Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Media release/Side-On project

A new media release was circulated in Australia this morning about my general activities and specifically pointing to my new jazz ensemble project at Sydney's Side-On Cafe Friday April 22 & Saturday April 23.

Read the media release here.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Adelaide review

Today Adelaide's The Advertiser carried a review of last Sunday's recital along with a large colour photo. Classical critic Rodney Smith remarked that:
"Mark Isaacs is a skilled and sensitive jazz pianist equipped with a formidable technique as well as training in classical music. . . His Extemporisations on Heritage Themes consisted of shortish improvised pieces on a parade of famous themes from Gershwin's Porgy and Bess to Mancini-Mercer's Moon River, all stylishly presented, gorgeously coloured and pithily to the point . . astonishing"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Photos from Latvia

Photos by Chantal

Liepaja, Latvia after unseasonable March snowfall

Jamming after hours in hotel with Norwegian pianist Buge Veseltofts

Monday, March 14, 2005

Home from Latvia

Well it's nice to be home - I slept 14 hours last night, it's a lot of jetlag when the trip to Europe is so short. On my last day there I was surprised to see my picture on the front page of the local paper in Latvia with a very nice review. Brought back a loaf of excellent Latvian black bread, fantastic stuff it is. Also on my one hour stopover at Bangkok airport I found a Thai sweets shop, lovely sticky rice things.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Latvian concert

The Latvian concert seemed to go very well. The whole concert was broadcast on local TV the next night and there will be a couple of newspaper reviews this morning. Now the long trek home!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

New band project launch April 22 & 23

Upon my return to Sydney from Europe March 12 I will be preparing to launch my new band project SIDE-WISE at Sydney's premier jazz venue the Side On Cafe on Friday April 22 & Saturday April 23. In a departure from my usual recent format of trio or trio plus vocal, I am assembling a sextet to play a new repertoire of my original music. Joining me is guitar hero James Muller, the exceptional young alto saxophonist Dan Waples, my old friend and room-mate from the late 70s brilliant trombonist Dave Panichi, the great Cameron Undy on bass and acclaimed wunderkind Felix Bloxsom on drums. As well as piano I will be playing Hammond organ. I am composing especially for the occasion a new suite of music for jazz sextet called "SIDE-WISE SUITE" dedicated to the Side-On Cafe and all who made it such a hotbed of musical activity in its six year life (sadly the venue is closing at the end of April).

Rehearsals in Latvia

We've had two rehearsals of the trio plus symphony orchestra. All goes well. The conductor is very good and sympathetic, the trio is excellent and the orchestra are enthusiastic and play very well indeed. I am enjoying myself immensely and consider this a great opportunity. The work I have arranged for jazz trio and symphony orchestra will hopefully have an enduring life beyond this performance. The concert is tonight.

Monday, March 07, 2005


Well I have been in the coastal Latvian town of Liepaja (pronounced Lie-a-paya) since Friday night, mainly relaxing and meeting & greeting. First rehearsal with orchestra today. My concert is being taped by local TV and will be shown the following night and I''ll be here watching in my hotel room no doubt.

As usual in Russia and the Baltics eating too much, three delicious cooked meals a day provided, meat, potatoes, sauce. Attended the opening concert of the Festival last night, and 10 national flags were flying in the foyer of the hall representing the countries from which participating pianists hail. Took me a moment to realise that the Aussie flag was flying in my honour, and that not only was I the only Aussie performer in the Festival, I was surely the only Aussie in town. Felt quite proud and patriotic for a moment there.