We knew tonight was going to be a good one. After all, this was Dave and The Duck.
Dave Spicer at the piano. John Conley on bass. Rodney Ford on drums. Three superb musicians enjoying their music. Having fun. Doing it brilliantly. Captivating a Thursday night audience with pure, beautiful, on-the edge Jazz.
Dave has long been a fan of Galapagos Duck, of which, John and Rod are the core…the Rhythm Section. But until tonight, they had never had the pleasure of playing together.
And so, a classy combination of talent and great Jazz tunes was even further elevated by the exquisite, tingling tension that comes with playing together for the first time. And that they did it soooo well.
Yes, we were expecting a memorable night at the Brisbane Jazz Club. And you were good, guys. Seamless. A class act. It was also the first night of a 4-day, 5-gig tour of South East Queensland. Great start.
But sorry. Tonight, you were the support act. The backing band.
Because, unbeknown to most of us, tonight was to unveil a surprise package; a gift that would be slowly and lovingly unwrapped on our Covid-safe stage, (with its floor taped to ensure that performers are all safely distanced from the audience).
That gift was a talented group of Dave Spicer’s students from The Queensland Conservatorium… The InVoices Ensemble.
There were ten of them, all dressed in stylish black; Beth Ford, Danae Grant, Elizabeth Wentz, Melissa Clark, Claudia Marcus, Alex O’Meally, Alistair Hill, Thomas Pegler, Joshua Correia and Henry Kafoa.
And while their repertoire was originally planned to include the ten-part harmonies they have been practising for months, they quickly adjusted to no-choir Covid conditions; adapting set-list and arrangements to deliver a series of brilliant and beautiful solo, duo, four and five-part performances.
Their songs were the best and most loved of the Jazz classics. Every one of them crafted with love and passion, and a snappy 2020 approach to arrangement and harmony.
And what a joy, to be here to experience this collaboration of the generations. John Conley and Rod Ford, members of Galapagos Duck, a band that has been on the road for 50 years, playing alongside young musicians at the very beginning of their journeys. All under the guidance of Dave Spicer; age-wise, the man in the middle.
Tonight, we saw the future. With their energy, enthusiasm and power, this group of youngsters clearly heralded a changing of the guard.
Yes. The future arrived tonight.
And they may have been socially distanced from their audience, but oh, these young performers reached out across that gap with their talent and their passion…and blew us away!!
Thank you, all of you, for your quality, sensitivity and power. Thank you all, for an unforgettable evening’s entertainment.
And of course, Dave, John and Rod…that includes you.
Brisbane Jazz Club