‘Several ideas guided my creative process in this project: to interpret Yusef Komunyakaa’s poetry, to pay tribute to Charlie Parker, and to do this in my own way in the context of the vibrant Sydney jazz scene of the 1990s.’ Evans says. ‘I’m very proud of this work and thrilled that, in some small way, it is a vehicle for the voices of some very fine Australian musicians, and their embodiment of Parker’s influence, to be heard internationally.’
Evans’ bold vision has allowed her to remain faithful to Komunyakaa’s poems and to Parker’s spirit, while doing so firmly with her own voice. Her finely-crafted composition has given the vocalists and soloists excellent vehicles within which they can pay their individual tributes to Parker, perhaps best summed up in the memorable ‘Testimony Coda’, with Bernie McGann’s last notes floating gently in the air.
‘…catchy themes, tight arrangements and some excellent solos.’
The carefully-crafted originals on the album are a summary of the writing Clarke has done over the past twenty years, ‘Three Wishes’ dating back to 1993. ‘Busline’ was written for an unreleased ABC recording after he won the 2001 National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, while the medium-up ‘Billycart’ was written specially for the album.
Nikolsky has tackled the difficult task of giving a representative sample of Australian jazz composition and the size of the book is testimony to the explosion of interest in this field in recent years.
Saxophonist-composer Gai Bryant, who is completing her Master’s in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium, has found inspiration in traditional Cuban music for her latest big-band project.
The band has been playing together so long that they know each other’s playing intimately: ‘We can just look at each other or play something and know that we are going to go on to a new section of the music or that the dynamics are going to rise or fall. It’s amazing how it works.
The compositions, all originals by Zwartz, develop organically and effortlessly, belying the extensive work that has gone into their creation. The soloists tailor their contributions to the mood of each piece, adding to the feeling that the album is a suite of connected pieces. Meanwhile, Zwartz, Stuart, Hevia and McCall lay down a rock solid basis for proceedings.
Pacheco first became aware of jazz at the age of eighteen when she was given a copy of Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert. ‘It was the turning point of my life,’ she says. ‘I could not believe what I was listening to. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t even know who Keith Jarrett was, but I knew that I wanted to play like that.’
Kinetic Jazz Orchestra at 505 13 February 2012 Review by Phil Sandford The 18-piece Kinetic Jazz Orchestra, now in its third year, featured original compositions by band members and charts by Gil Evans when it returned to Sydney’s Venue 505 in February. The first set opened with Mike Kenny’s ’15’, which uses various 5/4 time …