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Great Waitress

  • Johnston Street Jazz 81 Johnston Street Annandale, NSW, 2038 Australia (map)

Great Waitress is Monika Brooks (Accordion), Laura Altman (Clarinet) and Magda Mayas (piano).

From 2008 Laura Altman and Monika Brooks' duo excited the Sydney experimental scene, (of which they were important contributors), with quiet, ambiguous, ephemeral music - they treated duration as if it were precious. Altman's clarinet and Brook's accordion fused, not with lines, but with pools of sound, coexisting in an ecology that had no clear beginning or end - a calmly focused, infinite field.

In January 2009 the Berlin-based pianist Magda Mayas collaborated with them on a memorable performance at Sydney's Now Now Festival. Magda injected not only an array of startling sounds, but insistent motion to contrast the stasis. Multiplicity emerges in Great Waitress through virtuosic collective listening, and creates a unique lucidity. 

Two years later they reconvened as a band for an intense period of rehearsals and recordings. They have since released 3 albums, Lucid (2011), Flock (2014) and Hue (2016) and have toured Europe and Australia multiple times, playing festivals such as All Ears (NO), Konfrontationen (AT), Music Unlimited (AT), and Densités (FR). 

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What others have said ....

"Great Waitress is a trio, with Magda Mayas on piano, Monika Brooks on accordion and Laura Altman on clarinet, and their music is feather-like, with soft sounds cautiously weaving a calm but intense silenscape. ... Fragile and solid at the same time. Like touching the wings of a butterfly, it is almost as risky and daring to listen to this music, as your personal volume and sound could harm what you hear"
- all about jazz

"If spiders have musical dreams while spinning webs, they might sound like the fragile wisps of sound created by Great Waitress....Sometimes the individual instruments become blurred in a sonic mystery that is both enthralling and disorienting. Almost invariably, the sounds are tiny and delicate - just the faintest engraving upon silence - and as intricately connected as that spider's web"
- John Shand - Sydney Morning Herald

"It’s lucid improvisation that doesn’t revel in compulsive freak-outs or stagnant passages.
The effect is partially hypnotic and largely unsettling…"

- Bobby Power
Followed by Free For All - an open free jazz jam where duos, trios, and quartets are chosen from the audience (if they with to participate). Play a song you've never heard with somebody you've never met.
From 8pm to 10-ish, $20 cash at the door ($10 concession). BYO anything you want to eat or drink.


Earlier Event: June 6
The Sounds Unsound Presents #16
Later Event: June 8
107 Presents: In Frequency