Talented: Harry Sutherland Trio and Jessica Carlton. Photo: Scott Burgess Photo: Scott Burgess
Harry Sutherland Trio
Foundry 616, September 20
A day that began with the funeral of the one and only Bernie McGann continued to be inauspicious for Sydney saxophonists when a damaged hand forced Dale Barlow to withdraw from this performance by his own band.
Harry Sutherland (piano), Noel Mason (bass) and Tim Geldens (drums) went ahead without their leader, periodically joined by Melbourne trumpeter Jessica Carlton. It was an opportunity to hear new blood on the local jazz scene display their talents at a fine new venue.
Among the players nearly all the requisite skills were in evidence, including musicality, an instinct for avoiding imposing themselves on the music and a lightness in the enunciation of rhythms.
While everyone had a fire-making instrument in his or her hands, no one was quite brave enough to ignite the music, mainly drawn from the heart of the standard repertoire: Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Bud Powell and more.
However, to leap the next stage of development - not so much as musicians but as artists - these players must be prepared to play with fire a little and, at the very least, stoke up the energy levels.
Beyond that lies the more dangerous option of burning the accumulated musical knowledge itself and striking out into uncharted territory. Sutherland, Mason, Geldens and Carlton all showed flashes of being good enough to do it - if they are bold enough.
The Dale Barlow Quartet plays at Foundry 616 on Friday.