Review: Under a delicious spell

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“The Farewell Concert”

Niels Rosendahl
The John Lingard Hall, Canberra Grammar School

Reviewed by Clinton White

AS soon as the amiable jazz saxophonist Niels Rosendahl sat on the edge of the stage and said “good evening” to his large audience – he called us his “community” – I knew we were in for a treat.

He’s off to study at the University of Northern Texas College of Music and this was his farewell concert.

And what a classy gig it was.

Rosendahl had his usual band – drummer Gary France and Luke Sweeting on keys – and gathered a few other friends to play as special guest artists. Rachael Thoms, Rafael Jerjen, Dan McLean, Ben Marston and blues great, Fiona Boyes, along with the Rosendahl trio, all gave performances that would stand their own in any of the world’s greatest jazz venues.

The thoughtfully prepared program included originals, some favourites and a couple of standards. One standard, “Moon River”, Rosendahl had not played in public before, but his duo performance with Luke Sweeting at the piano was brimming with sensitivity, presence and artistry.

Actually, this concert made me despair even more over the philistinistic gutting of the ANU School of Music. Nearly all of the artists were graduates of the School (Gary France teaches there) and, to a person, they wowed the audience with their talent, innovative approaches to the music and musicianship.

From the first note to the last, this concert held the audience under the most delicious spell.

It was a privilege to attend. And, in Texas, Niels Rosendahl will do Canberra proud in every respect.


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