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Caxton St Jazz Band

Australian jazz legends Caxton Street Jazz Band declared their 36th anniversary last night and reflected on their 70’s upbringing at Baroona Hall on Caxton Street. Also a number of the musicians celebrating 70th birthdays this year, more than half of their lives with their band. What a story!

Certainly no strangers to the Brisbane Jazz Club, they filled the place as usual, with devotees making the CSJB gig a weekend destination from homes as far away as Warwick, Toowoomba and Emerald. Plenty of others in the audience who had not experienced CSJB before (or the Brisbane Jazz Club for that matter) including a number of young American boys from USS George Washington (they were happy to chat to anyone who wanted to listen about the 80 planes and 4.5 acres of deckspace on this aircraft carrier). Kinda special that these boys had decided to spend their last night of shore leave at BJC and told us it was the most enjoyable night they had had in a long time.

CSJB may come often, but they always seem to manage to sound fresh. Happy, joyous, traditional music that is accessible and familiar, played with enthusiasm and style by seasoned musicians. You can tell they are longtime friends with each other as well as half the audience. Makes the BJC feel as comfortable as your favourite armchair.

All musicians are consummate professionals and it was hard to identify any one that stood out over the others, but as always it was Bob Mair’s washboard performance that brought the house down. Bob was loving the limelight and put on a stirling performance with this lowest tech but much loved instrument. yYu could have had a solo with an instrument worth tens of thousands of dollars but i still think the humble washboard would have captivated last night’s crowd the most.

The full house of about 120, plus a further 20 in a party on the deck were warm and generous in their applause, and friends meeting friends kept the bar going well after the music had finished.  Happy and relaxed patrons left the club … even if you were not a fan of CSJB’s style of music your could not help but feel good and be grateful for a fine night of entertainment.

The Brisbane Jazz Club came into its own as being a great place to meet old friends, make a few new ones, have a nice meal and a few drinks and listen to jazz played in the traditional style with passion, ease and good humour. Thats what a being a club means to me……2/08/13 David H.