MIJF: Moons of Jupiter

Last Saturday I was lucky enough to get a ticket to see the performance of the recent work by Paul Grabowsky, Moons of Jupiter (as part of the 20th Melbourne International Jazz Festival). The audience was taken on a trip to visit several moons, accompanied by Scott Tinkler on (trumpet) Scott McConnachie (alto sax), Philip Rex (bass), Dave Back (drums), Peter Knight (laptop) with none other than Paul Grabowsky at the helm (that is, on the piano). All were a stand out, but particular mention has to go to Tinkler who managed to make his trumpet produce sounds I never thought possible.

All the moons/acts were exquisitely beautiful, and each one of them could be perfectly enjoyed as a complete standalone composition. My favourite would have to be ‘Callisto’. When introducing the composition, it came with a warning from Grabowsky, “ladies and gentlemen strap up; we are going on a ride to Callisto”. Dutifully I closed my eyes and prepared to depart…The journey started very slowly, with strange otherworldly sounds, mysterious and hypnotic. Gradually the fantastical landscape began to emerge and the ride began to pick up speed. It then very quickly escalated into a complete frenzy and ended abruptly with a “bang”. What an incredible experience!

Moons of Jupiter is a work of monumental proportions and represents an extreme level of technical difficulty, which the troupe pulled off perfectly. It requires musicians of the highest calibre, and none of the gang disappointed. The sextet comprised of outstanding musicians, each and every one of them an accomplished performer in their own right and deserving of all their respective accolades. Their collaboration resulted in an astounding performance. Thank you for an unforgettable trip!

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