Foundry 616, with its dark red walls, atmospheric jazz photos on the walls and the lights turned low, was the scene for a passionate performance from THIS WORLD, a band comprised of four of Australia’s finest jazz musicians. Presented by SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association), the band comprises Mike Nock on piano, Julien Wilson on sax, Jonathan Zwartz on bass and Hamish Stuart on drums.
The first set opened with an attention grabbing chord from Mike Nock on one of his own compositions before the band settled into some smooth combinations and innovative solos, neatly brought together with Hamish Stuart’s brush work.
The first set was made up of four songs, one composition from each of the four band members. This egalitarian approach also allowed the individual members to display their individual approaches to music. It also provided some genuinely interesting variations in styles. Julien Wilson’s song was titled LTD, which stands for “lock down town.” It’s a concept that has recently been prominent in our lives for a significant amount of time.
Their latest album is ANOTHER DANCE and two other tracks, HEADLAND by Hamish Stuart and WINTER by Jonathon Swartz, also featured in the first set. These songs featured some atypical melodies and rhythms held together by seemingly effortless bass and drums. This is serious, high quality improvised music.
The music in their second set was more approachable and started with the quaintly named and rollicking OLD’S COOL. The title of the second song of the set, AND IN THE NIGHT COMES RAIN, is taken from a Bertolt Brecht poem, HALF IN MY SLEEP. Jonathan Zwartz almost apologetically read the poem. The beautiful poem added to the richness of the evening’s entertainment.
RIVERSIDE, written by Julien Wilson, was a highlight of the night. Written after a Sunday morning walk in Harlem and inspired by a gospel choir with feelings evoking Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin this small four piece band produced a big sound, powerful and redolent of Harlem and its music. The band returned to slower and gentler song, THIS WORLD, and finished well with an encore, THE DREAM.
Foundry 616 has again provided a venue for high quality jazz. THIS WORLD’s next gig is in Melbourne and their albums are available from Lionsharerecords.