When I first came to Sydney as a vocal student, Jonathan Zwartz really took me under his wing, giving me the opportunity to perform with him and introducing me to many great Sydney musicians. In more recent times I’ve been playing (and getting into trouble) with great jazz pianist Gerard Masters, which has been an incredible learning curve.
In his writing, Lohning allows plenty of room for the soloists to have their say with their own voice and – often playing understated piano – would at times rise from his place at the keys and direct the band with enthusiasm. His arrangements had the audiences tapping their feet and applauding. A general feeling of happiness and well-being filling the room, particularly after Lohning’s composition in the style of Count Basie, ‘Stand Up and Be Counted’, which concluded the first set.
So by the time he turned 20 his palm was etched with a future as both player and composer, as jazz artist and classical. This puts Isaacs in a very select company – Don Banks, Bruce Cale, Phil Treloar, Mike Nock and Paul Grabowksy come to mind – of Australian artists whose work has been taken seriously in both idioms, and he sees the twin careers as being mutually beneficial.
The line-up for the 2014 Mildura Jazz Food and Wine festival program includes The Cope Street Parade, Origami, Peter Hooper Quartet, Maryborough Traditional Jazz Ensemble, Double A Jazz, Mr Jazz, Don Mayne Trio, Grab Ya Cat and Nicola Milan.
what a brilliant idea it was to invite Jones to join the list of distinguished guest artists to record with students at Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. What insights for those with the wit and empathy to understand that what was on the table was not a master-class in music or singing or anything so mundane. No this was much more important: a master-class in artistry, which is to say a lesson in life.