“We immediately moved an initially serviceable, hired, upright piano from the cellar beneath Bill Ross’ parents’ home to the new club; but, because we managed to drop it from about halfway down the stairs to the bottom, it was then deemed no longer serviceable by its owner. “Written off” – and therefore now rent-free – the piano was actually in reasonable shape. It held its tune reliably; and it never left the Cellar until the club finally closed its doors in the early ’70s.”
Diversifying jazz and improvisation appears to be a non-issue in Australian culture. But addressing the exclusionary and harmful practices ingrained in jazz can inform the social change puzzle for other aspects of Australian culture where prejudice also prevails.
Horst Liepolt’s motivation to support Australian jazz was never fiscal. “I did it because I had a good time doing it,” he says. “I loved doing it, I loved Australia, and I loved my buddies.”
Each year, the Australian Jazz Museum receives hundreds of hours of music left behind by the switch to online – recordings by giants of Australian jazz not to be found on iTunes or YouTube, locked away in gradually decaying vinyl and plastic
From the ’20s to the ’60s, St Kilda venues ranged from grand ballrooms and dance halls to cabarets, coffee lounges and clubs. Some of the buildings were stunning examples of architecture, reflecting periods of Melbourne’s social and cultural wealth. They hosted major international artists of the era, as well as providing a hub to showcase local musicians and foster the emergence of new jazz styles.
He had nothing more than a grant of $3000 and a vision for nurturing creative and experimental jazz performance and composition. The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative announced its arrival with a concert at RMIT’s Glasshouse Theatre on the Australia Day weekend in 1983 with a Sunday afternoon concert. On the bill was the Paul Grabowsky Tro, making its debut, with the young Grabowsky on piano, the late Gary Costello on bass and Allan Browne on drums.
‘a strange and beautiful world conjured among the bricks and grime, the litter and the 7-11 stores’
On the eve of an Australian tour and a UK tour, pianist-composer Alister Spence spoke to Phil Sandford about his influences and approach to music.
It can all shimmer and ripple like an ambient cloud, underpinned by a deep oscillation from Zwartz’s bowed bass under trills and pings from Dewhurst’s guitar, before bursting forward with irresistible momentum.
On the eve of the 2013 Kinetic Jazz Festival (22-27 January) Phil Sandford spoke to two of the artistic directors, Graham Jones and Jepke Goudsmit, about their background and their vision for the festival.