Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 33, Number 13. 1970
The growing influence of jazz on pop music evidenced by such groups as Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago and The Flock should have created a great interest in jazz this year. Perhaps it did, but the sounds heard seldom effected the successful synthesis of jazz 3nd pop which some might have wished for. Conventional jazz there was, often exciting and evocative, sometimes dull and cliched, plus the usual competent mechanical trad, band romping and blaring through the old standards.
The Acme Sausage Company provided its usual indeterminate performance, often under various guises. The enormous speaker box of Harvey the Underdog blasted the ears of Tuesday night's audience, while Thursday's group was more conventional, with only one bass player at a time. Heavy pop riffs provided rhythms for some numbers—Atlantis was a very simple yet interesting affair—on Friday the Thirteenth soloists Girvan, Murphy and Charles really swung. Drummer Bruno was impeccable.
Other groups were more conventional—a university group headed by alto and trumpet worked its way through some pop standards—Mercy Mercy Mercy etc., with competence and they looked as if they were enjoying themselves.
The more professional acts of Kevin Clark and Marie Francis were in some ways the highlights of the Arts Festival jazz; their trios being the most unified groups—Bill Gilbert's bass playing with Marie Francis on Milestones was the best heard, and Kevin Clark's Nodal Modal etc. was it.
It was a pity that the workshops were unsuccessful, for most of the groups could have done with more practice, which would have introduced a polish, and a lot more interest. Some arranging is not a bad thing—Asosco's Eight and a Half for the Bass Player was one of their most interestingly executed numbers because they had loosely arranged it beforehand.