Tag Archives: bopstretch

The Review Revue- Leigh Barker & the New Sheiks

Friday 27 May 2011

Leigh Barker & the New Sheiks played at Chapel Off Chapel on Friday night as part of the Stonnington Jazz Festival. Bopstretch were in support, playing their usual mix of lush ballads and fast-and-furious bebop, with trumpeter Eamon McNelis moonlighting after the interval with the main act.

Bassist-composer Leigh Barker was joined onstage by the New Sheiks: Don Stewart (trombone), Anthony Schulz (piano) and Al Kerr (drums), along with the aforementioned McNelis. The band were resplendent in suits, looking every inch the professionals they were, and they quickly showed it with some superb polyrhythmic work off their new self-titled album. ‘Be Still Hold On Tight’ by Melbourne guitarist John Scurry was a particular stand-out as the band locked down the groove and stretched out.

For the second half of their set they were joined by guest vocalist Heather Stewart, and the night clicked into another gear. A solid cover of ‘She Ain’t No Good’ by the Mississippi Sheiks eased Stewart into the set, Schulz’s staccato piano playing complementing the bluesy vibe nicely. The singer pulled out her fiddle too on a Cajun-sounding ‘Funeral Blues’, swinging as tight as the band did as they rounded out the show with more tunes from their latest album. Continue reading


Stonnington Jazz 2011

City of Stonnington 19-29 May 2011

The Stonnington Jazz Festival kicked off last night with the beautiful Sarah McKenzie (left) performing with her sextet at Malvern Town Hall. McKenzie will perform again at the same venue tonight at 8pm.

The festival runs until 29 May and bills itself as “100% Australian Jazz”. Famous names to play this year include Harry Angus of Cat Empire fame, piano maestro Joe Chindamo and ex-George singer Katie Noonan, not to mention personal favourites Bopstretch.

Find out the haps at the festival’s homepage, and book your tickets here. It will be the perfect chance to pique your appetite for the Melbourne International Jazz Festival which kicks off in just a few short weeks.

Luke James