My trip to Bennet’s Lane to see an incredibly progressive set from Chris Dave and the Drumhedz inspired me. I don’t know whether it was the fact that it wasn’t my usual type gig, or whether it was the fact that I was able to sit down right near the front of the stage, but it stood out—something that I haven’t experienced in a long, long time.
But it wasn’t just Dave’s unbelievable drumming that I was most impressed with, rather the tightness and band as a whole; even if you didn’t like the music, you couldn’t help but be impressed by it. In short: these guys didn’t live up to the ‘wanker’ stereotype purported by jazz-haters (read: most people) the world over. Just four extremely capable musicians sharing a humble stage. And having a great time doing it.
They performed as part of the 2014 Melbourne International Jazz Festival, which formed part of a slew of performances by headline Australian and international artists, free concerts, late night art parties, and so so much more.
Last week saw a plethora of other equally abled musicians around town this month, with Charles Lloyd, Chick Corea, Derek Hodge, Gary Burton, Chris Turner, Mary Stallings and an abundance of local, up and coming acts tearing up venues across the CBD.
Ever head (or uttered) the phrase “I don’t really get jazz?” Great, that makes the two of us. But following that Bennett’s Lane gig, I can definitely see myself heading to more. And I think you should too (and so does that Sexy MF, Prince).
Here’s a little mixtape compiled of previous performances from this year’s headliners, giving you a taste of the type of traditional and progressive talent you should come to expect from “those jazz people”.
Chris Dave and The Drumhedz at Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Finals
Derek Hodge ‘We Live Today’ (ft. Common)
Mary Stallings & Trio ‘Old Devil Moon’ @ Chivas Jazz Festival (2003)
Gary Burton – Las Vegas Tango
Joshua Redman ‘Jazz Crimes’ (live)
Daniel Zamir ‘Seventeen Eight’
Chris Turner ‘LiquidLOVE’
Django Bates ‘Three Architects Called Gabrielle’
By Evan Young
Image courtesy of the Fox Network.