Geoff was accompanied by bassist Alex Boneham. He’s a wonderful player and ably strong and commanding for this role. It’s an unusually exposed role for a bassist, demanding rhythm but also melody and harmony and responsiveness to lyrics. Alex did a great job. There were walks, there were grooves, there were blues and standards, Yesterdays and So what. But there was also melody and responsive dissonance and chromatics like the flattened notes that accompanied Geoff’s “before his girlfriend guns him down”. This was strong and edgy acoustic tone and inventive harmonic lines and it was all from big ears. The chart for the gig was just a few sparse written instructions although Alex admitted borrowing a few ideas from Eric Ajaye’s previous recordings with Geoff. That’s how art develops, of course. Congratulations to Geoff and Alex and also to Miriam Zolin of Extempore, the committed publisher who provides so much support to modern jazz in Melbourne and Australia.
“Life, he said, / is a set of chords - / and God, of course, / a jazz musician”
Geoff Page read his jazz poetry to the accompaniment of Alex Boneham (bass) at the Paperchain Bookshop in Manuka. Miriam Zolin introduced the set. The poems were from A sudden sentence in the air : jazz poems by Geoff Page. Melbourne: Extempore, 2011.