Concerts - visiting Musicians, USA and Beyond

Bennie Maupin & Dick Oatts Massey University

Lovers of this music with a sense of its history will be aware that there have been markers of excellence laid down along the way. This is not about commercial success but a deeper and infinitely more subtle thing. A powerful vibe that seeps into the DNA of the music, acknowledged by all who have the ears to hear it. Bennie Maupin has laid down a number of such markers in his long career.

I have been listening to Bennie Maupin for most of my life but I suppose that it was Lee Morgan‘s ‘Live at the lighthouse’ album (Blue Note) that made me pay particular attention. The album had been cut at Hermosa Beach (Howard Rumsey’s ‘Lighthouse’) in July 1970. If I were to single out two tracks from that album they would be ‘Peyote’ which Bennie wrote and ‘Beehive’ by Harold Maybern. The former is a wonderful piece of lyrical writing with highly melodic hooks and subtle shifts in intensity which pull you ever deeper into the tune. The latter is a fiery burner that immediately tells you that Bennie is gazing at limitless improvisational horizons and flying free of known constraints.

Later that year he played so memorably on Miles ‘Bitches Brew’ (Columbia) and his bass clarinet on that album continued the groundbreaking work of Eric Dolphy. During the next decade he alternated between Herbie Hancock (‘Mwandishi’, ‘Headhunters’) and Miles (‘A Tribute to Jack Johnson’, ‘On The Corner’, ‘Big Fun’); while cutting his own first album as leader in 1974. ‘The Jewel in the Lotus’ (ECM) has been one of the most sought after albums in Jazz until its re-issue a few years ago. After that came ‘Slow Traffic to the Right’, ‘Moonscapes’, ‘Driving While Black on Intuition’, ‘Penumbra’ and ‘Early Reflections’. As a sideman he has played with the who’s who of the classic Jazz world including Horace Sliver and McCoy Tyner.

Immediately I heard about the Massey University concert featuring Dick Oatts and Bennie Maupin I asked the organisers if I could have a few words with the visitors. No Jazz writer would want to overlook an opportunity like this. I had been quite ill that week but no illness was going to stand in the way of this day.

Late Sunday morning on the day of the concert we met at a coffee bar near the Massey campus and while we ate I began a series of short conversations that ended up lasting until midnight. Dick is a friendly man with a big smile and a hint of the raconteur about him. Bennie is a little quieter, but you soon sense that he is taking everything in and he reveals an inner warmth as he gets to know you.

I had been burning to ask Bennie about his uncanny abilities as a multi reeds and winds player. “Why are there so few that master a range of horns” I asked? Like Dolphy before him Bennie has been extraordinarily proficient on all of his horns. When he was 18 years of age Eric Dolphy had handed him his flute saying, “show me how you play”. He then gave him an impromptu 40 minute flute lesson. What Bennie learned about technique in that short lesson was never forgotten.

He looked at me and said with deep reverence, “Dolphy was the greatest. Being a multi reeds and winds player is the path I was encouraged to take by those around me and in particular by my teacher Buddy Collette. There is no magic bullet, just very hard work. If you don’t maintain the maximum effort on each horn you quickly lose your edge”.

Because I loved ‘ Live at the Lighthouse ‘ so much I asked him about Harold Maybern’s ‘Beehive’. It is an incendiary tune bursting at the seams with raw energy. “Oh that tune was very hard the first time we played it”, said Bennie. “It was the velocity, but by the time we got to the ‘Lighthouse’, we were on top of it. That gig was recorded live and so we understood, no second takes. We could not even check the recording afterwards”. What Bennie, Jymie Merritt, Mickey Roker, Harold Maybern and Lee Morgan fused together was an energy infused miracle.

As we didn’t have much time before rehearsals we discussed his recordings as leader. ‘The Jewel in the Lotus’ (ECM 1974) is a gentle but profound masterpiece. The layering of instruments creates a soundscape that has space and incredible depth. In my mind this is not a fusion album but a manifesto of the spiritual mores of the 1970’s Jazz world. As with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Bennie follows Nichiren Buddhism. An unpretentious spirituality quietly informs his work.

