Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961
At the concert recently performed by the University Jazz Society, in conjunction with the opening of the new student building, we heard very little of the interesting, entertaining or profound musical statement that we are beginning to expect from contemporary jazz musicians. The content of the total performance was unbearably limited. These musicians are capable of much more imagination and productive direction as their previous performance at the Savage Club Hall clearly demonstrated.
Apart from pianists Fraser and Charles and drummers Kennington and Loney, instrumental technique was below concert standard. Improvising skill was at a low level except for snatches by Johnson on alto who occasionally showed himself capable of sustaining a controlled melodic development, and fragments from Charles in the second large group. "If You Could See Me Now" by tenorist Talbot with its well defined mood, strong form and economic use of material was a welcome relief from the urgent and excessive emotionalism of his previous numbers.
The only musicians who attempted to demonstrate any compositional skill were the childlike Loney and the structurally unsuccessful trombonist Murphy. Both these composers showed a painful lack of plain musical awareness and maturity.
If, as I believe, a concert such as this should stand critical analysis with regard to vitality, originality, development and composition, the performance was sadly lacking.
However, if any reader feels that In the light of the above criticism the persevering and often labour-some work of our jazz club may be waived as not worth his future interest and encouragement he would, in my opinion, be gravely mistaken. These young and immature musicians have a basic working knowledge of an art that is widely misunderstood in this country. Within this club there are musicians of imagination and rare creative strength who will develop, if given opportunity and an ear, broad and original musical voices.