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Jazz with Zazz #1

Written by Zarina Varley on August 2, 2008

Welcome to Jazz with Zaz. The lovely people over at Music Feeds have asked me to wade out into the murky waters of the Sydney Jazz scene to haul in a catch of wriggling musical treats for all of you. I’m going to do my best to report on what’s been going down and what’s coming up.
Also seeing as though there is a growing trend amongst young jazz-sters out there to mix jazz with various other styles, a lot of what I’ll be talking about I guess will be bands with jazz flavours, as well as those straight up.

Let’s start off by having a look at what’s been going on. In my regular weekly gigging I’ve been catching some pretty sweet shows lately. The Macquarie Hotel always serves up something delightful so I’ve been spending a nice amount of time down there.

I caught Melbourne outfit Pablo Discobar with Ollie McGill from The Cat Empire a few weeks ago – why this band isn’t bigger in Sydney is beyond me. They play a mix of old and nu-skool funk which got the entire bar dancing. Just how we like it of course! Despite the limited floor space they managed to cram in a three piece horn section, 2 foxy back up vocalists as well as having an extra keyboard player! We all got very friendly playing and dancing so close to one another, but they served up the funk and we all walked away exhausted from dancing (and tamborining) all night long.

Serving up more of the jazzy side, Jazzgroove Records launched its latest offering, Free Running by the Richard Maegraith Band a few weeks ago at The Basement. The who’s who of the Sydney jazz scene came down to check it out and were not disappointed! The band features the crisp saxophone of Maegraith and the smooth vocal tones of Kristen Beradi. Free Running marked the third Jazzgroove Records release for the year with three more still to come. Stay tuned for more on them.

The Basement also played host for the CD launch of The Bakery, a band which has been turning heads all over Sydney. With their bright costumes and cheeky lyrics, the audience can’t help but singing ‘my balls swing from side to side’ for the rest of the night! If you can get down to see them I strongly recommend it as these guys never fail to entertain!

To take us out this week I’ll tell you about a CD I can’t get enough of at the moment. Listen! Hear!! The Bamboos Live!!!  I picked it up after their set at the Darling Harbour jazz festival and it has pretty much been left on repeat on my stereo. These guys serve up the funk at boiling point, so much so that I can’t help but do the side step when I’m on the train listening to it.  Awesome stuff.  So ‘til next time –  Zaz.

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