This gig, a shooting star: beautiful, brilliant, and brief—as will this review of necessity be.
Because of events overlapping, the show on 8 April 2022 at the Whirinaki Whare Taonga was cut short, although we were still able to witness this convergence of suns, even if only for a moment.
The stars in question were Umar Zakaria on bass, Duncan Haynes on piano, and Shaun Anderson on drums. In their own take on Father Ted—these are small, those are far away—the band began as if from a distance, gradually growing nearer and nearer (or is it bigger and bigger?) until their true proportion became apparent to all. Then they enveloped the audience with sound, lifting us and carrying us away for a moment or two of bliss in the stately pleasure-dome of Xanadu. Or was it the land of Oz? No matter.
Wherever we went, the three musical magicians cast their spells left, right, and center, shooting shards of light from the drums, strings of pearls from the piano, and deep red rubies from the bass. The crowd chatted amiably amongst themselves as the music soared around and above them, permitting all to observe in awe, to imbibe the enchantment, and to drift on the vibrations of real jazz.
If you think that’s too vague a description, then do yourself a favour and come hear it for reals next time. What a tease it all was! I await with bated breath their next trip to this small, blue planet, and pray that on their subsequent visits they can stick around a bit longer…
By Charlie Queen