And that from anguish to giddy silliness, and everything in between is the scope of [A]part. It is a massive piece in every way: challenging to the ear and the mind, highly original (as we know Kirkwood to always be), often cerebral and abstract, all the time threatening to be too much to take in in one sitting. But what saves it from possible overwhelm is that Kirkwood never loses the emotional thread in the music; it is human music and it consistently makes you feel. Sometimes, as with all valid contemporary art, those feelings can be baffling or even plain uncomfortable, but you do feel them deeply.
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It is a combination you won’t get anywhere else and they are one of Sydney’s – if not Australia’s – treasures. The Siren’s Big Band – long may they sing us over the edge.
‘We’re all friends who enjoy making music together’, says Jess, ‘which makes for a really exciting and engaging live show. Audiences really seem to dig it and keep coming back for more, which is something we don’t take for granted.’
Building on a long history of jazz in Bondi, Jazz @ The Pav will be a month long celebration of jazz music featuring a star studded line-up of Sydneys finest musicians including Matt McMahon Trio featuring Virna Sanzone, Sirens Big Band, The catholics and the Greasy Chicken Orchestra.
“In Bridge of Dreams, the collaboration between myself, Shubha and Aneesh was at the core of the creative process. I am not in any way expert in Hindustani music – they are! They generously share their knowledge, are willing to experiment, trust, take risks, and allow me to use my instincts to shape and recontextualise the musical materials they offer. “
“Lately I’ve taken a liking to the term ‘Prog Jazz’. I like it because I like Prog Rock, and what I like about Prog Rock is that theres a story to it; it creatively moves between various interesting sections of music, and listening to it is like an adventure. My music is like that. “
Spence and Fujii have been commissioned by the Melbourne International Jazz Festival to present a new Australian/Japan collective – Kira Kira (shine). For this project, Tamura on trumpet and Tony Buck on drums will join them.
Since 2011, The Street has put a spotlight on jazz when it began developing a national forum around jazz in Australia’s capital city through bringing leading jazz artists together in Canberra and creating endless possibilities for new audience experiences and expectations.
I am happy to say the new Divergence Jazz Orchestra album – cheekily and tartly titled Fake It Until You Make It – is here. And I want to shout about it.
As assured and fully-formed as The Opening Statement was, the three years between it and the new one has added an even greater depth and daring to Jenna Cave’s writing and the band’s entirely apt and sympathetic reading (in all senses) of her charts.
The binding quality of Ellen Kirkwood’s music and her collaborations is that is consistently has one foot firmly in jazz and the other trailing in the waters of a tangy broth of blues, rock, gypsy swing, klezmer, reggae and you-name-it.