“Mingus’ music is very deep on so many levels. It delves into human feelings, political oppression, issues of inequality in society, intimate relationships… all of which is still significant today. I find his compositions, playing and life in general to be a massive outpouring of emotions that were possibly his only way of dealing with the world he found himself living in. A world that in a lot of regards has changed very little today.”
The best part about programming and running the club is discovering so much incredible talent which is right here in Melbourne! The scene is constantly evolving and developing. I’m proud that we have been able to create a space for musicians to play, be it musos just starting their career, or those who have been in the scene for many years and who are re-discovering new projects! Paris Cat jazz club really does have something for everyone!
“As a cabaret singer interpreting, re-interpreting, presenting, re-presenting, and representing, torch songs, I work both to honour the legacy of the great women who have kept the flame before me, as well as to subvert the dominant and affirm the marginalised through song and storytelling.”
How would you describe the dynamics of Torrio!?
Niko Schauble: Every input is welcome. Every output is celebrated. There is no leader. The direction becomes clear through the performance.
“Performing a live stream at Nelson Mandela’s funeral was a poignant and emotional day for the Royal Swazi Spa. My first eligible election was South Africa’s 1994, first democratic election in years and I stood in a queue with the rainbow nation and cast my vote for Madiba. I am so honoured for this band to been part of his salute.”
“My most recent journey is that into motherhood, after my son Alfred joined us in January, so I’m going to say the incredible Burt Bacharach ballad, ‘Alfie’. The lyrics are really beautiful, when you consider singing them to a new baby.”
Has Alice Coltrane ever been more relevant? Maybe in the ’70s, when she set up on her own journey, practically inventing the harp as a jazz instrument, while creating her signature modal/spiritual jazz sound. Spiritual jazz is, of course, the sub-genre du jour, at the moment, largely thanks to the unbelievable popularity of Kamasi Washington, who owes much to the Coltranes. But any DJ worth their turntables have been pointing to Alice Coltrane for the past decade or more, discovering the worlds that exist in her intricate weavings and sonic textures.
Blow the man down uses the traditional Lieder opera style to explore themes of loneliness, longing and the miraculous mundanity of human existence. Hues gift for perceptively illuminating the everyday, combined with Olivers heartfelt and fully alive singing, makes for a show that is a rare and shining experience.
“The Uptown success story really is the success story of the Melbourne jazz and improvised music scene itself. The original motivation to open a jazz club, after moving back here from New York City, was because of the incredibly high level of playing that I knew Melbourne (and Australia) always had. Also, to try to catch that particular sound that is unique to us here, which I don’t think the New Yorkers quite get.”
“For me singing is catharsis. I really believe a vocalist’s one and only job is to be a great storyteller, that’s more important than hitting the right notes, more important than being able to read or write music. So when I’m on stage, I’m just 100% immersed in the song”.