In introducing his combo, Dan described them as ‘Four young gentlemen and me, the old guy’. I smiled in noting that, for this old guy reviewer, ‘FIVE YOUNG gentlemen’, would have been a far more accurate description.
‘Old’ Dan, who led the band with his trumpet, explained that his father brought him to the Brisbane Jazz Club for the first time, when he was ten. ‘I’ve loved the music and this place ever since’.
Of course, he has been back many times.
Tonight it was in the company of Tyler Cooney on guitar, Alex Price on tenor sax, Blake Lonie on Double Bass and Christopher Evans on drums; all graduates of Brisbane’s Jazz Music Institute, (JMI), where Dan is Head of School.
Yes, Dan is the oldest. And yes, the other four were much younger. But oh, what a combination of talent and skill these young men proved to be. With a surprising maturity, they stroked and caressed each phrase out of their instruments. In a solo or in a blend, the touch and precision of their delivery were outstanding.
A flawless collaboration. A masterful performance. And super cool.
And when instruments speak to you with this level of sensitivity and intimacy, vocalists need not apply.
All this from a combination that was playing together as a quintet for the first time tonight!!
It occurred to me, that if I was looking for a gig to represent THE definitive Brisbane Jazz Club experience; one which absolutely says, ‘This is Brisbane’s Home of Live Jazz’; then tonight’s quality musicianship and sparkling set list would certainly have this band among the top contenders.
And what a set list it was. A pastiche of styles, tempos and tunes, which BJC President, Paul Day, waxing lyrical, described as ‘A bubbling stream. Flowing on. Exciting’.
And flow it did. A fabulous musical journey from note one, tune one; threading a path with colour, shade and variation, and many stops and highlights along the way.
Music and styles visited included Kenny Burrell, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and Thelonious Monk. And as a bonus, we were treated to a couple of Dan’s own stirring compositions.
As always, the backdrop to this flowing, sultry summer night’s journey was our lazy, cruisy, black and shiny Brisbane River, drifting past the picture windows that framed the band. Perfectly in synch with the mood that these skilled and entertaining musicians were creating and sharing.
This was a night on which everyone in the grateful audience would have happily stayed on, going with that flow, into the wee hours of the morning.
This was five fine young gentlemen. Five consummate musicians.
This was Dan Quigley and four new young names to remember and look out for.
This was a Five Star Night at the Brisbane Jazz Club.
Sorry if you weren’t here. You missed a really good one.
Brisbane Jazz Club