I learned that a Big Band version of the title track ‘The Jewel in the Lotus’ (Maupin), was to be played that night. They would also be playing ‘Water Torture’ (Maupin). This was transcribed and orchestrated by Mike Booth for the performance and Mike would be one of the few Kiwi musicians who could take on such a task in the limited timeframe. The result was praiseworthy and with Bennie on board it soared.

Dick Oatts (alto sax and other reeds) will be well-known to anyone who has followed the incarnations of the famous Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band (Village Vanguard Orchestra). He is a mainstay of that orchestra and as I was soon to learn, his writing skills were honed to perfection. He has been to Auckland before and his return engagement was received with great enthusiasm. His extensive recordings as leader culminated with ‘Two Hearts’ (2009). This man is really across his music and his phenomenal chops, his focus and his writing skills all revealed themselves as the day proceeded.

Phil Broadhurst and the musicians then asked if I would like to attend the rehearsal. No second invitation needed.

What I witnessed was a highly informative music lesson. It is commonplace in Jazz for musicians who have never collaborated before to be thrown together. This is what Jazz musicians do. In these situations a musicians reading skills, memory and concentration are tested. When backing an iconic figure like Bennie Maupin or a gifted altoist like Dick Oatts, the risks intensify. This is when less experienced band members have to step up and the stretch is often a big one. The local musicians met that challenge on Sunday. In Jazz all higher learning stems from such experiences.

The program had been split into two segments. The first half was a sextet featuring Phil Broadhurst (piano), Frank Gibson Jnr (drums), Alberto Santorelli (bass), Neil Watson (guitar) – Bennie Maupin and Dick Oatts (saxophones). The second half was the Auckland Jazz Orchestra; first on their own and then with the visitors. Trudy Lile was featuring on Jazz Flute in a beautiful piece titled ‘Sogur Fjord’; a flute and orchestra chart which Mike Booth had brought back from Scandinavia some years ago.

When Bennie heard Trudy play he informed her. You will play up front with us in the first half as well. He then sat down and proceeded to write some parts for her. This writing on the fly was a feature of the afternoon and Dick Oatts was forever adjusting and rewriting charts to suit the instrumentation. This is a valuable skill that experienced professionals possess. In rehearsing the band Bennie would quietly raise his hand and ask for a subtle change. This was music under constant revision and aiming for the best outcome – an ideal improvisational vehicle.

Trudy had looked stunned for the briefest second and then she had focussed. She gave it everything and performed brilliantly.

The concert began at 8pm and it all came together as planned. The sextet plus Trudy played ‘Water Torture’ (Maupin), a reharmonisation of ‘Just Friends’ (‘Just Us’ Oatts) and several more numbers culminating with an impromptu performance of ‘Straight No Chaser’ (Monk). The second segment began with the AJO and Trudy, who were soon joined by Bennie and Dick.

If someone asked me today to choose my ten Desert Island tracks I would reel off nine and then add….oh and give me that Massey Concert AJO/Maupin version of ‘The Jewel and the Lotus’. To say that I enjoyed the tune would be a gross understatement.

The last number was ‘Naima’ and Dick Oatts was superb. He wove in all of the elements of the tune and then took it to new places. This was a display of passion and chops second to none. The performances on the night were all great and the AJO had raised the bar yet again.

Later as I ran Bennie and Dick back to their hotel I could not help but think. This has been the best of days.

I dedicate this post to Dr Cranshaw and to Kay, who kicked my ass and convinced me that I would find the strength to go.

Advertisements
Big Band, CJC Creative Jazz Club gigs, Jazz Journalists Association, World Jazz Day/Month

The Auckland Jazz Orchestra @ CJC 20th June

Steve Sheriff & Callum Passells (Altos)

I love Jazz big bands and couldn’t have been more pleased when Roger engaged the AJO to play on awards night. It is more than possible that I had dropped a hint. Nothing underscores an occasion like a Jazz orchestra and having a 17 piece band in an intimate space is the best of listening experiences. Those surges of raw power always please, but it is something else that I look for. It is their collective agility , the tension and release and the quality of their ensemble playing. This is quickly revealed if the charts are well written, and they were.

