“My most recent journey is that into motherhood, after my son Alfred joined us in January, so I’m going to say the incredible Burt Bacharach ballad, ‘Alfie’. The lyrics are really beautiful, when you consider singing them to a new baby.”
Has Alice Coltrane ever been more relevant? Maybe in the ’70s, when she set up on her own journey, practically inventing the harp as a jazz instrument, while creating her signature modal/spiritual jazz sound. Spiritual jazz is, of course, the sub-genre du jour, at the moment, largely thanks to the unbelievable popularity of Kamasi Washington, who owes much to the Coltranes. But any DJ worth their turntables have been pointing to Alice Coltrane for the past decade or more, discovering the worlds that exist in her intricate weavings and sonic textures.
“The Uptown success story really is the success story of the Melbourne jazz and improvised music scene itself. The original motivation to open a jazz club, after moving back here from New York City, was because of the incredibly high level of playing that I knew Melbourne (and Australia) always had. Also, to try to catch that particular sound that is unique to us here, which I don’t think the New Yorkers quite get.”
“For me singing is catharsis. I really believe a vocalist’s one and only job is to be a great storyteller, that’s more important than hitting the right notes, more important than being able to read or write music. So when I’m on stage, I’m just 100% immersed in the song”.
“When I’m performing, I feel like I’m smiling from the inside. I feel a sense of bringing people together and there is nothing more wonderful in human nature than feeling connected and feeling you a contributing to that connection.”
“I wanted to push myself to present something different, something that echoes not only mine, but so many other guitar players’ rite of passage, listening and copying Wes”.
Sandy Evans was inspired by these images of reality and reflection, so she started composing what turned out to be musical responses to them. “I like to think of harmony in relation to colours”, she says, describing her approach. “Other times it was the structure of the photos that I reacted to. There are certain mirror images, so what I did was take some melodic ideas and reverse them”.
When he takes out his flute to play ‘It ain’t necessarily so’, he turns it into a hard-grooving soul-jazz anthem and when he plays an actual 60s soul-jazz anthem, like ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’, he does it with a free spirit and a post-bop sensitivity.
My creative process ideally begins with an idea that is exciting to me, and often that seed of inspiration is enough to drive the project through to completion, and overcome all the challenges along the way. Georgie and Josh have been my inspiration for the last month or two while writing this music.
The Cookers is a learning experience for me. I will always learn and get my ass kicked by these guys. It might not always be a pleasant experience to get one’s ass kicked but it is an important part of one’s growth as a musician and I’m very lucky to be in this unique situation performing with and learning from some of the best and ones directly tied to when this music was at its apex.