REVIEW: Lost in The Jac

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The Jac, one of the most exciting music ensembles to come to Tauranga, combines all I love about jazz. 

Playing at the Graham Young Youth Theatre on Sunday night, they were New York, they were Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London's Soho, chamber music, a bit of big band, pure flowing art, and essentially kiwi. 

If you could close your eyes and see a herd of deer running along a mountainside, weaving in and out of each other, this is what their music is like, for me.

Leaping streams and hollows, merging as one then flowing off into twos and threes, over hillocks and around boulders, its many voices and it's one voice. Blending and diverting, streaming and syncopated. 

The Jac is an eight-piece ensemble featuring some of New Zealand's foremost musicians.

Members of the group include Matthew Allison, associate principal trombonist in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Shaun Anderson, drummer for prominent metal bands Saving Grace and Depths.

Completing the line-up are Alexis French, ex Black Seeds and leader of the Richter City Rebels, on trumpet; Nick Tipping, bass; Chris Buckland, tenor saxophone; Daniel Millward on piano; Callum Allardice, guitarist and Jake Baxendale, one of Wellington's most respected composers. 

Their programme of exciting originals was derived from two of their albums plus a new piece not yet recorded.

Sons of Thunder, Andalucia, and Anomoly came from their award-winning album 'The Green Hour'.  

Thieves in the night, Major major major in A minor, and Marik are from their album Nerve. And they treated us to a new composition called Velvet Dreams. 

The Jac are on a NZ-wide tour from Warkworth to Invercargill as part of Chamber Music New Zealand's Encompass regional tour.



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Christmas lilies. Photo: Graham Woodhead.

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