Elysian Fields is a seamless combination of old and new, composed and improvised, experimental and planned, intuitive and calculated. The result is like a thick winter blanket: warm and beautiful.
“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. “
“Sometimes I will sit down at the piano and just begin to sing, and the melody and lyrics will magically appear and the flow will keep going until the song is finished all in the one evening. Other times, I will hear a little riff that gets stuck in my head, and I will write something off the base of that, but won’t finish the song for months – or years ! “
We play big, honking sets and we wanted to recreate that as much as possible in the studio.
“For many many years I worked long hours and studied and did not participate in any of the creative activities I often heard the call to begin. Call of the Wild is about the call that never leaves you, a constant gentle reminder of better ways to spend your time.
Many of the songs from this album were written in the car on the way to my day job; one was written while I was folding the washing, another while I was cleaning the house. The melodies came to me when I was stuck in domestics or the inescapable necessities of daily life.”
Denson and James sign five of the album’s twelve songs, all works of exemplary craftmanship that deserve a place in the Australian Jazz canon (if there is such a thing). My personal favourites are the upbeat ‘Wild December Wind’ and the introspective ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ (I’m a sucker for 3/4 tunes); both perfect vehicles for Ingrid James to showcase her ability to convey real, almost tangible, emotions. You can feel her voice embracing and caressing you.
On ‘Any Last Requests’, Mark Lockett’s trio span well-loved standards, as well as hardcore jazz tunes – all with the variety, dexterity and telepathy that only a group forged in the NYC fire can. Each of the three brings everything necessary for three to become one, in aspiration and in execution.
I just keep doing things I love and playing with musicians I love and my voice shapes itself; if you are an artist, it is part of who you are, I think you are always aware of it.
The Bowie Project is not a tribute – it’s a thesis; it’s a product of research and analysis. Rudegeair dived deep in the Bowie universe, took the songs, stripped them down to the bare essentials, analysed their components and took each element and presented it under new light.
“Musically, I like the idea of keeping music borderless and open to all kinds of influences. It really excites me when I hear new music that is difficult to categorise into a specific box.”