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.
“I was first inspired to learn the saxophone from listening to hard bop, in particular John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter so I guess it was only a matter of time when I would put together a project like this.”
Hammerhead Launch Wednesday 13 August, Venue 505, Surry Hills By David Sampson Less than a year before his premature death in 2008, I asked Tony Hobbs, one of Australia’s most passionate saxophonists, if he had any plans for a new band. ‘I guess I’m just a hard-bop muso’, he replied. ‘Who wants to hear hard …
When I listen to music that has an important place in history I sometimes gaze out the window and feel the here and now more intensely, while also feeling myself in the time when this particular style emerged. I do the same with Haydn, Ornette Coleman and the Beatles. I’m not sure why, but it makes you feel very alive.