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“Different musicians with different ideas”

10 Sep 2019

“Different musicians with different ideas” Image

By Edward McLeish

This month, the Melbourne Recital Centre (MRC) is collaborating with Melbourne jazz royalty The Sedergreens, international classical pianist Paul Lewis, and Ludovico’s Band, who will be performing Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610.

Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and father Bob Sedergreen raised his sons Mal and Steve on a jazz diet, so it isn’t surprising they’ve grown up to be prolific jazz composers and musicians themselves.

“I don’t get a chance to play with Steve and Mal very often because I’m playing with other bands,” Bob said.

Bob usually plays at The Horn in Collingwood, but is teaming up with his boys at the Primrose Potter Salon, a more intimate MRC venue that inspires a formal and classical approach.

Bob said punters could expect to see three blokes who didn’t play together that often.

“They hate being called my sons of course; you don’t want to live in your old man’s shadow,” Bob said with a laugh.

“They’re men, fathers and musicians in their own right.”

When it comes to style, their works range from traditional to the most contemporary; and on an individual basis, each Sedergreen brings their own instruments to the table.

“It’s just a matter of us getting together and presenting a different sort of program, because the Recital Centre brings a different vibe to a hotel, restaurant or jazz club,” Bob said.

“We’re going to display the empathy that we share having listened to jazz music together over many years.”

But, the feeling Bob gets when he takes the stand with his sons is no different to when he plays with anyone else.

“I’m just Bob and he’s Mal and he’s Steve – we’re all different musicians with different ideas,” Bob said.

“When I play with strangers and people who I work with, it’s like family for me anyway and it’s no different from playing with them.”

Their compositional directions are broad, including ground breaking “joz” music, a blend of jazz with Celtic and Aboriginal influences. 

This concert is a unique event for MRC, where they will mainly play original compositions, but also blend in “joz” and funk, with Stevie Wonder elements to mix up old and new.

Paul Lewis, the English pianist, will be returning to Melbourne as part of the MRC Great Performers series, and will play at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall.

The MRC’s director of programming Marshall McGuire said he encouraged aspiring pianists to come and see Lewis play the greatest works of all.

 “Completing his epic survey of the great works of Haydn, Beethoven and Brahms, Paul Lewis once again displays his extraordinary gifts in this grand program of masterpieces,” McGuire said.

 The concert will take place on Tuesday, September 24 at 7.30pm, but will be giving a free pre-concert talk from 6.45pm.

Classical themes continue in September, with one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written, Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610, to illuminate Southbank as a part of the MRC’s Southbank Series.

Monteverdi’s seamlessly unaccompanied choral church music combined with the Baroque’s theatricality elements demonstrates his mastery of both the old and the new. 

Ludovico’s Band joins forces with Ensemble Gombert under the direction of John O’Donnell for this performance of Monteverdi’s much-loved and sacred work.  

melbournerecital.com.au

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