Q&A with Phil Noy – 2009 NJA Finalist

Phil Noy, from Melbourne

When did you start playing saxophone and why? For example, was there a ‘moment’ when it came to you as a calling or vocation?

I started Playing saxophone around the age of 12 when my brother, whilst under the spell of the incredibly fashionable and hip ‘Commodore 64? computer,left his saxophone on the bed. Me being terrible at computer games,decided to check out his saxophone instead and loved it.

To this day I still find the saxophone a lot more engaging than a computer.

Which musicians (jazz or otherwise) have been your greatest influences? What about them stood or stands out for you?

Players who are able to get straight down to business with one large brush stroke, allowing their intuition be the guide and happy with any outcome being a necessary step.

I’m extremely lucky to have many friends like this, and I love so many of big jazz icons. So i would rather talk about my friends like Eugy Ball, Scott Tinkler, Simon Barker, John Rogers, Steve Magnusson whoa, Steve grant F#@% I’ll stop there i think.

When composing or arranging, where do you get your inspiration? For example, do you ever find that other art forms (painting, writing etc.) feed into your own creative process?

I’m pretty structurally minded sort of person, I love investigating anything, looking for common threads how it relates to me.

So inspiration comes from all around.

At this point in my life I tend to compose infrequently,but as an improvisor, my real time composition at its best, is based on pulse and constant flow. Still trying to master that one, hopefully that will flow into more formal strains of composition at a later date.

What’s your favourite place to play or practice?

Well at the moment i have a nice memory of a tree i was play against in a park recently, there was so much to see . It did take a while to take it all in, but as it unfolded it did provide alot of inspriration.

That did make me realise i’m getting a bit sick of playing in buildings.

What does Wangaratta Jazz represent for you?

This year Wangaratta has made me think about what it is im doing at the moment , preparing and thinking about this competition has made me very aware just how luck we are to be able to share our lives with music.

What are you listening to now?

Joe henderson with the Wynton Kelly Trio, loose.


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These annual Q&As with National Jazz Awards finalists are coordinated by Miriam Zolin.