Live Review: UNESCO International Jazz Day - The Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge

1 May 2012 | 6:37 pm | Olivia Gardner

This Monday gone was the first ever International Jazz Day. While celebrations of the art were taking place globally, Perth jazz aficionados gathered at The Ellington for an evening of local jazz musicians. It wasn't Herbie Hancock who played, since unfortunately he was booked at the official celebration concert in Paris. However, The Ellington lined up 13 musicians that played an immaculate show for the evening. The atmosphere, much like the crowd that had gathered, was intimate. The WAAPA 3rd Year Jazz Ensemble opened the evening's entertainment with a set of three self-composed pieces. The group of students played exceptionally well, the only issue being that the guitarist looked a little catatonic for the mood of the compositions. Following this group, the eight-piece band Blowfish took the stage featuring Allira Wilson on vocals, two saxophonists, a trombone, trumpet, piano, bass and percussion. Amongst the songs the band played was an up-tempo version of The Way You Look Tonight that featured amazing brass, percussion and piano solos. Dodgy Blues was another notable piece, simply because what is a night of jazz without a little scat and some walking bass? As the crowd thinned and the final set was underway, we witnessed some more amazing solo work, notably one by bassist Karl Florisson and another, possibly the favourite of the night, by saxophonist Carl Mackey. Graham Wood, pianist for the evening and owner of The Ellington, anticipates an incredible three day festival of international musicians for the celebration of International Jazz Day in 2013, and this was a dang good start.