When a smooth jazz version of Purple Rain arrived in my inbox I knew it would be either a brilliant cover of Prince’s iconic track or a cheesy damp squib. Instrumental covers of classic tracks are either one or the other – there is no middle ground. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
At the opening strum of a guitar, closely followed by a single pluck on a bass by way of punctuation, I thought ‘phew’ – Prince won’t be turning in his grave at this one.
Evan Carydakis is an acclaimed Jazz saxophonist, residing in Tasmania. Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Evan first picked up the saxophone at the age of 15. Initially inspired by Branford Marsalis’s ‘Royal Garden Blues’, it was his family’s influence and love of all music that set Evan on his stylistic journey.
And along the way, Evan has been lucky enough to learn from some of the greats including Joe Viola, Jerry Bergonzi and Lee Konitz, but above all else Evan holds his time with legendary jazz educator Charlie Banacos as “the most influential” on his instrumental ability.
A five-time grant recipient and sought-after festival performer, Evan continues to share his love for Jazz with the greater community.
I grew up listening to Earth, Wind & Fire’s dance music and played plenty of it as a club DJ in the 1980s.
Lots of the group’s music is still doing the rounds thanks to remixed versions bringing them up to date with added drums, percussion and synth embellishments – there really are some excellent remixes around; many released last year and a few so far this year.
Ralph Johnson was 19 when he auditioned for Maurice White to be the band’s drummer. Ralph is 68 now, and like EWF, is still going strong.