comfortably packed Cafe 303.

DAZ HAMMOND COMBO

Daz Hammond Combo

Darrin Archer on hammond, Hugh Stuckey on guitar, Tim Wilson on sax and Andy Keegan on drums, with Ben Hauptmann sitting in occasionally had the place humming when I arrived and they fired some good energy into the gathering.

Tim Wilson
Tim Wilson

Ben Hauptmann
Ben Hauptmann

Jess Green’s Bright Sparks came on to close the night and close the fringe festival. What a finale! Ronny Ferella on drums had had only one rehearsal (it didn’t seem to matter) in the afternoon with the band, which included Zoe Frater, now a Melburnian, on electric bass. A high-powered crew from up north made up the rest of the band, comprising Jess Green on guitar and vocals, Adrian Shaw on trumpet and percussion, Sandy Evans on tenor sax, John Hibbard on trombone and Lachlan McLean on alto sax.

Jess Green's Bright Sparks
Jess Green’s Bright Sparks

In an energetic, robust set, the Bright Sparks played Orange Rock Song, Your Checkered Shirt, Patterns and Stories, the edgy Alias, the softer Mali-referenced and zydeco-feeling Bamako Youth, Clickety Clack and the Full Moon O’er the Thames and an ode to Nick entitled Dear Mr Cave. There were some great solos from Shaw, Evans, Hibbard, Frater, McLean, Ferella and Green — yes, that’s everyone, but it’s true. There was plenty of room for soloing, but no one was trying to grab the limelight and the compositions allowed for plenty of duos and trios in the highlights.

Adrian Shaw and Sandy Evans
Adrian Shaw and Sandy Evans

Bar 303 was pretty crowded for a gig going so late, but I could not help thinking that, like The Dilworths, here was an ensemble that would really hold a crowd on a big occasion. There is a lot of talent in Sydney and we have the Jazz Fringe Festival to thank for bringing us some as a treat.

Speaking of thanks, Sonja Horbelt in particular and other Fringe committee members deserved a huge thank you from audiences for their efforts in making this festival such a success. Bring on the next MJFF in 2011!

Yma Jam Yma — The Natives

Cover image to come

(Independent)

AT the Yarra Edge Theatre launch of Yma Jam Yma, Gideon Brazil (saxophones, flute) effusively thanked ensemble members for giving his compositions life.
The Natives, including Shannon Barnett on trombone, Tamara Murphy on double bass and Ronny Ferella on drums, did so without fuss or flourish, demonstrating the cohesion of five years as a sextet.
The album is equally restrained, with solos integral to the ensemble rather than vying for attention. Intelligent rather than emotive compositions give all instruments space.
Among standout solos are Barnett’s understated ‘bone on The Groove Collector and Brazil’s baritone sax and Ed Fairlie’s mood-smoothing, muted trumpet on the excellent 37 Degrees & Rising. Ad Lieb, a tribute to Dave Liebman, has much going for it, from Brazil’s tenor sax, Murphy’s bass and a great ‘bone interlude.

Available from Title music, Fitzroy 61 3 9417 4477

ROGER MITCHELL