People like to compare big bands and as a spectator sport it has some currency. I can’t help wondering however if eggs are always being compared with eggs. There are rehearsal bands like the Village Vanguard Orchestra (Thad Jones Big Band) who meet once a week (but with ever-changing personnel). Less common are the professional or semi professional units who get regular work and whose core personnel are less likely change (The WDR, Mingus Big Band, Roger Fox Big Band). Lastly there are all-star bands which come together for a recording, a gig, a concept or just for fun (Bob Beldens ‘Miles Espanol’ Jazz Orchestra, The Kenny Wheeler Big Band).

The AJO falls mostly into the first group but there is another dimension to what they do: they are a writing band and part of their reason for existence is to write charts and/or to create original arrangements. Quite a few in the band write and that gives the band an Auckland flavour. The compositions tell our city’s story. As a city we need to value them more and ensure that they get the work and the recognition they deserve. The City Council needs to have them on their radar and call on them for appropriate official functions? Knowing Jazz musicians pay packets, the public purse would be left largely intact if they did.

Mike Booth

The AJO is a mix of seasoned players and new talent and this gives them a certain flavour. With their unfamiliar charts they perform a high wire act and because of that there is a hint of risk; to pull this off and at the same time entertain, requires a deftness of touch. The AJO has this as the co-founders Tim Atkinson and Mike Booth manage to inspire and guide without stifling creativity.

During the night we heard tight ensemble playing, a number of nice solos (particularly from Mike Booth, Theo Clearwater, Steve Sherriff, Andrew Hall, Callum Passells, Jono Tan and Matt Steele). Vanessa McGowen was terrific on bass and her presence was felt in just the right way. Andrea Groenewald on guitar demonstrated her soloing and comping skills. The latter added just the right Freddie Green touch to the overall mix. Swinging a big band is not always easy but this band swung.

There were two sets and thirteen numbers – among them were ‘It doesn’t Snow There’ – Atkinson, ‘On the Water’ – Booth, ‘All the things you are‘ – Kern/Hammerstein, ‘Those Nights’ – Hall. I have included a You Tube clip of there AJO performing Tim Atkinson’s composition and arrangement of ‘It Doesn’t Snow There’ – see below.

The AJO’s personnel are: Mike Booth (lead trumpet, arranger, composer, co-founder), Tim Atkinson (conductor, arranger, composer, co-founder)

Tim Atkinson

Altos; Steve Sheriff, Callum Passells – Tenors; Andrew Hall, Teo Clearwater – Baritone; Andrew Baker – Trumpets; Matthew Verrill, Mike Booth, Jo Spiers, Oliver Furneaux – Trombones; Mike Young, Mike Ashton, Jono Tan, Darrell Farley – Guitar; Andrea Groenewald – Piano; Matt Steele – Bass; Vanessa McGowen – Drums; Cameron Sangster

The AJO on awards night
Vanessa McGowan
CJC Creative Jazz Club gigs, Jazz Journalists Association, World Jazz Day/Month

AJO @ JJA Awards celebration

Front line of the AJO
 Stop Press: Tonight Auckland held its inaugural Jazz Journalists Association Awards Satellite Party.     The Creative Jazz Club of Aotearoa (CJC) hosted the event and the club was packed to capacity.  The CJC is the first Jazz club in the world to see the moon as there is nothing much between the club door and the International Date Line except ocean.   In spite of the wet outside it soon became apparent that the Auckland Jazz community was going to turn up in force.  No Jazz lover in their right mind would let an opportunity like this slip away and the club was soon filled up with a seething mass of Jazz fans; check to jowl with the who’s who of Auckland Jazz musicians.
Brian Smith & Roger Manins

During the evening Roger Manins was awarded the JJA Jazz Hero Award and this met with strong approval from the audience.  Roger has been a popular choice as his work in promoting Jazz, teaching, mentoring and acting as programme director for the CJC have endeared him to everyone.  Then there is his musicianship which astonishes and inspires, while setting the bar high.  The work that Roger, Caroline and Ben do in running the CJC should not be overestimated.  Having Roger in town and having a club like the CJC has been a game changer.  More and more students are emerging from the Jazz schools and they need clubs like this to play in.  Being tested is part of the journey.

Jazz musicians are the alchemists of the modern age: they forge a raw beauty out of the world about us.  Musicians like Roger are the keepers of the magic.

