It's often the case that the highlights from Wang that stay long on the mind are the ones that I least expected. And so it was again this year, especially on Sunday. The Hoodangers were a complete revelation to me, featuring a unique combination of old and new music played with a lot of energy and verve. Absolutely breathtaking and a barrel of fun. What a bunch of dills not to bring more CDs (I missed out!). The other personal festival highlight was Adam Simmons and Tony Gould in the Cathedral - the only way to describe this was sublime, utterly sublime. Greening from Ear to Ear were up to their usual high standard. In a rare turn of events I was able to pick the winner of the National Jazz Awards, and it was nice to see an ANU-trained guitarist win. Enrico Rava was again enchanting, both in conversation and in concert. Jeff "Tain" Watts had his mojo back and turned in a powerhouse of percussion. Still, I felt overwhelmed by his and the quartet's perfomance, and a found them a little like a description I once heard of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis: admirable but not necessarily enjoyable.
The Hoodangers (Eugene Ball - trumpet; Ben Gillespie - trombone, vocals; Mal Williams - banjo; Phil Noy - alto sax; Mark Elton - bass; Ollie Browne - drums)
Greening From Ear To Ear (James Greening - trombone, pocket trumpet, tuba & sousaphone; Andrew Robson - alto & baritone sax; Paul Cutlan - tenor sax, clarinet; Gary Daley - accordion, piano; Brett Hirst - bass; Hamish Stuart - drums; Fabian Hevia - percussion)
Sam Keevers Quintet plays the music of Bernie McGann (Sam Keevers - piano; Eugene Ball - trumpet; Phil Noy - alto sax; Chris Hale - bass; Craig Simon - drums)
Tony Gould (piano) and Adam Simmons (saxes, clarinet, shakuhachi) performing in Holy Trinity Cathedral
Hugh Stuckey (guitar), Peter Koopman (guitar), Carl Morgan (guitar), Des White (bass), Ben Vanderwal (drums) performing in the National Jazz Awards Final
Enrico Rava in conversation with Miriam Zolin
Enrico Rava With Papa Carlo (Enrico Rava - trumpet; Niko Schauble - drums; Stephen Magnusson - guitar; Chris Bekker - bass)