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Reviews of Standout Performances

Dan Bolton Quartet – July 08, 2018
Dan Bolton was simply wonderful. It was also the first time that LJC has staged at the upstairs ‘Nightclub’ of the Gollan – and what a wonderful venue. A purpose room with separate lounge and bar area, and both with access to the generous verandah overlooking Keen Street. The mood was any jazz supper club in the 1940s.
Billed as one of Australia's foremost jazz singer / songwriter / pianists, Dan and his quartet were every bit of it and really delivered. His jazz, 40s-style pop – even a smattering of Latin American was straight out of the Cole Porter and George and Ira Gershwin mould. He even sashayed back to New Orleans with a superb arrangement and rendition of the traditional standard Bourbon Street Parade – it was Dr John, it was The Neville Brothers, and it made you dance in your seat. They deserved a standing ovation, and got one from the packed room. Folks left very, very happy. Grab a copy of his latest CD, Living To Regret It, and YOU errr, won’t regret it! MB

Michael Griffin Quintet – May 27, 2018
Michael Griffin (alto sax), Dane Laboyrie (trumpet), Harry Sutherland (piano)
Thierry Fossemaille (double bass), Dave Sanders (drums).

This is an excerpt from a review of an MG performance in December 2017 courtesy of
[Nikos Fotakis,australianjazz.net/category/reviews/]

– we couldn't have written of our experience any better. A spot-on review.
"... there seem to be two Michael Griffins. There’s Michael Griffin who looks like a teenager, tall and long-limbed, with an air of awkwardness about him, enhanced by his cringe-worthy stage banter, his uncertain posture and a striped suit that looked a couple of sizes too big for him. And there’s another Michael Griffin, who seems to enter this realm the moment the first one touches his saxophone. It’s Michael Griffin, the alien jazz warrior, a superhero of the saxophone, who came to this planet to save us from bad music and fight the good fight of keeping be-bop relevant. When Michael Griffin’s lips touch the mouthpiece, he’s transfomed: the awkward teenager gives his place to a jazz master of superb confidence – and his pinstripe suit becomes a perfect fit. It’s uncanny."

A disappointing but very much not disappointed audience. If you missed it, give yourself a slap.
This was a 'big city' jazz-joint performance which would normally have folks involved in punch-ups at the door just to get inside to grab a good vantage point. Better hope he comes back sometime. MB

Jim Kelly and the Thrillseekers – November 01, 2015
Jim Kelly (guitar), Aaron West (guitar, Greg Lyon (bass), Pete Wilkins (drums).
With guests: Shannon Marshall (flugelhorn), Otis (guitar).

The Thrillseekers offered plenty of thrills and surprises. Leader Jim Kelly and his alter ego guitarist Aaron West explored the lengths and breadths of select jazz standards and surprise inclusions (Tequila!). Greg Lyon held down the bass as well as offering some exquisite solos and rebuffing all jokes thrown at him with Jim's humorous banter and introductions to some of the pieces. Peter Wilkins was sitting in on drums but sounding like a lifetime member. These guys were tight but relaxed, hot & cool as well as unmistakably themselves. As a bonus we had a couple of great guest sit-ins. Shannon Marshall arrived and was immediately roped into playing his flugelhorn for much of the later part of the gig. It was great to see him again after his last appearance at LJC in the Ray Charles show in 2014. The big surprise was a young guitarist by the name of Otis who was all of 14 years old. He took Jim's place for a funky blues and held his own with the pros, playing up a storm. Another surprise was how quietly the band executed the material right through the gig, really holding the crowd on the edges of our chairs. It really was an afternoon of superbly performed, relaxed, cool, funky jazz. PF