This was a night of magic from start to finish and the Auckland Jazz Orchestra were superb.  This nimble hard-swinging seventeen piece orchestra played its heart out and the audience never stopped smiling or tapping their feet.  Sitting in front of a Jazz orchestra and feeling that surge of  power is like nothing else I know.  Tonight Auckland felt like the luckiest city on the planet.

Credit must go to the JJA who have been incredibly supportive throughout.   Auckland is proud to have hosted its first JJA Jazz Awards Satellite Party and this is only the beginning.

The party continued long after the AJO had packed up and before long a Jam session was in full swing.  To have Roger Manins (tenor), P J Koopman (guitar) and Brian Smith (tenor) on the band stand together was the icing on the cake.   One by one the students got up to join them.  Some looked nervous but they got up anyway.  It is nights like this that guarantee the viability of this music we love.

A full review will follow soon – thanks to Jenny and Deepak for assisting.

The AJO
Callum Passells
Matt Steele
John & Roger (centre)
CJC Creative Jazz Club gigs, Post Millenium

Matt Steele Trio

Matt Steele at the Steinway

About a year ago I was at a gig when my attention was drawn to a young pianist.   I soon learned that his name was Matt Steele and I wrote it down in a notebook; knowing that he would be one to watch.  As the months rolled by I would occasionally bump into him in the CJC Jazz Club or see him playing piano at the late night CJC Jam Sessions.

I had a strong feeling even then that he would develop into a really good pianist and my instincts were right.  At that time he was probably a first year Jazz Studies student, but now in the midpoint of his second year, we are seeing a mature and confident performer emerge.  He has the talent, taste and commitment to go where ever he wants.

Jarad Desvaux de Marigny

While having chops is an obvious advantage there are other subtler factors which impress discerning listeners.  Matt can demonstrate a strong two-handed swinging-approach when called for, but it is his lightness of touch and his awareness of space that impresses most.   He has grasped the most important lesson of all and that is what to leave out.

Matt attends the University of Auckland Jazz Studies course and the tuition that he receives from Kevin Field is obviously yielding dividends.

Eamon Edmunson-Wells

On the 23rd of May Matt appeared as part of the Lewis Eady Emerging Talent series, which has a strong classical focus and doesn’t generally include a slot for jazz pianists.  They could not have chosen better than Matt as his playing was superb and the repertoire was perfectly suited to the occasion.

The program featured several works by the Polish Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and his wonder-kind pianist Marcin Wasilewski.  I was extremely pleased to see these masterpieces of modern Jazz included.  There is a real space for performing this material and there is not nearly enough of it.   Matt played some of his own compositions and they fitted in beside the Stanko, Bjork, Wasilewski, Kuhn and Carmichael perfectly.

It was also an added bonus that a lovely Steinway piano was available for the performance.

The clip below is from the Lewis Eady performance.  The number was composed by Bjork and played by Marcin Wasilewski on his album titled ‘Trio” (ECM).   Matt’s interpretation here is impressive.  I must also praise the sensitive drumming and great bass lines.  we should be under no illusion; pieces like this are difficult to execute.   Unlike a fast burner everything is revealed.   There were brave choices in the program but it worked extremely well.

I had not seen Eamon and Jared before but I will watch for them in future.    This trio belongs together as their awareness of what is required of each other is highly developed.  I urge everyone to check them out.    Chelsea Prastiti joined them for one number and that was also great.

Alain Koetsier a top class drummer saw the clip and emailed me the following: “great stuff all round and very subtle drumming”.

Eamon, Matt, Chelsea & Jared
CJC Creative Jazz Club gigs, Concerts - visiting Musicians

Mark Lockett – ‘Sneaking Out After Midnight’

Some weeks ago I received Rattle Records latest release.  It was Mark Lockett’s ‘Sneaking Out After Midnight’.   

It is a while since Mark left Wellington and he has obviously achieved much since then.   He is an educator, an innovator and a drummer with great chops.   When you look at who he has played with in the last decade and who his own teachers have been, the narrative falls into place.   This is an album that could not have been made by a lessor musician.

