Thursday, June 9, 2011

Jazz in Melbourne

The Melbourne Jazz Festival Program was in a coffee shop a few weeks ago so I decided to check out a few performances.
One I chose was with Yvette Johanson as the support act at the Recital Centre so went with that.
The main act was Chris Botti who outside jazz circles, was largely unknown when he played St Kilda's National Theatre last winter, but after that gig, word spread like wildfire and the word was you have to hear him play the trumpet. I admit I was not expecting anything too exciting, I mean how varied can a trumpet be but WOW!! He is great to look at as well.
Chris Botti
The whole concert was fantastic. He is America's biggest-selling jazz instrumentalist, and has worked with the best Sting, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell. In 1991, he performed with Paul Simon in New York’s Central Park as part of the The Rhythm of the Saints tour. The performance was commercially released as the Concert in the Park CD. While on tour with Simon, he met saxophonist Michael Brecker, which led to Botti producing the Brecker Brothers’ Out of the Loop. The album won a 1995 Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Performance. His own touring band is awesome and on the road for almost 300 days a year. Don't know how they do that!

Another event was at the Forum Theatre still a great looking place but the sky and stars have gone!
3 Cohens
The second act was the 3 Cohens (siblings), tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen, trumpeter Avishai Cohen and the soprano saxophonist Yuval Cohen — originally from Israel and now all part of  the the New York jazz world. 
They were appearing with the Aaron Goldberg Trio "Boundless imagination, burning intensity, exquisite sensitivity and abundant soul -- Aaron Goldberg truly has it all. One of the most exciting, inventive, and lyrical pianists you will ever hear." Couldn't have put it better myself. The Cohens were amazing, especially Anet on the Saxaphone. All performers commented on how cold the venue was Aaron said it was hard to lay fast with cold fingers! Old venues have their drawbacks all the audience was rugged up gloves and scarves.
The other events I was interested in are on this long weekend and I am away so will miss them.
However there is a Winter Song Festival on at Aireys that I am going to with Nick & Kate; maybe they will see inspiration for their Sax playing.

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