I last heard this band at Stonnington in May with some substitutions. Today the (as advertised) lineup was Sam on piano, Scott Tinkler with trumpet, Jordan Murray (trombone), Bernie McGann (alto), Jamie Oehlers (tenor), Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Des White (bass), Simon Barker (drums) and Javier Fredes (percussion).
First tune was 'Compassion Compression', Keevers' 'protest song about absence of compassion'.
'Simple Pleasures' followed, dedicated to Ella the genius Border Collie who has since passed on. The tune featured Jordan Murray on the trombone, Bernie McGann's Alto's dark voice, and Stephen Magnusson in a solo that made the unrufflable (is that a word) Scott Tinkler sit up an take notice, mouthing 'wow' across at Stephen (tho' it may have been an expletive. I couldn't tell from where I was sitting!!
I felt something well up. Later in the evening Paul Grabowsky mentioned that those who play improvised music and we who listen to it are lucky - it provides a release for emotions that can otherwise become toxic, if held on to. I suppose he means it provides a process for working through something. I really sensed that something was being worked through.
This was a song full of swinging sweet sadnesses. I felt it, other listeners felt it and I heard from Scott later that they were definitely feeling it on stage.
Sam Keevers has that way with music anyway, and the particular sensibilities and circumstances at play in St Pats this afternoon must have converged to give an already great band that extra something special...
Here's a picture of Sam that I lifted from this article in The Age from a couple of years ago. Can't find a photo of the nonet anywhere! I'm going to have to start getting brave and taking shots in gigs. Wish me luck!
But shouldn't there be a pic of the nonet in the media material provided by (to) the festival. Eh?