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Salient: An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University, Wellington Vol. 24, No. 6. 1961.

Jazz Comments

Jazz Comments

The Wellington scene: At the moment, three places in town have groups playing Jazz. They are the Picasso, Downtown and the Studio Jazz Club.

The Omega traditional Jazz Band plays at the Downtown on Wednesday and Sunday nights. I intend discussing this group in more detail later.

The Picasso has a basic group of singer, Val Baker, pianist, Johnny McGlauchan, bassist, Dram Chapman, and drummer, Dave Fraser. This is filled out by any other musicians who may drop in. They are usually in attendance from 10 o'clock onwards on Friday and Saturday nights. Val Baker has a strong voice and a very nice sense of intonation. Her voice however, lacks jazz feeling.

Johnny McGlauchan is a very fluent and technical pianist. His accomplishments are many in the classical field also. His style is a little brittle and lacks strength. He uses a lot of fill-ins, running up and down the piano to compensate for emptiness. A few good ideas come out but his feeling seems to be fairly superficial. All his solos however have a live swinging quality that makes them very pleasant to listen to.

Dave Fraser plays drums and sometimes piano, displaying a competent assurance in everything he does. He plays a swinging funky piano with humorous interpolations and an insistent dynamic rhythm. He keeps a steady beat on drums and helps maintain the listener's interest.

The Studio Jazz Club is situated in Manners Street on the First Floor of Fanning's Building, opposite the Regent Hotel. It is open Wednesday through Saturday from 8.30 p.m. The musicians are young and virile and full of ideas. The groups vary from night to night, and when they have a spell, jazz records are played. The present music for the musician as well as the listener. The music ranges from hard swinging post bop to a cooler exploratory modern sound. A yearly subscription of £1/10/- is available, and for more infrequent listeners a nightly subscription of two shillings is necessary. The club is devoted entirely to jazz, and, providing the rent is met each week, itshould flourish for some time to come.