Marian Poole, Piano Teacher and Music Critic.

New Directions in Jazz - Subject2change

In an exciting initiative Marimba player Pedro Carneiro tested the sound world and off-the-cuff improvisational skills of local jazz group "Subject2Change" before a full house at the Albany Street Studios last night. Fluctuations between blatant 4 beat rhythms and melodic romantic lines fused with a pointillist sound world. Here Webern and Schoenberg got-a-life with Corea, Jarrett, Weather Report and Sandborn.

Opening with something which could in part have been prepared earlier but also harked of an orchestra warming up, the group moved into improvising on requests from the audience. A three-note theme turned into a successful conversation where no one player dominated and everyone had something worthwhile to say. The quick-witted and clever drummer, Paul McLennon-Kissel lead the third piece in a surprisingly tuneful manner. The phases with Carneiro on xylophone and marimba and drums was truly inspired.

A miniature duet between bass, played by Rob Burns, and drums was also a highlight. What was said to be a world premiere duet between oboe, played by Nick Cornish, and marimba proved a highly sensual combination which should be explored further. The fourth number based on a two-note theme relied heavily on character derived from harmonies and rhythm and some absent moments. The sixth piece lead by keyboard player, Trevor Coleman, went into some wonderful chaos. The seventh with bass lead, trumpet, played by Trevor Coleman, and xylophone had some great phases of rhythmic cohesion and disintegration. Backups and occasional lead phases also came from Dan Bendrups playing horn and trombone, and Dave Harrison playing guitar.

Closing with a little-something-they-prepared earlier, Subject2change is a clever and well-versed line-up of some of Dunedin's best musicians. With the new jazz direction from Carneiro, they meandered vigorously, tangentially and at times into minimalism before inspiration kicked in again for a convincing come-back. A great show and yes - more please.