Tag Archives: Wangaratta Jazz 2010


Ian Date Quartet

Doing the Hot Club in style: Ian Date Quartet

GIG: St Patrick’s Hall, 4pm, October 30

Ian Date guitar, Nigel Date guitar, Howard Cairns double bass, Ian Cooper violin

Ian Date

Intricate work: Ian Date

WHAT a quick trip — from Japan to the Hot Club of France in a few easy steps. With a sense of fun and much agility on strings, Date’s quartet ushered us into the world of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, into gypsy jazz and hot jazz. Cooper on violin was as nimble as a cat on hot bricks, sweeping and swerving and weaving between the cascade of guitar notes and chords. And behind it all was the energetic Howard Cairns, intent as he delivered impetus.

Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

Nimble: Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

What was it about this music that appealed so much? I thought about that as the quartet played Swing Guitars (Reinhardt), Norwegian Dance (from Grieg’s Peer Gynt), To Each His Own (recorded in 1947 for the film), Sour Georgia Brown (Date), Deep Purple (deRose) segueing into something Cooper wrote “on the plane coming down this morning”, Daphne (Reinhardt), Out of Nowhere as a waltz and Body and Soul, with Cairns playing a melody.

Howard Cairns

Impetus: Howard Cairns

The quartet displayed deftness and lightness of touch. The music was quick, jaunty and toe-tapping. It was intricate, with fingers falling over themselves on guitar and bass strings. The band was tight. The tempo often seemed like skipping. There was whimsy, fun and the music floated lightly over our heads, the ensemble not taking itself too seriously and obviously enjoying the outing. And there was a great deal of skill in the playing.

Nigel Date and Howard Cairns

Stringing us along: Nigel Date and Howard Cairns

It would be great to hear more music from the Reinhardt-Grappelli era and this quartet delivers it in style.

Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper

Hot jazz: Howard Cairns and Ian Cooper


Ian Chaplin Trio

Rare performance: Ian Chaplin Trio

GIG: WPAC Memorial Hall, 2:30pm, October 30

Ian Chaplin alto sax, Philip Rex acoustic bass, Simon Barker drums

THIS was an opportunity missed. ARIA award-winning saxophonist Ian Chaplin, who does not appear at gigs that often these days, played with Rex and Barker. It promised to be a fiery, full-on outing, but I had decided this was a time to grab some lunch. So I popped my head in and then left. The hall was packed. Anyone who was at the concert is welcome to provide some feedback.


By A Thread

By A Thread

GIG: Holy Trinity Cathedral, noon, Sat. October 29, 2010

Paul Williamson trumpet, Geoff Hughes guitar, James McLean drums

IN June 2009 at New Box Studios this trio brought out the eponymous album By A Thread on the Downstream label, which aims to get bums on seats at live music performances by extending the reach of the music. The cathedral at Wangaratta was well suited to By A Thread’s ethereal, soulful music. It was moving to hear Paul Williamson’s lyrical trumpet notes (the other PW is a saxophonist) soaring heavenwards into the hallowed heights of this magnificent space.

Paul Williamson

Lyrical beauty: Paul Williamson

I felt that this concert could easily be called worship. Hughes and Williamson created dreamy, introspective music that was both reverent and a reverie. McLean’s drums were muted, his sound somehow flattened out or damped down behind the other instruments. At one stage his playing seemed like pebbles rolling about gently in the tray of a tip truck. Then came rattles and the sound of sticks on metal.

By A Thread took the cathedral audience on a journey that could have taken listeners deep within or off into flights of fancy. I could not stay for the whole set, but the time I spent was deeply valued.

Geoff Hughes and Paul Williamson

Worship: Geoff Hughes and Paul Williamson