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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 25, No. 7. 1962.

Polished Quintet

Polished Quintet

The real and pleasant surprise of the evening was the last group: a polished quintet headed by Noel Evans on bass. The versatile Bruce Johnson blew baritone, clarinet and flute with equal precision and imagination — which excused some obvious neo-Parkerisms.

Gary Kennington was on nodding terms with Miles Davis, but avoided name-dropping, and the rhythm section of Allan Henderson (piano), Noel Davis (bass) and Terry Crayford (drums) drove the group along forcefully. Johnson's clarinet showed its more manly qualities—a lesson to the effete Giuffre school.

The two biggest faults of Varsity jazz right now are a lack of bite and a tendency to derivative playing. Nothing sounds worse in concert than obvious parodies of big-name jazz artists without the genius that underlies their more obvious mannerisms. No one minds if Varsity music is unpolished, but it is hard to forgive it for being unoriginal.