Keith Penhallow was a prizewinner in the 2007 National Jazz Writing Competition. Here are his musical highlights for 2010:
1. Sitting in the front row, almost dead centre (there was a centre aisle), in the Melbourne Town Hall listening to Charles Lloyd’s band, Sangam, with Eric Harland on drums and Zakir Hussain on tabla. As a bonus, pianist Jason Moran and bassist Reuben Rogers from Lloyd’s regular band joined them for the last half hour. A knockout. I last saw Charles Lloyd at the Fillmore East in New York in 1968 with Keith Jarrett on piano, Jack Dejohnette, drums, and Ron McClure, bass. Seeing Lloyd again had been a long term ambition.
2. Dick and Christa Hughes at Bennetts Lane. Christa is one of the finest white female blues singers ever, on a par with Jo Ann Kelly. She sounded even better live than on CD.
3. The Johannes Luebbers Dectet from Perth at Wangaratta. Luebbers is a talented and imaginative composer who uses instruments such as the oboe and French horn for colouration. It was one of the few Australian bands to play two sets at the festival and I enjoyed them both very much.
4. Way Out West at the University of Canberra. Always interesting music played well and the Vietnamese component gives the music a unique sound.
5. Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society Presents Infernal Machines – a great recording of imaginative big band music. It even has Australian Matt Clohesy on bass.