Yes. It is the sound of a pin dropping.
And a pin dropping is exactly what you could have heard during tonight’s performance by these master musicians from Europe.
The Brisbane Jazz Club is always a respectful, ‘listening’ venue. But this was something else.
It was a Full House, and our temporary new home at the Queensland Russian Community Centre in Woolloongabba was bursting with patrons, tables, drinks and dinner plates. Yet while Jef and Teus, and their guest, David Theak, were on stage, there was an almost total, captivated, mesmerised silence.
So intent was the audience, on listening and appreciating this experience, that even the occasional embarrassed clink of fork on china plate, was enough to send a ripple through the delicate beauty of the moment.
And beautiful it all was.
Tonight, piano virtuoso, Jef Neve, (pronounced Naver), from Ghent in Belgium, and trumpet maestro, Teus Nobel, (pronounced Terse), from Oisterwijk in The Netherlands, brought their world, and their world-class talent, to the Brisbane Jazz Club.
For many of the tunes, they were joined on stage by Brisbane’s own David Theak, on tenor sax. And he slipped oh, so seamlessly, into this top-shelf groove.
As a duo and as a trio, each flawless, individual contribution swirled and danced; splashing colour after colour, shade after shade, from a seemingly inexhaustible palate. Decorating a shared landscape. Producing their Work of Art. Sweet perfection.
Close your eyes, and you were whisked away; invited into a colourful world that their exquisite delivery was evoking and creating.
The Woody Shaw composition, Stepping Stone, was a great example of this phenomenon, when, illuminated in the darkness behind our closed eyes, Jef and Teus had us hopping, dancing and tip-toeing….down a garden path…among the roses…or across a summer pond. At times, in contemplation. At times, scurrying to get to the other side.
And in another of the night’s many inspiring moments, Teus’ Floating, with its early touches of the ethereal from Jef under the lid, plucking the piano strings, drew us irresistibly into a gentle glide along a sweet stream of tingling emotion. Sublime.
So, who are these guys?
Among many talents, Jef Neve is a composer of award-winning movie soundtracks. He has been touring his unique and inspiring interpretations of Jazz, pop and classical music across the globe, for over 15 years.
Teus Nobel, is a leading light on trumpet and flugelhorn, on the Dutch and European Jazz scenes. He has played in more than twenty countries, and was named ‘The future of Jazz’ by Dutch music magazine, Jazzism.
They have been playing together for four years, and they credit part of their success as a duo, to a willingness to live dangerously on stage; trusting their musical ears and taking risks. As Jef says, ‘For us, the magic of playing is in the freedom and the silence. We play in the moment. And never kill the inspiration’.
As a result, they never play the same show twice.
Their guest, David Theak, perfectly at home in this company, has been at the core of the Australian Jazz scene since the 90’s, having performed and recorded with a Who’s Who of local and international Jazz luminaries.
Tonight featured many of their own outstanding compositions, and a couple of Jazz standards, and was complemented by personality-filled anecdotes of shared experience and their love of music. A truly memorable performance. A night of Music for the Soul.
Compliments too, to the discerning and attentive members of the Brisbane Jazz community that were here tonight.
Right up until the encore, you could have heard that pin drop. Until, in the final number, Jef’s ‘It’s Gone’, Teus added a soulful vocal hum….and asked the audience to join in…which we did, enthusiastically.
That, and the rapturous applause, were the only time we heard anything from the floor!!
As a testament to their popularity, after this, their last gig on this Australian tour, they fly back to Europe…and have a gig in Belgium on the night they get home!!
So, Brisbane Jazz fans, there are many nights at the Club that you just don’t want to miss. Sorry if you did, because this was one of them!! But fear not. Plans are already in place to get them back next year. Don’t miss them again!!
Thank you Jef, Teus and David.