“…Sydney’s a small town and I was just wanting to make something nice.”
The carefully-crafted originals on the album are a summary of the writing Clarke has done over the past twenty years, ‘Three Wishes’ dating back to 1993. ‘Busline’ was written for an unreleased ABC recording after he won the 2001 National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, while the medium-up ‘Billycart’ was written specially for the album.
U.nlock is interesting instrumentally because of the absence of chordal instruments. ‘We also realised at some point that neither of the melodic instruments are of a fixed pitch…’
Josh is attracted to music that comes from the heart and says that all the tunes he’s chosen have the kind of investment that he believes matters in music. ‘The harmonic structure also has to catch my attention when I’m listening to songs with lyrics in mind. The thing I found is that all these songs sing really well. They are all very melodic.’
‘…when I compose I just sit down and write what I’d like to hear.’
John Hardaker interviews Mace Francis and Johannes Luebbers of the Listen / Hear Collective.
My brother, Carl Mackey, a sensational saxophonist, and I, grew up listening to the sounds of jazz. When everybody else was listening to Molly Meldrum’s Countdown in the 1970’s we were listening to John Coltrane’s ‘Countdown’. My father gave me John Coltrane’s 1957 album, ‘Rise and Shine’, aged 8, and this transformed my life…
He insists he is not a jazz man. ‘Seriously, I don’t think I’d be capable of making a genre specific album – I think of the people who shine in those genres and they define themselves in their own way. I think that in our post-modern state those boundaries mean less. I love Puccini, Ravel, Bach, Miles, Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Mingus, Charlie Parker, David Bowie… I just love great music.
Saxophonist-composer Gai Bryant, who is completing her Master’s in Composition at the Sydney Conservatorium, has found inspiration in traditional Cuban music for her latest big-band project.
The band has been playing together so long that they know each other’s playing intimately: ‘We can just look at each other or play something and know that we are going to go on to a new section of the music or that the dynamics are going to rise or fall. It’s amazing how it works.