Tag Archives: Tim Firth

GRABOWSKY AND McGANN

GALLERY

Ausjazz blog was WPAC Theatre on Friday, November 2, 2012 to see Paul Grabowsky on piano with Bernie McGann on alto saxophone at Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival. Making up the quartet were Jonathan Zwartz on bass and 2011 National Jazz Awards winner Tim Firth on drums. This gallery presents some images from that concert.
Click on an image to see a larger version.

ROGER MITCHELL

Images © Ausjazz

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NOT TO MENTION …

Reason 12

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12. MANY OTHER FANTASTIC PERFORMERS

Ausjazz blog has not exhausted the myriad reasons why you should not miss the opportunity to be at all or part of Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival this year, but a dozen is clearly not enough, so I’ve grouped a few who absolutely deserve a mention.

Friday, November 2 at 10pm, WPAC Theatre: Paul Grabowsky and Bernie McGann will perform jazz standards and original compositions in a quartet with bassist Jonathan Zwartz and on drums 2011 National Jazz Awards winner Tim Firth.

Friday, November 2 at 9:45pm, WPAC Memorial Hall: Marc Hannaford with his trio with talented young bassist Sam Pankhust and drummer James McLean, as heard on Marc’s CD Sarcophile.

Saturday, November 3 at 4:30pm, WPAC Memorial Hall: Scott Tinkler Quartet with Marc Hannaford (piano), Sam Pankhurst (bass) and Simon Barker (drums)

Saturday. November 3 at 4pm, Holy Trinity Cathedral: Tim Stevens will perform solo on piano.

Saturday, November 3 at noon Holy Trinity Cathedral: Doug De Vries with bassist Frank Di Sario and drummer/percussionist Alastair Kerr will be playing Brazilian music.

Sunday, November 4 at 12:30pm WPAC Memorial Hall: Tim Stevens will also play in his trio with Ben Robertson on bass and Dave Beck on drums.

Saturday, November 3 at 2:30pm WPAC Memorial Hall: Allan Browne will lead his trio with Marc Hannaford and Sam Anning.

Sunday, November 4 at 6pm, St Patrick’s Hall
: Bob Barnard and Warwick Alder on trumpets.

Saturday, November 3 at 8pm, St Patrick’s Hall
: Hobart pianist Tom Vincent playing Wangaratta for the first time, joined by Sam Anning (bass) and Danny Fischer (drums).

Sunday, November 4 at 8pm, St Patrick’s Hall: Eminent pianist Tony Gould will feature in a quartet with Rob Burke on saxophone, Nick Haywood on bass and Tony Floyd on drums, as well as in the trio (Sunday, November 4 at 2pm, Holy Trinity Cathedral) he co-leads with Imogen Manins on cello and Gianni Marinucci on flugelhorn and trumpet.

Saturday, November 3 at 12:30pm, WPAC Memorial Hall: Sydney bassist/composer Hannah James, a graduate from the ANU School of Music in Canberra, will play in a trio with two members of her quintet, Casey Golden on piano and Ed Rodrigues on drums. Phil Slater on trumpet will be a guest soloist.

Monday, November 5, 1pm, WPAC: Youth jazz showcase concert added to the program on Monday afternoon. It’s separately ticketed, but covered by a festival pass. Generations in Jazz Academy Big Band from Mt Gambier directed by Graeme Lyall; the Monash University Big Band directed by Jordan Murray; and the National Youth Jazz Academy band, with young students aged 18 to 19, based in Wangaratta. This includes a trumpet player aged 13 who is precociously talented.

Hope to see some blog readers at Wangaratta.

ROGER MITCHELL

AWARD WINNERS CONFIRM THE JUDGES’ VERDICTS

REVIEW: STONNINGTON JAZZ 2012
Tim Firth Trio/James Muller Quartet, Chapel Off Chapel, May 22, 2012

Tim Firth Trio

Tim Firth Trio plays Chapel Off Chapel

This was a chance to catch two recent recipients of awards in two line-ups. Drummer Tim Firth won the 2012 National Jazz Awards competition in Wangaratta and Alex Boneham was recently chosen as Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year in the Jazz Bell Awards. Firth — who not so long ago had two months away from his drum kit after breaking his arm — and Boneham — who is becoming as ubiquitous as fellow bassist Sam Anning before he left for New York — certainly justified the judges’ decisions at Chapel Off Chapel.

Of course guitarist James Muller has a swag of awards, having shared the 2000 National Jazz Awards and the following year won two Mo awards for best jazz instrumentalist and best jazz group. His albums have won an ARIA award and an ARIA nomination, and he won an APRA award for most performed jazz work 2003, and also won the 2004 Freedman Fellowship for jazz.

On the night, I found Firth’s trio delivered a stronger and more interesting set.

Tim Firth Trio

Tim Firth Trio

The trio played original material that was texturally and rhythmically strong and always interesting. These pieces were not marked by alternating solos, but evolved and changed seamlessly. Two of pianist Steve Barry‘s compositions, Changes and Ambulation, opened proceedings, followed by a Firth piece entitled Sparse. The audience was hooked.

Alex Boneham

Alex Boneham

The next piece, Descending, began with a solemn, chordal feel that was quite beautiful, with a long, compelling solo from Barry. As it developed, there were surges and retreats as intensity and momentum developed. The tension dropped away towards the end, leaving quieter piano with minimal contributions from drums and bass.

Tim Firth

Tim Firth

There was more intensity and focus, along with some tempo variations, in the trio’s rendition of Wayne Shorter’s Pinocchio. Barry’s piece BW closed this engrossing set, with Barry’s expansive piano reminding me of John McAll.

Steve Barry

Steve Barry

In the second set the James Muller Quartet opened with the guitarist’s Rubbish, though it clearly wasn’t, followed the Sean Wayland piece Honeycombs, by which time the band had warmed up a bit and Firth indulged in a little crash and bash.

Mike Rivett & James Muller

Mike Rivett and James Muller

The highlight of this set for me was Muller’s interpretation of Gershwin’s ballad Embraceable You, which showed the depth and finesse the guitarist has at his fingertips as well the subtle nuances he can bring to make a standard his own. Muller’s Chick Corea featured some great solos on guitar, sax and bass.

Alex Boneham and Mike Rivett

Alex Boneham and Mike Rivett

The next piece, JB, was dedicated to drummer Simon Barker’s dad John. This was followed by Mode 6 and Anthrochromatology.

James Muller and Tim Firth

James Muller and Tim Firth

I had to leave the set early, which possibly means I can’t do it justice. But my only reservation, apart from a desire to sometimes hear Muller really let rip with a blazing solo (an odd thing given that I am not a huge fan of crash and bash drumming), is that the quartet pretty much kept to that solo by solo approach that is fair enough as a way to display virtuosity but does not necessarily make for cohesion and development in compositions. That is a minor reservation that could be applied to many bands.

This was a great night of solid jazz that really delivered. As mentioned, I thought the Tim Firth Trio had the most interesting material on the night. I really want to hear more of Steve Barry on piano.

ROGER MITCHELL

 

Mike Rivett, Alex Boneham and James Muller

Mike Rivett, Alex Boneham and James Muller