One of the aspects I have always enjoyed in Wilson’s music is his impressionistic side – even though a player who resonates with the deep history of the art form, he never baulks at going where the music takes him, whether an un-jazz place or not.
‘…cued by Komunyakaa’s use of multiple voices, Evans assembled discrete bands for each piece, including no less than 11 different lead singers, plus Michael Edwards-Stevens reading some poems as spoken word with musical accompaniment.’
The carefully-crafted originals on the album are a summary of the writing Clarke has done over the past twenty years, ‘Three Wishes’ dating back to 1993. ‘Busline’ was written for an unreleased ABC recording after he won the 2001 National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, while the medium-up ‘Billycart’ was written specially for the album.
No sooner had I filed the review of the Bernie McGann album Wending on this site than McGann’s closest musical associate John Pochée phoned me with the news that our great and dear friend had gone.
We were sad to hear that Bernie McGann passed away last night in hospital. Farewell to an original voice in Australian music. In a review of McGann’s 2012 CD Wending, John Clare recently said: One day Paul Grabowsky told me, ‘You know I’ve thought about this quite a bit and I’ve come to the conclusion …
One of McGann’s great virtues is his ability to project feeling and indeed raw powerful emotion – and to stimulate the visual imagination – whether he is playing simple or complex lines.
If there’s one player in the history of Australian jazz who has inspired aspiring musicians to search for their own sound, it’s Bernie McGann. In response to the news of his hospitalisation last week following a major heart attack, the jazz community will host benefits at Venue 505 in Sydney this Sunday, August 25 and at Bennetts Lane in Melbourne on Sunday 1 September.
Something about this video made me want to keep listening and listening. I love the way Brendan and Andrew interact. And there’s been a bit of 75th Birthday action for Bernie McGann this year; a lot of talk about his unique sound. Here’s a taste.
Standing before the microphone like a granite monolith, McGann made the alto saxophone look small in his hands – but the sound was big, breathy and unique | Butler’s piano solo was perfectly judged, his angular playing style finding its home in the momentum of the music.
The night of my 75th birthday party I had a corporate gig and then rushed across town to the 505 club. The place was packed and when I walked in they all started singing Happy Birthday – it was absolutely beautiful. Lots of my friends were there and Jex Saarelaht came up from Melbourne, which I thought was wonderful.