Willie ‘The Lion’ McIntyre had a big stage personality. An accountant by day, he was a roaring entertainer at night, his big cheerful personality, loud singing and bold thumping piano a magnet for audiences.
“Work hard, stay focused. Connect with other positive, creative artists who are also good human beings. Give more back than you take. Stay true to yourself. Don’t waste your time with useless BS. Dont be silent if something doesn’t feel right.”
Ella Fitzgerald visited Australia four times – in 1954, in 1960, in 1970 and in 1978 – and Dr Ian D. Clark sheds light to each of these tours, offering valuable insight on the impact, the press coverage, the audience reception, everything. Apart from info of specific Australian interest which are hard to find anyplace else, the book contains photos and press clippings, which makes it a must-have for every Australian jazz fan.
Collin’s research has been considerable, if by no means exhaustive, and his prose is fluent and eminently readable. Morrison’s legion of fans will find much to enjoy.
The World’s Best Jazz Club (Major Street Publishing) by David James Released June 2014 Book launch at Melbourne International Jazz Festival Three aspects of the writing of The World’s Best Jazz Club were a surprise to its author David James. First, when publisher Lesley Williams from Major Street approached him with the idea, he thought …
‘…cued by Komunyakaa’s use of multiple voices, Evans assembled discrete bands for each piece, including no less than 11 different lead singers, plus Michael Edwards-Stevens reading some poems as spoken word with musical accompaniment.’
‘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.
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.
Amid the entertaining anecdotes we pick up on Barnard’s perspectives on his colleagues, his recordings and his idols, including Louis Armstrong, the first encounter with whom he describes as ‘possibly the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me’.