Adam Page Solo

Neil Pooran has his horizons broadened by the multi-talented Australian

Review by Neil Pooran | 04 Aug 2005
  • Untitled

Scented candles fill the air with a musky aroma. Renowned Australian musician Adam Page Solo walks to the stage wearing an immaculate suit with his beloved saxophone in hand, and is warmly greeted by an intimate audience. The sax touches his lips, and by weaving his melodies together with a looping pedal he creates a sublime, soothing instrumental tune. Everything about the opening of this show screams of a sophisticated, exclusive experimental jazz gig.

Except that after no more than ten minutes he’s shed his suit and is showing the crowd his novelty purple underwear after churning out an improvised rock song on a tiny, bright pink electric guitar. Let no man accuse Adam Page Solo of taking himself too seriously.

It’s eccentricities like this that allow him to really win over the audience, but Solo is about much more than on-stage gimmickry. His set covers a vast range of genres and uses over 15 instruments in conjunction with his looping pedal to make some truly outstanding improvised music. One minute we’re listening to the beautiful, intricate singsong of an mbira (an African thumb piano that has to be heard to be believed), the next we’re hearing an oddly catchy fusion of Bach, polka and reggae after he started asking the audience to suggest genres.

Solo’s prodigious talent holds all this together. An affinity for all kinds of music is helpful if you plan to attend this gig but it should succeed in broadening the horizons of just about anyone fortunate enough to hear it.