[MUSIC/Guitar ~ AUS]
Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, Sat 23 Jul.
This was definitely a performance for Jazz aficionados and not just for guitar buffs – the musicianship was world class throughout! Starting the evening is Isola and a band including guitarist Cameron Deyell, Laurence Pike (drums, percussion and cueing backing tracks) and Jasper Leek (upright piano, synth, bass guitar and gong). The tracks were very much driven by Pike’s percussion – who is a virtuoso in his own right! He is one of those percussionists who refuse to play the same drum line to any two bars which gave way for plenty of foot-tapping variety!
Then there’s the added decoration by Cameron Deyell and Laurence Pike; this was a performance of Deyell/Pike collaborations written for their Adelaide Guitar Festival 2020, which was COVID delayed until today. Deyell played a 335-style semi-acoustic and a Maton Diesel 12 – both through a very large and well used pedal rack (he also had a straight electric on stage, but the track using this got cut due to time constraints). Deyell’s playing was very much about the pedals; distortion, feedback and at times was approaching the sonic space that I would normally associate with some of Robert Fripp’s experimentations. Jasper Leek was noted for as much as what he played as the space he allowed – he fit into the Deyell/Pike collaboration seamlessly.
The second half featured the compositions of James Muller (guitar), Nick Sinclair (bass) and Dave McEvoy (electric piano) ably accompanied by Gordon Rytmeister on percussion, in an outfit called Out Of Sinc. This was less experimental and more along the lines of modern jazz. Muller played a single guitar for the whole set and hardly touched his pedal-board. He had the sound he wanted and enough variety simply through his playing styles for what he wanted to achieve and certainly nobody in the audience had any problems with that approach whatsoever!
Nick Sinclair played both four and five-string bass with effortless ease demonstrating why he is one of the most sought after and well-regarded session bass player going around. Dave McEvoy also contributed, composition-wise, to the gig and the different compositional styles added important flavours to the set-list. Many of the tracks featured solos by one or more of the musicians and they were each applauded liberally by the audience, as is the way in jazz performance.
The musicians of Out Of Sinc are legends of Australian jazz, as acknowledged by Deyell earlier in the evening – he got share a stage with some of his all-time heroes from when he was fresh, young and a jazz student himself! The audience felt the same way – this was a hushed audience ready to immerse themselves in some masterful performance and we weren’t let down!