Trombonist James Greening has always been one of our most joyful and joyous players. His very choice of instrument is joyful – the whinnying, hallelujah-ing of the trombone and the jovial flatulence of the sousaphone just bring a grin to your soul.
This is the musical equivalent of slow food, and will amply repay the patient. Eleven years on and this Melbourne/Sydney collective restores itself to its rightful place near the pinnacle of Australian jazz.
Sean Coffin’s tenor tone and approach fits the music perfectly. In his sound there are distinct echoes and cries from jazz history – the blues is prominent if abstracted – yet the same imagination that elevates his arrangements carries through to surprise us in his solos. Funky as fuck in ‘Booga Dunny’ (get it? ‘I’m a funny cat’, says SC), a soul-jazz boogaloo, he also plays a ballad such as ‘Quiet Thoughts’ with great depth – the coda cadenza was a composition in itself. His horn can bite but it can also kiss.
His ideas are clear and strong, and deceptively simple motifs unfold and develop in unexpected ways, always maintaining the listener’s interest. Suite SIMA is a model of how to write for a medium-sized jazz ensemble that will provide student composers and arrangers with many lessons and lots of inspiration.
‘The whole work was beautifully measured, finally showering us with brilliant sound and sensation. This was a triumph to be stored in memory…’
A ten minute video of Vince and his band at The Basement in July 2009
…a performance full of twisting improvisations and complex rhythms.
“… I find I have to focus on my own contribution and sadly miss some of the great musicians who are playing until after I’ve finished my concerts…”