GIG REVIEW : BARNEY McALL: FORCE FIELD
Formal / tertiary education has become an essential part of a young musician’s development these days. But nothing beats the education a young musician can acquire on the bandstand, learning from and interacting with more experienced musicians.
Melbourne pianist Barney McAll credits a great deal of his musical growth to the lessons he learned onstage with elders like Allan Browne and Vince Jones, and then when he moved to the States, bandleaders like Billy Harper, Gary Bartz and Fred Wesley. What goes around, comes around. It was pleasing to see McAll in the role of mentor now, his band Force Field featuring three very talented young musicians in Theo Carbo (guitar), Paddy Fitzgerald (bass) and Dom Stitt (drums). Another significant young talent, Paul Cornelius, normally plays the saxophone with them, but was unavailable for this gig. Tim Wilson depped for him, nailing the music as if he had been part of the band for months.
There was no suggestion of this being a ‘P Plates’ lineup, they presented McAll’s aural vision as accurately as any more experienced combination could want to. Even so, you could see them following McAll’s leads and cues : Fitzgerald sensing the note to be given extra emphasis in a slow, recurring line ; Carbo knowing what effects pedals to employ when, and understanding when to merge in and out of the ensemble, or to lay out altogether; Stitt understanding when to provide a quiet clattering in the background, when to hit the snare hard, and when to hit it even harder.
McAll led the way with piano solos that could be dense and exciting, perhaps riding a surging wave of Afro-cuban rhythm, or delicate and lyrical ; not to mention synth patterns and interjections that seemed intended to ensure his bandmates didn’t become too comfortable. A highlight of the first set was his solo rendition of the spiritual, ‘Deep River’.
The second set featured a guest appearance from London-based vocalist Daniel Merriweather, who was on McAll’s recent album, ‘Hearing The Blood’. He began with a gospel song that hit the emotional bulls-eye from the outset, some of his falsetto excursions tingling the spine, raising neck-hairs. His vocalising on an extended exploration of ‘Hearing The Blood’ was equally commanding and emotive, both inspiring and supported by spirited contributions from everyone else onstage.
Most Barney McAll gigs fit the ‘special event’ category these days. But I would rate this one as even more special than most.
Adrian Jackson was the jazz critic for The Age from 1979-1999. Other publications he has written about jazz for include Rhythms, The Bulletin, Limelight, Australasian Jazz, The Wire and Down Beat.
Albare Featured On The Cover Of Smooth Jazz Magazine (USA)
Smooth Jazz is the industry 'bible' for the extensive network of radio stations and CD labels that specialise in music categorised as 'contemporary' or 'smooth' jazz in the USA.
FRANK GAMBALE SOULMINE: FINESSE PLUS GUSTO
Expatriate Australian guitar ace Frank Gambale returns to Bird’s Basement with his project Soulmine featuring Boca for the international launch of their new album ‘Salve’.
EP. 20 DISCOVER SARAH MACLAINE - A TASMANIAN TREASURE
Albare interviewing beautiful Sarah Maclaine live on stage at Bird's Basement Melbourne
EP.19 THE VIRGIL DONATI TRIBUTE TO HIS FRIEND ALLAN HOLDSWORTH
This is the first episode of the New Live video podcast of The Bird's Basement Show. Previously the show was produced just as an audio podcast. This episode features Albare interviewing Virgil Donati and Alex Machacek. Virgil shares stories about his
Ep. 19 The Virgil Donati tribute to his friend Allan Holdsworth
Albare / Virgil Donati / Alex Machacek We have recorded this episode live at Bird's Basement just before the first show of the residency of Virgil Donati and his all stars band. They have all been touring with Allan Holdsworth. In this episode Virgil shares
Ep. 17 The world of Pablo Bencid
Meet Pablo Bencid. Pablo was born and raised in Caracas Venezuela. He now lives in New York with his wife and 2 children. His passion is music, more particularly the drums. In this episode you will hear what it is like to live a life of musical passion as a
Ep. 16 The Journey of Tom Guarna
In this episode Thom Guarna speaks out about a personal challenged that has impacted his life and how he has overcome it. We all have experiences in life that shape our character but few of us have to go through the kind that Thom had to go through and still
Ep. 15 Samuel Torres, "the Masters of Tone"
Samuel Torres from Bogota Colombia, now living in New York, is a percussionist/composer for exceptional quality. His talent extends to picking up great musicians to interpret his music. In this episode he tells us how he grew up in Bogota and his move to New
Ep. 14 The rise and rise of Gaby Moreno
Singer and multiple Grammy award nominee Gaby Moreno immigrated from Nicaragua to the US at a young age, having fallen in love with American culture. She has already been able to inspire hundred of thousands of people of her generation, as a Hispanic she stands for immigration
Allan Harris lights the house on fire
Allan Harris surely has one of the warmest voices on the planet.
AXEL REDEFINES LATIN JAZZ
An exciting artist who belongs to a school of musicians for whom taking risks is part of the every day
Bird’s Basement brings you the European Jazz Summer to warm up your Melbourne Winter nights.
Don’t mis Australian debut of Joey De Francesco for the very first time playing in Australia