News this morning of yesterdays passing of the Australian jazz great Brian Brown. Not only one of the most prominent contemporary jazz artists to take Australian improvised music to Europe in the 1970s but the key figure in the creation of VCA's Jazz Studies course. I was one of 15 students in the inaugural stream of this program, alongside Rob Burke, Alex Pertout, the late Jamie Fielding, Steve Hadley, Colin Hopkins and the immensely talented drummer Peter Jones who passed away last year.
Brian was an eccentric character and was incredibly supportive of us spawning our own ensembles. I shall always remember his words to me after my final recital at VCA: "I'm not sure what will happen after this but I am very glad you did that." I had taken my current improvisation ensemble into VCA featuring John McAll on Piano, Des McKenna on Drums, Barry Deenick on Bass and Ren Walters on Gtr - somewhat of a shock to the powers that be but an absolute representation of Melbourne jazz in 1982.
Brian will be remembered by many players younger than he, as he often shaped the next generation of jazz artists. I also recall the world-class drummer David Jones performing with Brian in the late 1970s. You are a legend Brian. Thank you.