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Hey All,

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to fill in for a Ten Part Invention rehearsal in preparation for their SIMA gig on Saturday night. The reason I’m blogging about this rehearsal is that I felt very fortunate to get the oppotunity to play with the band which, in my eyes, contains some of the main innovators of “Modern Australian Jazz” from the last 40 years. For those not familiar with the band, it is spearheaded by John Pochee (who has been in and out of hospital the last 6 months, and was sounding truly amazing, plus forever telling the funniest stories) and also features Paul McNamara, Steve Elphick, Sandy Evans, Andrew Robson, Ken James, Bob Bertles, Warwick Alder, Miroslav Buckovsky and James Greening. Most of these players aren’t teachers at the Sydney Conservatorium so I hadn’t really met them before and only knew most of them from CDs and seeing them live at the Side-On Cafe many years ago, back when Alex Boneham and I used to go every weekend without fail.

The music consisted mainly of compositions by Sandy Evans, Andrew Robson and the late Roger Frampton, (unfortunately I never got the chance to hear or meet this Australian legend,) and what I noticed most is how unique and distinctly Australian it sounds. I must admit the majority of music myself and my peers listen to is from abroad, particularly America, but playing with this ensemble was a gentle reminder of the great things that are happening on my own turf. Roger Frampton’s compositions evoked so many different colours and textures and were full of harmonic surprises that keep you on your toes.

I have been listening to Andrew Robson for years and when I was 17 I was really into his album “On”, featuring Steve Elphick, Hamish Stuart and Alister Spence, to the point of knowing it back to front. For whatever reason, I have not been able to see him live for many years but yesterday I was fortunate to be sitting 4 chairs down, listening to him play. It is such a great experience getting to meet and play with those “idols” you grow up listening to. I must also mention the delight it was to play with Paul McNamara who, along with his partner Sally, were integral to my development as a musician. In 2004 they set up a mentoring program (of which I was the only one who partook) which involved being mentored by Phil Slater and Warwick Alder, having lessons and hanging out with them at gigs, as well as aural lessons with Paul and recording a CD with Paul and Alex Boneham. That program introduced me to this “other side” of music – creative modern jazz.

Here are the links to some of these great musicians’ websites.

Ten Part Invention

Andrew Robson

SIMA

Sandy Evans

Later,

E Dilla

Current Listening:

Greg Osby – Public (Nicholas Payton & Greg Osby are killin!!!!)


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