With influences including American icons such as Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan, alongside less known but no less luminous talents such as Carmen McRae, Roberta Flack, former Supreme turned balladeer Mary Wilson, and New Zealand expat Bridgette Allen, Mama Alto’s sound remains idiosyncratic and unique, partly due to her luscious and gender transcendent voice which has drawn critical acclaim and audience admiration.
” It’s our intention to make this yearly event a flagship for Queensland Vocal Jazz by providing significant career opportunities, job creation and promotion of jazz artists. We want to celebrate the diversity of the jazz vocal art form which encompasses everything from original works to original reinterpretations of jazz standards – mainstream and contemporary as well as jazz vocal improvisation.”
It was a high-energy performance, one that had your feet tickling and wanting to burst into swing-dancing or, at times, making your soul let go and follow the smooth flow of notes. Just what one needs on a rainy night in Melbourne!
“I came to better understand Coltrane; he often sounds like a preacher. I aspire to have this effect on people, than just show off my chops”.
AJN: Some think that a tribute to Vince Jones is long overdue and that the jazz community should gather and honour your contribution. What are your thoughts on that?
VJ: Give me a few more years to write some more songs before any tributes.
” I always have to have an emotional connection to the song, otherwise I don’t feel I’ll be able to do a good job. I’ve never been good at pretending, so it has to be honest and real”.
“When you’re playing with someone you admire, you might be worried if they’re enjoying what you’re playing – or if you might not live up to their expectations”.
“Adding a guitar to the Vampires distinct chord-less sound world is of course new, however we feel that Lionel’s contribution will help inspire and spur us onto new musical territory. Nick and I have also composed music with Lionel in mind, and so the music will accommodate and make way for his unique style of playing.”
“ATM15 is my vehicle for original material, experimentation and doing whatever the hell I want”
“I would like to think that it is exactly that – a statement for Australian Jazz music. It is so important that we as a country and culture embrace, promote and encourage original Australian music – whether in the classical, contemporary, improvised or commercial scenes of music.”