Victoria Newton at The Ellington Jazz Club

Wow! What a performer!

But this is something I already knew, having been to Victoria’s Farewell gig at the Perth Hyatt something like 17 years ago, just before she moved to the UK. And I have dim memories of her playing clarinet when we were both at UWA.

The Ellington is new to me, it’s a great venue and quite cheap. Very well thought-out, you can sit at tables or pay less and stand at the bar. I did neither—simply couldn’t stand still with such exciting music, so I practically danced at the bar. While the music’s on you are not allowed to talk (if you must chat, you can go upstairs where the show is on a plasma screen or something like that), which is really good.

This is the email I sent to Victoria:

“Just wanted to say I really enjoyed the gig at the Ellington last Saturday. You had me moving to the music the whole time, I never stood still. That’s pretty good, considering I don’t dance.

Strange to observe, though, that most of the audience didn’t move to the music. I always thought that was a peculiarly classical audience thing (I rarely attend jazz performances). What is it with some people? Why don’t they tap their feet or something?

And what a wonderful programme you devised, absolutely inspired. The slow blues number by Ella someone [not Fitzgerald] really hit the spot, wonderfully sung and just at the right point in the programme (such a perfect contrast after the other, off-the-beaten track numbers). The other blues, Humdrum or something, was another highlight.

You may have almost converted me to jazz!! And Tal [Cohen, pianist], OMG, what an improviser!”

They were all great improvisors: piano, string bass, guitar, drums, vocals.


Kathy Corecig’s site

Bumped into Kathy Corecig (nee Potter), viola player, at Zenith Music the other day. Hadn’t seen her for years. I was accompanying a couple of string players and she had a couple of students playing there, in the Catholic Schools Festival of Performing Arts. Apparently, they have 1800 participants!

Anyway, Kathy is a composer and plays in several ensembles. On her very original-looking website you can see videos with her film music scores. She’s a wonderful musician and with one of her groups, Viola Dana, she’s put music to lots of old silent movies. ‘The General’ by Buster Keaton is a lot of fun. See