‘We’re all friends who enjoy making music together’, says Jess, ‘which makes for a really exciting and engaging live show. Audiences really seem to dig it and keep coming back for more, which is something we don’t take for granted.’
Pacheco first became aware of jazz at the age of eighteen when she was given a copy of Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert. ‘It was the turning point of my life,’ she says. ‘I could not believe what I was listening to. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t even know who Keith Jarrett was, but I knew that I wanted to play like that.’
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.
Barker sees the New Sheiks as sitting in ‘a bit of a niche’, somewhere in the middle of a spectrum of jazz and blues that extends from nostalgic old style jazz tributes to the most modern styles.
He remains only interested in musicians who ‘slam their heart down on the table, and go, “There I am!”‘
Ultimately, the questions, the searching and the transformation that results is connected to the Art Orchestra’s aim not just to reconstruct something… it’s to find a new way of making music with the Young Wägilak Group.
‘…we might fall on our arses once or twice, but it’s often when you’re searching that the best things happen…’
For a creative soul, there is no point in a recording of ‘covers’ or ‘standards’ unless it is treated personally, there needs to be that unique approach which will make it yours to present.
The night of my 75th birthday party I had a corporate gig and then rushed across town to the 505 club. The place was packed and when I walked in they all started singing Happy Birthday – it was absolutely beautiful. Lots of my friends were there and Jex Saarelaht came up from Melbourne, which I thought was wonderful.
‘Rehearsing as we did in Belgium prior to the recording was a lot more interesting and unusual than doing so in Melbourne, but the opposite may be true for Janos. Maybe we were fresher approaching our instruments, because there was no opportunity to practise immediately before the recording.’