An Evening of Jazz: Tara Minton and Nick Willsher at the 606 Club

jazz live review

606 Club, 23 August 2023. Live review by Sebastian Scotney

Tara Minton
Image: Tara Minton, courtesy of 606 Club

A New Chapter in Creativity

Based on the two new songs performed in Tara Minton’s first set at the 606 Club, it seems that the Melbourne-born singer and harpist has potentially entered an exciting new phase of creativity. The various elements of Minton’s craft appear to have come together, resulting in a palpable joy in her harp-playing and singing.

Expanding Her Musical Palette

Minton’s journey as a harpist has included an intense one-year masters course at The Guildhall in 2018/19. During this time, she sought to develop a unique jazz language on the harp, combining it with a mastery of various classical sonorities. Additionally, Minton has explored unconventional and theatrical sounds on the harp, using instinct and fearlessness.

As a vocalist, Minton has been making strides in recent years, with her tonal and timbral range expanding to embrace a wide variety of unexpected sounds.

New Inspirations and Original Compositions

It’s possible that Minton’s recent experiences, such as interviewing musicians for “The Jazz Podcast” or her extended tour in Mexico, have contributed to the newfound joy in her work. Two new songs showcased this enthusiasm: “El Colibrí” (The Hummingbird), a lively samba in 7/4 inspired by Mexico City, and “A More Colourful Life,” a ballad about taking responsibility for one’s happiness.

A Talented Band and Shared Bill

Jonny Mansfield
Image: Jonny Mansfield, courtesy of 606 Club

Minton was accompanied by an outstanding band, composed of Jonny Mansfield on vibes, recent RAM graduate Nick Willsher on tenor and soprano saxes, Jonah Evans on drums, and bassist Lorenzo Morabito.

Saxophonist Nick Willsher shared the bill with Minton, presenting long-form compositions during the second half of the night. Performed with the same band, Willsher’s pieces explored themes of sky and astrological cycles, with delicate melodies and profound concentration.

A Memorable Night for Jazz Lovers

The evening offered a delightful showcase of both Tara Minton’s and Nick Willsher’s talents, leaving the audience in awe of their musical expression and creativity.

Relevant Links:
Tara Minton’s page at Hancock Artists

About Me

I’m Dr. Miles Beaumont from the charming town of York in the UK. I’ve spent over three decades as a medical doctor, helping people and contributing to important research. I graduated from Oxford University, and ever since, I’ve devoted myself to improving the health and lives of others.

When I’m not practicing medicine, you’ll find me soaking up the world of jazz music. It’s been a passion of mine since I turned 30, and I’ve been an active part of York’s jazz scene ever since. Whether it’s going to local gigs, listening to records at home, or just enjoying the rhythmic and improvisational magic of jazz, it’s a big part of who I am.