Monday 21 May 2012 at Chapel Off Chapel, Prahran
Ruth Rogers-Wright, a singer from Brixton who lives in Melbourne, performed her tribute to Nina Simone at the Stonnington Jazz Festival. Backed by a four-piece group, Rogers-Wright’s act was not so much cover band as séance, channelling the spirit of Simone through song and spoken word.
Opening with Be My Husband, the singer set the mood with a soulful rendition accompanied only by drummer Hugh Harvey. He Needs Me showcased Rogers-Wright’s eerie voice as the rest of the band eased into the show.
Crowd-pleaser My Baby Just Cares for Me featured a lovely bass solo from Philip Rex and ivory tinkling from Monique di Mattina, but the real highlight was Paul Williamson on tenor sax, squawking and growling all the way through. Continue reading
Is it really a year since Allan Browne last played at Stonnington Jazz Festival?
His latest show, The Poetry of Classic Jazz, featured a five-piece band performing New Orleans-influenced jazz and the inimitable Browne sharing some of his favourite pieces of poetry over the jams.
The band leader started with a rendition of W. H. Auden’s Funeral Blues, a tribute to Melbourne drummer Peter Jones who passed away on Friday. Jones had drummed for numerous acts, most famously Crowded House, before he was struck with cancer. Continue reading
The Melbourne International Jazz Festival is now less than two months away. Running from 4 to 13 June, the festival will feature reknowned artists from the world over showcasing their talents for our aural pleasure.
Jazz great Sonny Rollins, the latest incarnation of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are all sure to be highlights of the festival, and here at Bop Hard we will be previewing and reviewing the gigs ’til our hearts are content.
The official website features plenty of information on the shows and artists and a comprehensive guide to the festival. To purchase tickets you can click on the artist and follow the links from there. You can even follow the proceedings on Facebook.
So stay tuned to Bop Hard as the festival draws closer, and make sure you get your tickets early for some great nights of music.
Uptown Jazz Café
177 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
The Uptown Jazz Café is a fine establishment just north of the Melbourne CBD. Surrounded by pubs and boutique shops, it is a little hard to find- a small white sign next to an open doorway is the sole visual cue- but the sound of jazz pouring down the stairwell is a giveaway.
Climbing the stairs you enter the bar and are immediately taken to another time and place. The décor is warm and inviting, candles cast a red glow over the tables, and a wall-length mirror gives a feeling of space.
The staff are friendly and the bar is stocked with the usual array of spirits and bottled beer. Peckish patrons can also order Japanese snacks and meals at the bar, with Uptown billing the traditional flavours of the fare ‘Tokyo style’. Continue reading