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The Life and Times of Ade Monsbourgh
Year: 2000, 47 minsStreaming, DVD
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Year: 2000, 47 minsStreaming, DVD
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A rare interview with one of Australia's most revered jazz practitioners, Ade Monsbourgh. Looking back over the early years, and reminiscing on a lifetime spent playing a multitude of instruments with undiminished excellence.
"The English jazz master Humphrey Lyttelton, who wanted Monsbourgh to join his band, said that the music from the Australian's alto saxophone was one of the most moving sounds to emerge from the entire worldwide jazz revival of the mid-1940s to mid-'50s." Richard Hughes
Director: Nigel Buesst & Roger Beilby
After graduating B Com from Melbourne Uni in 1960, Nigel Buesst sought work in the British film industry. He worked at Shepperton Studios as an assistant editor and on various other freelance assignments before returning to Melbourne in 1962 to work for the ABC at Ripponlea. Since then he's worked in various capacities, as film editor, cameraman, sound recordist, producer and director. He was particularly active in the '60s Carlton scene, made manifest in the doco Carlton + Godard = Cinema. He spent thirteen years as a lecturer at Swinburne University's Film and TV Department and five years as Director of the St Kilda Film Festival.
Nigel Buesst started out with a biopic about Squizzy Taylor and has returned to the form on several occasions, fascinated perhaps by the excitement and variety of other people's lives. Recent subjects have been Benny Featherstone, a memorable bandleader of the '30s, and Gerry Humphrys, the lead singer of The Loved Ones. There have been numerous shorts, mostly on 16mm and in collaboration with others, and a few features, the most ambitious being Compo in 1987. This filmed version of a play by Abe Pogos was screened at the 1989 MIFF and sold to BBC television. Nigel's main influences have been filmmakers who have achieved magic on minimal budgets, ranging from the British Free Cinema movement through to the French New Wave, to Andy Warhol in New York, Raul Ruiz, Werner Herzog, even the Dogma crowd. But he concedes that magic on any budget is alluring, like Mulholland Drive or Punch-drunk Love.
One of the top Australian musicians active in the trad jazz movement, Lazy Ade Monsbourgh was an important force and a popular figure for decades in his native country. A versatile multi-instrumentalist who mostly played clarinet and alto, Monsbourgh was also a decent trumpeter and trombonist. Monsbourgh studied piano first before taking up reeds, valve trombone, trumpet and even recorder. He met pianist Graeme Bell early on and was part of his influential band regularly during 1944-52. Monsbourgh made many recordings with Bell's freewheeling band (with whom he toured Europe and Czechoslovakia) and had occasional opportunities to lead his own dates. In addition to playing with groups led by Roger Bell, Dave Dallwitz, Len Barnard and Frank Traynor, Ade Monsbourgh headed his own bands (which were called his Late Hour Boys), recording prolifically for Swaggie through 1971. He retired from fulltime playing in the 1970's.
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