“Studying jazz fostered a strong sense of mindful listening and interaction within a group, nurtured my creativity through improvisation and composition and allowed me to explore various parameters within music which have crossed over into my own writing and singing.”
“I recorded ‘Frame of Reference’ in London over two days with the band coming together for the first time at the session. I’d never really worked in that way before, so it certainly brought some new pressures to the whole thing, but also gave the recording a great intensity and focus.”
“It was never my intention to recreate or imitate my dad’s playing, with Zawinul Legacy; in essence there is only one Joe Zawinul, and I let the music do the talking.”
‘Comes Love’ is a snapshot of what you’ll hear at one of my gigs, favourite songs sung with two of my favourite musicians; there was no theme in mind other than sharing some lovely songs in a natural way, and I believe that’s how it sounds.
“I grew up looking up to musicians like Andrea Keller and Sandy Evans, because I could see that they had their own bands, were writing their own music and were totally accepted and respected by the jazz community. I saw that it was possible to have a career in music.”
“I feel lucky to have wandered into the position of doing a job that I enjoy and find rewarding, and to do it for so many years. The highlight has probably been having the chance to work with so many musicians who I hold in such high regard ; to propose or develop projects with them ; and then to see it all come together onstage, to be met with such generous approval by the audience.”
Big Band Swing evolved during 1930s and ’40s wartime – a time of great oppression. It served to lift the spirits of those at that time, troops and civilians alike. Today too, Big Band Swing shouts an anthem call to all who are weary; Weary of war, worry and woe. So, as B# keeps Big Band Swing alive and live, people from ‘Gen Y to Gen Wartime’ smile, embrace and dance to re-feel their aliveness. And in the depths of their being, the ‘boom, boom, boom’ of today’s ‘modern bombs’ are again drowned by the joy of swing, the joy of life.
” I think the way the trio plays has evolved and is sounding more unified – which is what happens with time spent playing together, and I think the new recording reflects this.
We’re still definitely exploring the textual and dynamic changes, going from relaxed tempos and feels through to some faster and more frenetic pieces.”
“I was always interested in boogie and ragtime, but didn’t have a teacher for that style, so I taught myself, with great difficulty, later in life.
I regret I didn’t live in Hamburg during the 1970s, when there was the huge explosion of boogie and blues piano players, the best in the world. It would have been clearer and quicker for me if I could have been part of that scene.”
Sydney and New York should consider themselves lucky to share an artist of the caliber of Philip Johnston. The inventive Jazzman divides his time in both cities, playing with the legendary Microscopic Septet, or his own Greasy Chicken Orchestra. His music is a sardonic take on hot jazz through an avant-grade prism, as will discover …