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Jazz With Zaz #5

Written by Zarina Varley on October 19, 2008

Hey there music feeders! I hope you all had yourself a good long weekend! I, as always – spent the last few weeks listening to new music and heading to out to gigs to report back to you all. Firstly I have to mention the James Morrison and Emma Pask gig at The Basement a few weeks back. Now James is the most recognisable personality in Australian Jazz today, but this gig really gave me a new found respect for him. He played a quartet version of My Funny Valentine that nearly took my breath away, followed by a Georgia On My Mind with Emma back on vocals that was swoon-worthy! They do the Basement the last Friday of every month, so if you feel up to it after work on Friday I highly recommend it.

One of the biggest events on the Sydney Jazz calendar – the Manly Jazz festival went off on Grand Final weekend to a flow of Manly supporters up and down the Corso. Despite the weather, the festival still went off in spectacular style!

I also went to Parklife, which I know is completely not jazz, but I couldn’t resist sneaking down to see the jazz-funksters from Melbourne – The Bamboos. In a dance/house festival the size of a small country , The Bamboos managed to get everyone grooving along to jazz without them even knowing it!

Snaps also go out to Melbourne pianist Andrea Keller who picked up the ARIA for best jazz release for her album Footprints, the Wayne Shorter Program and giving birth ony a few days later!

So now for the week in jazz. Coming up over the next few weeks are some fantastic gigs, beginning the summer party gig season. October 14 sees The Gerard Masters Trio and Hunter-Keegan-Mannell Organ Trio tearing up the Excelsior stage on Jazzgroove Tuesday, as well as Jackson Jackson hitting up the stage at Oxford Art Factory. Whilst Jackson Jackson are not really jazz, I feel the need to just throw that one in there to pay homage to their jazz and classical roots.

This weekend down at the Sound Lounge, bass virtuoso Steve Hunter is playing with the spectacular quartet line up of James Muller on guitar, Matt McMahon on piano and James Hauptmann on Friday October 17. Steve released his eighth album Dig My Garden a few months ago and it’s still one of the most popular choices at Birdland Records in the city.

Following the next night, October 18, The Coolerators are shaking things up with their funky bi-tonal organ combo, featuring Phillip Johnstone on alto sax who’s been labelled “The H.G. Wells of the jazz world” by Rolling Stone. The line up also includes Alister Spence on Organ, Sam Golding on Tuba, Toby Hall on drums and special guest Phil Slater on trumpet.

So strap yourself in for the next few months as things start to heat up and enjoy the summer jazz offerings! Til next time – Zaz.

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