Remembering Allan Browne

nfjazzThe Melbourne Jazz Co-op presents a special Memorial Concert on Friday 23 September, at the Athenaeum Theatre, in Melbourne, to celebrate the musical life and legacy of the of drummer/bandleader/composer and poet Allan Browne, OAM, who passed away, just short of his 71st birthday in June 2015. 

[from the media release]

This one-off concert will feature some of Melbourne’s finest contemporary musicians, virtually all of whom performed with Browne over his long career. Between them the line up of artists are the recipients of a six ARIAs, three National Jazz Awards, a Melbourne Music Prize, Don Banks Award and numerous “Bell” Australian Jazz Awards for Album or Artist of the Year.

The list of pianists alone includes Paul Grabowsky, AO, Barney McAll, Bob Sedergreen, Tim Stevens and Andrea Keller, all of who recorded with Browne.

Saxophonist Julien Wilson, bassist Sam Anning and Barney McAll (all National Jazz Award and Australian Jazz Award recipients) performed on some of Browne’s last recordings will pay homage to these works.

Artists from many of Browne’s long-standing bands will perform, including the Allan Browne Quintet with Eugene Ball, Phil Noy, Geoff Hughes, Nick Haywood and emerging drummer Maddison Carter; and Onaje, one of Browne’s first ‘modern’ bands which features Richard Miller, Bob Sedegreen and Geoff Kluke. Other artists performing include Tamara Murphy, James McLean, Howard Cairns and Cam Robbins.

In the traditional jazz style, well-known trumpeter Brett Iggulden, OAM, from Browne’s first band, The Red Onion Jazz Band, will be guest artist with Virus, which features John Scurry – another Red Onion, Andy Ross and Lyn Wallis. Vocalist Shelley Scown will perform one of Grabowsky’s most potent songs, Angel.

Browne’s widow, Margie Lou Dyer (daughter of late jazz great, ‘Wocka’ Dyer) will deliver some classic jazz and blues piano and vocals to conclude the performance with a rousing New Orleans style send-off.

Allan was a pivotal figure in Melbourne’s jazz scene, regarded by many as the personification of Melbourne jazz; a living repository for the history of jazz, possessed of an unquenchable creative spirit. An auto-didact in prose as well as music, Conjuror, a collection of Browne’s poetry (including an accompanying CD) was co-released by Extemporé and Jazzhead in 2012. Fans of his poetry include Paul Kelly, who wanted to perform at the concert, but will unfortunately be unable to do so due to touring commitments.

Over the decades, his career impacted many, including audiences and musicians alike. There was a huge outpouring of grief at his passing, culminating in a New Orleans-style street music procession that accompanied his hearse up Collins Street after his funeral.

Survived by his second wife, pianist Margie Lou Dyer and five offspring who are all musical performers, profits from the concert will go to Margie and Allan’s family.

Allan Browne OAM, Memorial Concert and Benefit