Mark is joined by two fine New York musicians; Joel Frahm (sax) and Orlando le Fleming (bass).   Joel Frahm has been around for a while and his album with Bill Charlap is one that immediately comes to mind.   He has been very much in demand around New York.    Orlando le Fleming (who was born in the UK) is equally impressive having also played with Bill Charlap and an impossibly long list of jazz notables.    These three were never going to be anything less than great when they joined forces.

It’s a nicely presented album with great artwork and even though cover art shouldn’t matter – actually it does.  Rattle always tries to present a complete package.

Good albums strive to break free of formulaic constraints and when a musical story is told in a fresh way this is achieved.   This is an album with an open, joyful and honest sound.   It is also Mark’s fourth album, which has allowed him to push harder at the musical boundaries.   His writing skills and his vision have made this a worthwhile journey.  

The Interview:

 

Q. Apart from the obvious subdivisions of genre do you have a view on what if anything makes NZ drummers so diverse in sound?

A. One of the many great things about being a musician in NZ is that you have to find your own voice and because there’s less competition musicians don’t have to perform to a certain technical level as to the all the other guys working on the same street as a musician in Melbourne or NY for that matter. Musicians in NZ have an opportunity like almost nowhere else in the world to find their own voice without being inhibited and from this a beautiful raw energy often emerges.

Q. Many drummers are writing now and in fact some of the most innovative compositions around are coming from the likes of John Hollenbeck, Matt Wilson, Eric Harland and Marilyn Mazur,who took the baton from Paul Motian and Jack DeJohnette. Why do you think this is as a drummer/composer?

A. I don’t often like compositions written by drummers and I think this is because they lack harmonic direction having said that I believe that more drummers are having lead their own bands these days to remain busy and employed and I don’t think this is a bad thing. Playing standards is great and I love doing it but when you play and tour a lot you can’t help but start looking for other musical vehicles from which to improvise.

Q. I have known about Joel Frahm for some time as he brought out an album with Bill Charlap (they are old friends). Orlando Le Fleming is an exciting bass player who has often worked with the amazing Lage Lund and Will Vincent among others. How did the collaboration come about?

A. A good friend of mine Aaron Choulai (piano player) got a chance to record with Tim Ries (sax player at the time with the rolling stones) in NYC some years back I first met Joel through that connection down at smalls jazz club. We bumped into each other several times over the years and I’ve always dug his playing. Another friend of mine happened to have Joel’s number so I called him up and he was really into it. Orlando was recommended to me by another great friend of mine and my current drum teacher Ari Hoenig.

Q. How was it working with these New Yorker’s.

A. Working with Joel and Orlando was the most amazing experience and one I’ll never forget.  These cats are true professionals in every sense of the word and two of the nicest, normal and most down to earth people one could wish for.

Q. How are things going in Australia for you?

A. I live in Melbourne and things are going great I’m very busy at present playing in several Peoples projects and planning my tour to NZ to promote the new cd dates are 3 July Wgtn Havana, 4th July Auck CJC and 5th July ChCh NMC at the conservatorium.

Q. Working without a chordal instrument brings different challenges and rewards. What are your feelings about working and recording with a sax, drum & bass trio.

A. I love this combination because it allows for a lot of musical freedom. It’s hard to find guitarists and piano players who are really skilled in comping.

Q. Is there anything that you would like to add about the album?

A. This album is my fourth release and I’m so excited about it, I think because it was a lot of fun to make and I grew up listening to these master musicians recorded with my hero’s eg Bill Stewart, Brian Blade etc I mean I use to sit in my flat in Wgtn in the 90’s and dream of playing with these cats and now a dream come true.

Thanks man we look forward to seeing you on your tour of NZ.    

Aucklander’s note; Mark will appear at the CJC 5th July

W: www.marklockett.com.au

E: mark@marklockett.com.au

Interview, USA and Beyond

Brad Mehldau tour – Mark Baynes interview

Deutsch: Brad Mehldau selbst fotografiert am 2...
Brad Mehldau

Hi Mark,

 I understand that you were lucky enough to attend one of the recent Brad Mehldau/ Joshua Redman duo Concerts in Australia. Even better you were able to meet them afterwards and so I would love to know something about both concert and meeting. Your impressions will go some way towards assuaging the feelings of jealousy we are all experiencing.

