A cohort of inspired, inspiring women took to the stage, one by one sending out a War Cry, singing songs of Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln and Sharon Jones – along with their own originals, all songs that describe what it means to struggle, to fight back, to do your bit to create social change, one note at a time, one verse at a time.
Following thousands of jazz events taking place in 195 countries around the world, International Jazz Day 2019 came to a thrilling closein Melbourne, Australia with an extraordinary All-Star Global Concert at Melbourne Arts Centre’s renowned Hamer Hall.
The Melbourne Jazz Roots Festival marks a welcome addition to the annual jazz festival calendar
Elysian Fields is a seamless combination of old and new, composed and improvised, experimental and planned, intuitive and calculated. The result is like a thick winter blanket: warm and beautiful.
Gregg Arthur looks like he’s auditioning for a James Bond film – both for the leading role and the theme song.
While Frank Gambale regularly unleashed a dazzling torrent of notes, the quality that lingered in my mind after the show was the melodic instinct that underpinned so much of his work.
Denson and James sign five of the album’s twelve songs, all works of exemplary craftmanship that deserve a place in the Australian Jazz canon (if there is such a thing). My personal favourites are the upbeat ‘Wild December Wind’ and the introspective ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ (I’m a sucker for 3/4 tunes); both perfect vehicles for Ingrid James to showcase her ability to convey real, almost tangible, emotions. You can feel her voice embracing and caressing you.
“Kate Pass’ compositions and musical palette are far from mere exotica – in fact, the conversational mix of Western and Middle-Eastern music could not be more timely, with the current world schisms and tensions between the two cultures. To hear these voices side-by-side, talking and twining together is an almost political call for hope – one where neither side sees the other as ‘the other’.”
On ‘Any Last Requests’, Mark Lockett’s trio span well-loved standards, as well as hardcore jazz tunes – all with the variety, dexterity and telepathy that only a group forged in the NYC fire can. Each of the three brings everything necessary for three to become one, in aspiration and in execution.
It was sheer joy watching her and the entire ensemble throughout the night clearly having so much fun on stage.