Monday, February 07, 2005


Notes from seeing the Daniel Susnjar Quartet at the Hyde Park Hotel, Monday February 7th 2005, as recorded on the back of a Dewson’s receipt I found in my wallet.

Before they even play a note, points off for indulging in my Pet Hate of Jazz – not dressing up. Time was when jazz musicians of every stripe wore suits, unless they were chanteuses, in which case they wore slinky cocktail dresses. Half of these guys are wearing T-shirts, for goodness sakes! They look like they just came in from working on the car. I’m wearing a suit, and I’m not even the one who’s getting paid for this gig!

The keyboard player does little hip thrusts as he plays… presumably to keep in the groove. This is disconcerting in a slobby, overweight, middle-aged man. He looks like a large, slightly drunk, slightly annoyed hobbit.

The bass guitarist is a guy in his early twenties, with one of those fashionable massive fringes that sweeps across his entire forehead like a tsunami of hair. It’s like his eyebrows hold some terrible secret and must be kept hidden at all costs. He demonstrates great virtuosity by playing more notes than can usually be crammed into a single solo, but I’m not impressed. Playing like that is like memorising and reciting pi to two hundred places or building scale replicas of famous landmarks out of popsicle sticks – it’s very clever, but what the hell is the point?

The drummer, who looks like a computer nerd, cuts sick at irregular intervals, generating cries of “Woo!” in the audience, presumably from other drummers and his mother.

The trumpeter is good, and has less of a tendency to vanish up his own arse. You know where you are with a trumpet. You can’t dither with one. You can’t mumble in the background with a trumpet. This is why the cavalry announces the charge with a trumpet and not a xylophone.

In summation, points for talent (present in spades) and points for passion (I can tell you care). But no points for sensuality, because you have none. You’re all about the rhythm and not at all about the melody. This is what you get for being led by your drummer.

Also you’re too loud. And my second gin and tonic tastes of aniseed. I took it back but the new one they brought me was just the same. And my chair is too slidey.


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