The Concert:

JF. Which of the three Australian concerts did you attend?

MB. I saw both Sydney concerts, one was at the brand new concert hall in Chatswood (North Shore) on the 19th January and the other was at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place on the 20th January.

JF. I am unfamiliar with the venues, so how was the sound quality and how were the sight lines for you?

MB. The Chatswood venue was much better. I noticed immediately that the piano sound was more acoustic sounding at that venue. I spoke to Brad about that, it turns at the sound engineer was forced to use more amplification at the City Recital Hall as the natural acoustics were unsuitable for this kind of performance, so consequently the piano sounded more amplified and forced.

JF. Are you also able to give me an idea of their set list?

MB. Yes, Brad and Joshua played 2 completely different sets. However each night began with a composition of Brad’s, then a composition of Joshua’s, then a Monk tune. They told me later that this was coincidental.

Concert 1 – Chatswood The Falcon Will Fly Again (Mehldau), Note to Self (Redman), In Walked Bud (Monk), Final Hour, Sanctus, My Old Flame, Anthropology, Hey Joe, Encore??

Concert 2 – City Recital Hall Always August (Mehldau), Highcourt Jig (Redman), Monks Dream (Monk), Unknown, Mels Mode(?) The Nearness of You, Unknown, Encore??

JF. What numbers were the standouts for you?

MB. At the Chatswood concert I loved their version of Hey Joe, Mehldau played a superb contrapuntal solo, it was a great crowd pleaser . Also the opening tune, ‘The Falcon Will Fly Again’ was incredible, Redman’s fluency with this tune was outstanding, they really seemed to be on the same harmonic page together. It was interesting hearing Mehldau improvise over rhythm changes during Anthropology, I have heard him talk about the importance of not sounding clichéd when soloing over rhythm changes and to me I really felt like he was constantly searching for originality during this performance, it was extremely effective and refreshing. At the City Recital Hall my favourite track was the ballad ‘The Nearness of You’. I am particularly fond of the way that Mehldau performs ballads, this piece contained all of the things I love about his ballad playing e.g. his independent phrasing, use of the piano’s range and touch were all simply wonderful.

JF. These musicians have played together before and we have heard them recently on Mehldau’s ‘Highway Rider’ and on a good number of Joshua Redman albums (plus a Kurt Rosenwinkel album).   Did you get the sense that they were especially musically attuned to each other or were they just two top-rated professionals doing what they do?

MB. Yes they were definitely in tune with each other rhythmically harmonically and conceptually; this was obvious from the first track. This duo has been performing together for quite some time. Brad told me that they have so much repertoire that they can enjoy a great deal of time without repeating any tunes because they have been playing together as a duo for so long now. Interestingly enough however, the style of the duo was vastly different from one night to the next. Mehldau definitely led the Chatswood concert in many ways, slightly overshadowing Redman balance wise, he played many intense solos that were often linear in texture rather than chordal. This is a generalisation of course but it conveys the idea. The City concert was more balanced, Redman played more soprano as opposed to tenor and there was more subtle interplay between the two masters. Mehldau played with colour and texture much like some of his solo work (Live in Marciac) rather than employing a linear concept. Words that come to mind are ‘soundscape’; ‘explorative’, ‘joyful’ and it seemed to be a more relaxed duo performance. Both concerts were spellbinding however, just very different. I spoke to Brad about his concept, he talked about the ‘cerebral’ process found in improvisation and described how he likes to visualise that part of his playing as being kept behind a virtual ‘curtain’ at the back of his head, always present but just hidden from view. He then went on to talk about how sometimes that this cerebral process is more prominent on some nights than others. Brad told me that this was ok, suggesting his acceptance to the fluid process of improvisation and the humanity contained within.

JF. Regarding the hang; how did you manage to get invited to meet them after the gig? I can only imagine your anticipation in the days prior to that.