Out of Abingdon – May 03, 2015
Tina Fullerton (double bass / vocals), Warwick Hargreaves (acoustic guitar / vocals).
A great afternoon of delicate acoustic jazz.
Out of Abingdon travelled from Brisbane in tricky weather, and for that alone deserved a standing ovation.
But the genuine applause was for their unique seductive music – it was ‘hear a pin drop’ stuff.
We continue to be truly spoilt by the performers we attract to LJC.
Tina and Warwick began the session with Leonard Cohen’s ‘Dance Me To the End of Love’ and at one stage played an interpretive version of the Kylie Minogue hit ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ (adding an extra beat to the bar – nice). There was a Gershwin, a Tom Waits, even a Fred Astaire classic but they presented few jazz standards or songs that an audience would recognise. Some original, some little known by known songwriters,
all well-chosen and all superbly played and sung. Endearing.
Worth catching them in Brisbane if you’re up that way (or if you’re in UK or Europe in August 2015).
Their local gigs and their European tour schedule are listed on their website. Go see 'em.
(They took away copies of our promotional poster for their scrapbook – no doubt to be neatly pasted between Lebowskis in Glascow and Madame Claude in Berlin. Not too bad a place to sit that.) MB
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Gadjo GuitarsFebruary 01, 2015
Cameron Jones (g),
Nigel Date (g), Peter Fletcher (b).
A packed house for the first gig of the year – and what an arvo of swingin' 30s jazz romps,
romantic ballads injected with delicate solo performances by these classy virtuosi.
Lots of quips from Mr Date ("... when we arrived in Lismore and saw no one in the streets, we thought geez, this is gonna be shithouse...) had the audience in raptures before a string was plucked. Classic.
Their music moves, to quote Cameron Jones, from “bright and happy to dark and spooky”.

Bright and happy, yes, dark and spooky maybe, but in a mysterious blue-mood Parisian way,
and all wonderfully enjoyable and very easy to listen to. Even the jokes.
And the deserted streets of Lismore? Everybody was at the City Bowlo. MB
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Trombone Kellie and the Muddy RoadersNovember 30, 2014
Kellie Barnett (t), Scrubby Pete (g & v), Hilton Fatt (bj), Michel Voets (b & v),
Derek Siddon (t), Matt Elliott (d & wb)
.
A rorty afternoon of Blazz Swing and a great end-of-season gig!
Passionate vocals, raunchy horns & swinging guitar with laughs abounding, sit-in musos
and a whole swag of jazz CDs, wine and Chrissy hampers being won in the breaks.
Wonderful banter (both oral and instrumental) between Scrubby Pete and TK peppered with Derek's muted horn and all backed by a driving rhythm section.
And it was kinda nice hearing a washboard and the occassional cow bell during those stomps!
It’s what Chrissy parties should be and what the Jazz Club is all about.
MB
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Maroon Jazz Quartet – October 26, 2014
Ben Cox (d), Fred Cole (p), Hans Lovejoy (b & v) Royden Ainsworth (s).
As soon as the first sensuous note issued from Roy's tenor, the audience knew they where in for a treat.
The trio were a perfect backdrop for Roy's masterful playing both during solos and playing the heads.
Roy and Fred have indeed played together many times over a long period and it could be heard
in their empathetic interaction. Fred played some wonderful solos as well as contributing some of his own pieces. Hans was worked to his knuckles at times and delivered great backings as well as melodic, virtuosic solos. Ben was characteristically sensitive in support, and certainly created a few memorable solo moments
when he grabbed the opening. Maroon was indeed a cool band for a hot arvo. PF
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Sharny Russell and Elizabeth Lord – September 28, 2014
With Dave Sanders (d), Steve Russell (p), Jack Thorncraft (b), and John Hoffman (fl).
A wonderful afternoon of sophisticated listening pleasure.
Delightful singing by Sharny Russell and Liz Lord with their characteristic sprinkling of anecdotes about musicians and singers they’d met, played with or were simply inspired by. Australia’s first lady of jazz, Kerrie Biddell, who sadly left the stage in early September, received a special mention with a tribute piece introduced by friend John Hoffman. The jazz songbook, the scat singing, the delicate solos, it was all there.

And the ladies concurred – this was an ‘unrehearsed’ session from musicians who enjoy
‘getting together’ for these sorts of tribute shows. The four gentlemen nod in agreement.
But they have been rehearsing, playing together in various line-ups and blends for decades.
They listen, they improvise, and they certainly enjoy themselves. So did we. MB
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