Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lost and Found

Yes, I got lost last night. Trying to find The Palms at Crown. Lucky for me I met Scott Tinkler and he told me where to go. In the nicest possible way. Not a big fan of any casino, I've never been into this big one in Melbourne. Never. Not in the whole time I've lived here! But tonight I wanted to hear Oehlers, Grabowsky and Beck (sorry Dave, couldn't find your website...) Yamandu Costa Trio was on at Hamer Hall, but I heard them play twice last year. Not that they weren't worth hearing again (and again, and again) but... well... Hamer Hall just didn't seem like the right place for his sound. There's a heat in Costa's playing, a heated conversational quality in the band that the space did not do justice to, in my opinion. And also, I wanted some local sounds, a particular type of sound, that energises in that certain way ... and I knew these guys would deliver.

And before I tell you how not disappointed I was about Jamie, Paul and Dave... how I found exactly what I needed, let me just (for those of you who haven't been there) tell you a litle about the Palms at Crown. It''s velour I'm talking about folks. A nice blue velour. And chrome. And a stage that looks like it's lit for --- gawd, I don't even know what for! Laurence, the exceptionally excellent guy from All About Jazz said in his characteristic low-key way. 'Wait until you see the dry ice' Well, I waited and there it was. And at the back of the stage there's a veritable constellation of little lights. It is just soooo showbiz. I wanted to go home and put on my gold lamé frock, to do it justice!

But back to the music... when a proportion of the audience leans forward as one to take their jackets off at the end of a powerful, blasting, transporting Jamie Oehlers solo, well you have tangible evidence that energy is being transferred. Can't get more empirical than that, and that's what happend folks. I saw it with my own tired eyes. Probably only 5 or 6 people but he made that thing fiercely sing, then in the space at the end of it, the jacket removal manoeuvre occured. It was here, on night 3 of the festival that I felt, finally, what I always hope I will feel when I hear improvised music; some music that spoke that deeper, freeing language, below thought, that changes you so that you are different at the end of it than you were at the beginning, in ways that cannot be described in words. You don't know how it happens, you don't know how to repeat the experience. You just go, and open and listen. And then it happens. Alright!

Thanks Lost and Found.

*** and can someone have a word to the sound guys. About the piano. We had again, the experience of the piano sounds being right out the front. Oehler's saxophone blazing and Grabowsky's piano sounding louder. If someone reading this knows the sound guy for the Tord Gustavsen trio tonight, for example, could they have a quiet word. Sheeesh!

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