MB. I have been in contact with Brad for several years now via email.   He brought his trio to the Wellington Jazz festival and I bumped into him (literally) very briefly afterwards.   He kindly agreed to answer some questions to help me with my studies.  He was later kind enough to put my name on the guest list for both nights at these recent concerts but this won’t be the last time I hear him play this year.  I am playing with King Kapisi at the Babel festival (March 31st) in Marseille, France.  I will be flying to Europe a few days before the gig so that I can hear his trio play 3 times and one solo concert.   Brad has agreed for a hang during that time too; I am very much looking forward to it as I find him to be an honest and very human person. That tour will be on – March 22nd, 2012 Bimhuis Amsterdam (Netherlands),  March 23rd, 2012 Bimhuis Amsterdam (Netherlands),  March 24th, 2012 Bimhuis Amsterdam (Netherlands) [*solo], March 25th, 2012 International Bergamo Jazz Festival Bergamo, ITALY.

JF. Tell me about what you or others asked them and how they answered or what they spoke about.

MB. After the show Brad invited my friend and I to join them both for dinner. I found both Joshua and Brad to be down to earth people who just wanted to hang out after their gig like any other working musician.

JF. Did you gain any musical or other insights from the exchanges?

MB. The intensity in which I was able to listen to both of the concerts has stayed with me since last month and I try to emulate the integrity and thoughtfulness that both players possess in my regular gigs. Since those concerts I have made a list of questions that I will ask Brad when I see him next, so as to better my understanding of his musical concept. Brad mentioned the necessity of finding an original voice in jazz.  After studying the greats this may be the most important thing.  I see originality and full emotional connectivity as being important future goals.

Marks Bio:

Mark Baynes is a British born pianist. He has performed for 15 years as an international artist playing for a long list of clients ranging from the BBC and Auckland Philharmonia plus many of New Zealand’s best-known Artists.                 

 Mark leads a piano trio called ‘The Ironic Trio, their latest release is an all original album entitled ‘In Song’ with Jason Orme (drums) and Aaron Coddel (bass). This has cross over appeal. In 2009 the Ironic Trio recorded an EP entitled ‘In Colour’ which has a more traditional jazz flavour.

Mark is a university tutor / lecturer at Auckland University and Massey University (New Zealand School of Music). In 2008 Mark was awarded the Ariadne Danilow Music prize (Victoria University of Wellington) and the Sir Alan Stewart Postgraduate Scholarship (Massey University) enabling him to pursue further study. Mark now holds an MMus in jazz performance (1st Class Honours) and is currently studying towards his DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in jazz performance. Marks DMA topic is entitled ‘Brad Mehldau’s stylistic innovations and their implications for jazz piano performance’.

Beyond category

Andrea Lisa Jazz band – support request

I received this flyer a few days ago and I will certainly be supporting this great young band.    They play about town and their gigs are always well received.   Their recent gig at the CJC was very enjoyable and I reviewed it about a month ago.    I know Andrea and see good things ahead for her (and band mates).    Andrea is from West Auckland and went to Waitakere college where she was taught by Stephen Nightingale.  Later Andrea obtained a music degree at the Massey University Jazz School.    Stephen Nightingale also taught my son, who later obtained a B Mus. at Auckland University.   As a society we should pay more respect to these good teachers who encourage and empower pupils, rather than forcing arbitrary and ill-conceived notions like ‘National Standards’ onto them.

All we have to do to keep the music coming is to support deserving groups, local clubs and developing musicians.  They will do the rest.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

HELLO ALL, APPEALING FOR YOUR SUPPORT FOR A FUNDRAISER EVENT FOR THE ANDREA LISA BAND. ANDREA LISA IS A TALENTED JAZZ GUITARIST/SINGER AND SONGWRITER, WITH A ROCKING BAND. ANDREA LISA AND HER BAND HAS BEEN INVITED TO SYDNEY TO AUDITION FOR A SPOT TO OPEN UP FOR JONATHAN BUTLER ON HIS AUSTRALIAN TOUR. THE FUNDRAISER WILL ASSIST WITH COVERING COSTS FOR THE BAND. YOUR SUPPORT WILL BE APPRECIATED. TICKETS ARE GOING FAST PLEASE EMAIL /CALL ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE TICKETS AS THEY ARE ALL PREPAID. MUSIC BY ANDREA LISA BAND AND DJ BRENT ALLY CONTACT;ANDREA 02102304666   NICK; 0212386746 (There will be a tv in the side room for you to check the score of the rugby)