“We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Art Ensemble of Chicago; 1969 to 2019 and beyond,” says the restless percussionist, promising that today, as always, the band stays true to its motto – and legacy:GREAT BLACK MUSIC / ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE.
Two interviews with Marc Hannaford who is currently touring Australia with his New York Trio. In the first one, the brilliant pianist talks about his life in New York, and his current musical pursuit. In the second, he remembers his trio with Allan Browne and Sam Pankhust, documented in the album Monday Dates.
“We’re trying to convey the heart of Australia with dream-like sequences alongside landscape depictions and animal mimicry, and echoes of tribal lores, drawing on a myriad musical influences and aiming to create a unique and authentic soundscape.”
“Often songs disappeared from theatrical shows for bizarre reasons, or shows closed because they were eclipsed by another show on Broadway that had the ‘it’ girl in it. Life is often completely random and beautiful songs often fall into obscurity. I like to find them.”
“Sometimes people just assume that I am not a “serious” musician by my look. I usually play outrageous stuff and vibe them out.”
“We both share similar music philosophies when playing live music, in that as Jazz musicians, we have to listen to each other and dynamically create some music in the moment of performing and go off the chart. Its about taking risks – and that’s where the joy is.”
“The Ball Hanlon Schulz trio is a vehicle for developing pieces that, while fundamentally about facilitating improvisation, sit more in the chamber music world than the jazz paradigm. Of course, neither of us are denying our ‘roots’ – there are pieces in the repertoire that are, in essence, jazz ballads, for instance – but the trio is a space for us to try out ideas that don’t necessarily fit in the context of the music made by some of the other ensembles with which we perform.”
“If we want to talk about merit and the tokenistic aspect, the thing is thatby giving people the chance to play, byplaying with new people, being challenged and building confidence, then the quality of our players across the community is going to improve too.”
Leading a well-oiled machine of an ensemble, featuring Ricki Malet on trumpet, Harry Mitchell on the keys, Zac Grafton on bass and Ben Vanderwal on drums, Jamie Oehlers presents yet another collection of memorable tunes, delivered with passion, urgency and vigour.
“I’m trying to sing and put something good out into the world. I believe that when people do good,it becomes contagious like ripples in an ocean, and those ripples turn into waves. We just can’t get distracted to all the ugliness going on.”