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December 2, 2021

World Class Jazz Comes Home

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Mandy Nolan

The Bangalow Bowlo is soon to become a budding blues, soul and rock’n’roll venue, with Sydney’s legendary The Basement’s ex-general manager, Kat Antram making the seachange and jumping on board at the Bowlo. The first show under her watch features David Ades and Tony Malaby (NYC, USA) on Tenor Saxophone, along with Cameron Undy, Bass (Sydney) and Simon Barker, Drums (Sydney). Fresh from performances at the Melbourne International Jazz festival the band is on a mini-tour of the East Coast that will finish in David’s beloved hometown of Bangalow. They will be playing music from the album A Glorious Uncertainty released in 2012 and winner of two 2013 prestigious Australian Jazz Bell awards.

Tony Malaby is David Ades’s favourite living saxophonist. Seven asked him why?

Tony is my favourite saxophonist because he plays with a rare originality, a very beautiful tone that encompasses an endless array of textures and he always plays with his heart on his sleeve. In the present New York musical environment it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t conform to the formulaic way of playing most musicians aspire to. Tony is a fearless improviser, without cliche, always astonishing, always surprising.

How has his approach influenced your playing?

His approach has influenced me to explore a way of playing that encompasses both freedom as an improvisor and melodic expression. I first heard Tony over ten years ago when I got to play with him as a member of Open Loose at the Wangarrata jazz festival, he completely blew me away and inspired me to pursue a much free-er way of playing whether in a free context or not.

Have you changed the way you play since your diagnosis with cancer? (David just returned from his ongoing treatment overseas.)

I think since being diagnosed my playing is more considered, but there’s also an urgency and an immediacy that comes with knowing that life is fragile. I’m also incredibly lucky to be still able to play so I don’t want to waste any notes or opportunities. I’ve been doing whatever a musician does to earn a living for a long time and that includes music that I don’t necessarily like. I’ve finally realised that I can play my own music, stand by it and hopefully be sustained by it as well.


How does music help you make sense of the challenges life has dealt you?

Music has always been for me a meditation on life and a way through any challenge. It provided not only a release but also a deep connection to my inner world and a way of expressing that through improvising.



What should we expect from you and your fellow players at this show?

I am so thrilled to be able to invite these particular players. I think that the music presented will be very fresh and exciting. Tony is really, in my opinion, one of the greatest saxophonists in the world, it is such a rare thing to have someone like him play in Bangalow of all places. It will be amazing for him coming from New York experiencing the warmth and enthusiasm of our great community. Simon Barker is incredible, people up our way would know him from his playing with Vince Jones. He is involved in so many other great projects and is featured in an incredible documentary about his search for a shamanic drummer in Korea called intangible asset no 82. Cameron Undy is my favourite bass player in Australia. Not only does he play the shit out of the bass, he is also a great improvisor and he brings a huge living presence to the music. I am so excited to be doing these gigs with these great players.

Thursday June 13 at the Bangalow Bowling Club.

The gig will start at 8pm, doors open at 7pm. Tickets on the door only, price $25.


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