By Mae Anthony
Photo by Alma Sarhan
Driving bass, intriguing instruments, high-class musicians, what else could you be looking for?
Kate Pass is a bassist from Perth, who has played many gigs locally and far abroad in New York. The Kate Pass Kohesia Ensemble played a highly engaging and exotic set as part of Perth Jazz Society’s regular Jazz Tuesdays at Four5Nine bar last week on May 10. Joining her were elite locals Ricki Malet on trumpet, Marc Osborne on tenor saxophone, Gabriel Fatin on piano, Mike Zolker on the oud, and Daniel Susnjar on drums.
The night was filled with heavy-textured compositions, many of which revealed a range of unique ensemble sounds. With a mix of Jazz and Persian influences, the ensemble added a depth to the Jazz Tuesdays weekly line up that will be hard to surpass, simply due to its unexampled creativity. Majority of the musical content was written by Pass herself, and was a mix of modern Jazz with Persian sounds. This was an impressive feat for a two-hour gig, and to have such complex musical inventions and sustain the energy was admirable.
Her fellow ensemble members were excellent, helping to bring the music to life through strong and prominent trumpet lines by Malet, and Sunsnjar’s metamorphosis from background to foreground in his drumming were particularly notable. The addition of the Arabic instrument, the oud, played by Mike Zolker was a flavoursome highlight. Another exciting element of this show was how the overall contour of the repertoire slowly built throughout the evening, finally blooming with a mesmerising climactic finish. This was a clever arrangement of unknown repository sounds, providing the audience with an introduction to the unfamiliar, yet exciting, music.
Pass talked of potential recording opportunities, stating that “if you like what we’ve done, you should be able to hear more of it soon.” Bring it on, Kate! Here is another radiant composer to add to a long list of Perth Jazz musicians doing great things, so check her out if you get the chance!