Prolific, exciting, excitable – Mike Nock is visiting Melbourne to play a duo gig with Laurence Pike at the 2014 Melbourne International Jazz Festival on Saturday 7 June. (see more information on the MIJF website >)
His duo performance with Laurence Pike at the festival is, he says, ‘really a new approach’.
‘I don’t think it sounds like anything. It’s improvised but it’s not what you might call jazz improvisation.’
The pair released a CD Kindred, in 2012 and in his review in the Australian John McBeath commented on Pike’s ‘sensitive percussive responses’ and said of the CD that ‘unpredictable variety reigns throughout’.
For the Kindred CD Nock says that he and Pike didn’t talk about the music at all: ‘we just improvised’.
They had been playing together for years – Pike toured with Nock’s band to Canada – and the duo idea originally came from Pike, who called Nock out of the blue one day to suggest they do something together.
‘I’m always up for that kind of stuff,’ says Nock. ‘So we played together and released Kindred, and this new thing is kind of an outgrowth from that. And the electronics really make it… I don’t know anybody in the world who’s doing what we’re doing at the moment.’
Nock and Pike both come from a background of jazz. ‘He [Pike] has been listening to and playing jazz since he was a kid, like me.’
Nock has over a hundred recordings under his belt and has written and played a broad range of music, including his seminal fusion band The Fourth Way, an ECM release (Ondas), solo recordings and a number of big and small bands, such as the BigSmallBand playing this year’s Brisbane Jazz Festival. Pike’s main gig is PVT, an ‘electronic rock’ band that tours globally and enjoys considerable success.
‘In this current project, Laurence is playing a Roland pad,’ says Nock. ‘He’s sampled a lot of us playing, so it’s acoustic-based. He plays drums and he plays this pad; what he does with it creates something really orchestral. It’s really something else.’
Nock is doing something similar with his keyboards. ‘I’m on the piano and I’m also going to be playing a Wurlitzer. I play it through all kind of devices – echos and all kinds of weird things. So it ends up being a kind of collage – but it’s us playing music and interacting with each other.
‘If you go expecting to hear some jazz or be-bop you’re not going to hear that. But some of it is extremely melodic.’
Nock says they’ve only done one other gig with this new project. ‘The place was packed and it went really well – an across the board audience.’
At the Malthouse on Saturday 7 June, Mike Nock and Laurence Pike will be playing on the same bill as the Julien Wilson Quartet (Julien Wilson (sax), Barney McAll (piano), Jonathan Zwartz (double bass), Allan Browne (drums).
‘It’s an interesting pairing. It’ll be two very different types of music, but highly complementary. Funnily enough Barney McAll and I could probably swap chairs if it came to that, because Barney’s got a pretty wide approach as well. It would be different, but it would be great.
From their previous project Kindred.