In a small intimate venue, Stolen Moments jazz duo created perfect warmth to a winter’s morning in Devonport.
A breakfast gig for jazz is probably not what you would traditionally expect, especially when the duo chose to play numbers from the bossa nova and blues subgenres of jazz. But it worked.
Launceston based musicians Evan Carydakis and Brendon Siemsen’s performance was smooth, blended and made for very easy listening. The combination of Carydakis’ saxophone and Siemsen’s electric guitar melded in a way that could be described as golden notes filtering through the audience’s relaxed and casual chatter over breakfast.
Both Carydakis and Siemsen are seasoned musicians with decades of experience and performance under their belt. This was evident in their ease of performance and repertoire selection which transitioned smoothly from piece to piece. Their instruments were delightful tonally, with a richness that complimented their technical ability.
The duo performed two sets. The first, slower and sultry that played in ebbs and flows which really played to the setting at Drift café/restaurant at Devonport’s waterside. The second set was slightly more upbeat where both saxophonist and guitarist became really at home with their performance. Their technical proficiency was outstanding as they seamlessly worked their way through their selection of easy listening jazz including big numbers such as Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, and Darn That Dream. Carydakis held notes without faltering, improvised beautifully, and his transitions were excellent.
Carydakis took on a slightly more frontline role through his performance on saxophone, the conversation and cohesion musically between the two worked brilliantly. While the two were clearly in tune with each other technically, a little more interaction between players in terms of body language and eye contact could have been to their benefit. In saying that, the point of the venue and time of performance was for the audience to enjoy the music while socialising with friends. To their credit, both performers played through distractions of people moving around with ease and with a sense professionalism that only experienced musicians can uphold.
The crowd seemed to enjoy Stolen Moments performance and the duo was a welcome Tasmanian based addition to the Devonport Jazz festival. This was their first year at the festival but slotted in beautifully to the many genres on display across the four day festival. It would be exciting to see the duo team with the vocalist who forms their trio at next year’s festival to allow Carydakis’ and Siemsen’s musical talent shine through in more of a concentrated spotlight.Read this review on the Devonport Jazz Festival website (PDF).