It was a busy Friday night at the Library with yet another glorious gig offered by the Wellington Jazz Cooperative featuring an international guest.

Alexander Brott, a Swedish/Canadian guitarist from New York, shared his hearty tunes and skilled riffs with an appreciative audience. Louisa Williamson on saxophone, Seth Boy on upright bass, and Mark Locket behind the drum kit completed the quartet.

Brott comes from a family of prominent musicians. Although his heritage was classical music, he chose jazz. After graduating from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, Brott quickly conquered the Swedish jazz scene. He then moved on to New York, where he has lived ever since. Currently on “paternity” leave, he is traveling the world with his young family.

While wandering around New Zealand, he stopped by Wellington for a couple of days to share his beautiful guitar work.

The first set was all Brott tunes: various genres and moods, touching melodies, and moving rhythms. You can check out his latest album here.

The second set featured familiar standards, but Brott’s playing poured new meaning into them, a strange viscosity one could almost feel as the music ebbed and flowed into the audience’s eager ears.

As usual, I savoured the contributions of Seth and Mark —virtuosic solos, jazzy and groovy—but Louisa really touched my heart that night. A frequent member of numerous ensembles, she is often around, but I hadn’t had the luck to hear her solos until the Brott Quartet gig: thoughtful, skilful, original, touching. It was a real joy to listen to what she had to say.

Yes, we are far from the rest of the world and rarely have guests. But maybe it makes them more precious and enjoyable? And thanks again to Mark for the job he is doing with Wellington Jazz Cooperative. Have little free time and want a guaranteed awesome night out? Then definitely check WJC’s events page.

By Charlie Queen