29 June 2014 was a day of firsts. It was: Zephyrs Jazz’s first performance in the Four Winds Windsong Pavilion; The Alister Spence Trio’s first performance on the NSW Far South Coast; and the first public performance in Four Winds new indoor performance space. The audience enthusiasm level was first rate too.
Alister, Lloyd and Toby showed us just why they are among Australia’s most acclaimed jazz musicians. They took us on a musical adventure, starting with a simple drone-backed two-finger piano meditation in ‘Arc’, then charging straight into a crazy, impossible chase in ‘Flight Plan’, then back to a meditative start on ‘Felt’, which in turn morphed into a phase of lyrical, almost classic piano trio playing, but with eerily tinkling glockenspiel, then on to a catchy, driving groove on ‘Brave Ghost’. And so on, through five more pieces until we came to a sort of energetic rest, under a swimming pool in Rajasthan, in the concluding ‘Sleep Under Water’. It was ‘jazz’, but much more besides. The audience also appreciated Alister’s introduction to each piece.
So the Trio was an ideal band to provide the first full ‘test’ of Four Winds’ brilliant new performance space. The music was only lightly amplified, but it filled the room effortlessly; and the Pavilion allowed us to hear perfectly all of the rich and varied sounds created by this highly acoustic group of musicians. The Trio, too, was impressed by the venue. In Alister’s words, ‘it was a joy to play in the beautiful Windsong Pavilion. This is one of those rare spaces: an excellent recital hall for un-amplified music that can also cope with audio reinforced sound and a drum kit, while still retaining clarity and an ‘acoustic’ feel.’
After the concert our audience enjoyed Zephyrs’ traditional chat with the musicians and each other over drinks and fine, locally prepared finger foods, while some who had arrived early had already enjoyed picnic lunches on the lawns at Four Winds’ beautiful site.