“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.”
“We’ve made a conscious decision to compose freely in this band, not feeling restricted by genre, just bringing whatever we feel like to the table. You can hear influences of Jazz, 20th Century Classical music, North India Classical music, South American music. With the instrumentation of the music and the mixed influences, you could very much describe it as a contemporary jazz band.”
“My music sounds like me and it sounds like someone who has not grown up in a major centre like Melbourne, or New York, or London. For a long time I was ashamed of this. But I have begun to realise this is also what makes my music worth listening to; its a part of what makes it unique. Matthew Sheens is also from Adelaide (although he’s been living in NY for many years) and Myele Manzanza comes from Wellington in NZ (which is even smaller and more isolated than Adelaide, where I am from). All three of us are coming from the outside of the centre of the worlds we love, participate in and contribute to. The Outsiders is my reflection on all of this.”