Building on its reputation of Manouche Jazz capital of Australia, the Brisbane Jazz Club welcomed Gadjo Guitars on Friday.
This Sydney trio did not try to dazzle us with gimmicks and slick showmanship. They didn’t need to. The uber talented musicians gave an enthralled audience a wonderful show that was as unassuming as jamming in your living room at home. Not at all pretentious, just relaxed, authentic and easy.
This band is tight and it is clear that they have been performing together for a while. Nigel Date is a well known figure in the Gypsy Jazz scene and has been a regular at the annual BJC OzManouche festival each November. With Jose Zarb and Cameron Jones, there was definitely some Gypsy magic being created on stage.
Local Manouche legends Ewan McKenzie (guitar) and Dan Cosgrove (clarinet and vocals) joined the gig for the second set and took the gig to an even higher level.
The evening did not stray too far from loved Manouche favourites, with pieces like All of Me and Minor Swing being particular audience favourites. The tunes were held together by good humour and banter which added to the wonderfully intimate vibe.
At the end of a hard week and the evening before the craziness of a state election it was blissful to hear loved music, nothing inaccessible or challenging, played beautifully by musicians with great technical expertise and passion for their art.
A good gig can be distinguished by the quiet respect that is given to the musicians by the audience. On Friday night you could have heard a pin drop. Except at the end of each piece when the audience exploded into applause.
You can’t help but love BJC. This community based volunteer club just keeps on delivering excellence in music and performance across the broad spectrum of jazz (and even straying into blues and world music), and all the joy that goes along with that.