Jay Rodriguez (USA) @ Venue 505 Review

Thanks to John Shand for a nice review of Jay Rodriguez's gig at 505 last Saturday!

When it’s like this it rearranges your very molecules for you. You walk in from a world defined my time, cost and practicalities, and suddenly all priorities are reset. Jay Rodriguez’s huge sound on a tenor saxophone immediately declares – insists! – that this being alive lark is actually about daring to feel our humanity and responding accordingly; about emotions too big for words.

Then he goes and develops a solo that is monumental in its scope, and his collaborators – collaborators just for this one night – go with him, providing not just foundations but musical exhortations that lift him higher. Cameron Undy’s bass is driving like a snow-plough, Tim Firth’s drums are snapping and whipping and Stephen Barry’s piano is slicing up the harmonies.

The repertoire ranged across his own compositions (including the elegiac As the Rain Subsides and the sizzling Your Sound) to a potent reading of Keith Jarrett’s soulful The Rich (and the Poor) and even to Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale (which was possibly surplus to requirements).
— John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald, September 3 2017