“The greatest challenge is doing something different with standards that still feels natural. I think we achieved it on this album. We were very open and just tried to play like ourselves with no judgment.”
“If you want to actually follow the tradition of jazz, you have to respond to your story and the place that you live in. Jazz has always been questioning and curious and absorbing other influences. And this is one of the most exciting things about being an Australian musician, being surrounded by lots of different cultures”.
-.Which song reminds you of the best concert you ‘ve ever attended?
– Any version of They Say its Wonderful. I first heard that song performed by Sonny Rollins at the Opera House in 2008. It has since become my favourite song.
When Mercer Ellington decided to keep his father’s orchestra alive, after Duke Ellington’s demise, he chose the word ‘Continuum’ for the title of the outfit’s first post-Duke recording. This is the word that constantly comes to mind, when I think of Vincent Gardner and Belinda Munro, who are touring Australia these days.
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.
I have always loved horns and a big band sound so I wanted to inject that into the project. I also had to have piano because of the colour it provides. I was looking for a slightly theatric bent as well.
“The Singh & Blanes duet is more about romanticism and flashbacks to a more romantic time, while my own solo work is about my intricate thoughts and emotions; it’s all about me being by myself, in solitude. It’s a bit more personal and reflects my individual take on the world. Then my jazz project is about my compositional ability and my fluency on the piano”.