Monday, January 21, 2019

Mark Lockett Trio at Havana

New Zealand Jazz

Last Thursday night, I made the trek into the city to catch the Mark Lockett Trio at Havana (Lockett (d) Lucien Johnson (ts/ss) Patrick Bleakley (b). It made for a long day but was well worth the effort. It was nice to be up close for two sets of standards, Monk tunes and a couple of originals. In a few months, Lucien will be leaving our shores - make sure you catch while you can.

1st Set
- I Could Write a Book
- Valse Hot
- Loose Motion
- My Ship
- Off Minor

2nd Set
- Bye Ya
- Pannonica
- an original by Patrick Bleakley
- Strode Rode
- Epistrophy 

The car ride home had me thinking a bit. First off... Where was everyone? Wellington can be a bit quiet this time of year - usually it’s back to normal following Anniversary weekend. Of the small crowd, it seemed most people were there incidentally (although they did appreciate it). 

But was I surprised that there wasn’t a solid turnout? Yes and no. Why wouldn’t you go? No cover charge. High quality playing featuring some of Wellington (and New Zealand's) best jazz musicians. Schools out for summer, so maybe that explains the lack of students and faculty. But let’s face it, how many faculty do you see at gigs? But are all the musicians out of town too? (there are some musicians I virtually never see at gigs). And how about the run-of-the-mill jazz fans? (there were a couple present). Do Wellington Jazz Club members attend anything other than club organized concerts? Is it a case of artists being over exposed on a small scene or a lackadaisical attitude from the listeners ("I'll see them next time")? Is 9-11pm too late for a gig on Thursday? As fans and musicians, this is something we need to think about and work on together.

It had been a while since I'd been to Havana Back in the day it was a regular spot for me to check out some live music. It's a nice place to sit and listen to music. Have a cocktail, a beer, or in my case when driving - a pot of tea. But I noticed some changes. Maybe it's less dank and gritty than it used to be. Rose-tinted glasses perhaps, but I feel some of cool factor has diminished? Havana need to cut the crappy music between/before/after the sets. It really kills the vibe. At least they could play some cuban music. How about having the musicians pick some tracks to spin? In Chicago, I enjoyed the DJ sets on jazz nights at The Hideout - each week a different musician would DJ before the gig and during set breaks too. 

I’m guilty myself of not attending more live shows. Living well over an hour drive from the city makes me pick and choose more than I would like to. Gone of the days are just popping out after dinner, teaching, or practicing and grabbing a set. If I'm coming straight from work, sometimes it's just not possible to get in without missing half the gig. And when it’s a 3.5 hr round trip (from work) to catch a single set, that’s a bit rough. But I want to get organized so I can catch more live music. Maybe I can set the example! 

New Zealand Jazz

No comments: