Orange Winter Jazz Festival – John Shand | Music & Other Spheres 26/9/2023,
The Sandy Evans/Andrew Robson Quartet members are close to Oz jazz royalty, essentially coming from the same generation as The Necks. Evans has been among the country’s preeminent tenor and soprano players for 40 years, while Robson has been a scalding and imaginative alto player for a decade less. In bassist Brett Hirst and drummer Hamish Stuart they have a rhythm section that can cruise like a Cadillac or bellow like a Harley Davidson, and, however loose the music becomes, this pair has a way of keeping it wedded to the hips and toes.
Some of the original pieces fizzed with rhythmic witticisms, while “The Tea Horse Road” had Robson on descant recorder and Stuart drumming with his hands, the whole building in intensity to a coarsegrained soprano solo from Evans. “Call to the Waning Moon” combined desperate cries from both saxophones, and especially a”ecting was an Evans tribute to the late Aboriginal singer/songwriter, Archie Roach: a piece with a slight Scottish accent and ardent solos over a slow 3/4. Where many bands look for ways to carve a niche, this one is simply at ease in its own musical skin.
Read more from John Shand on his blog Music & Othere Spheres.
Photo by Grant Leslie