” 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.”
The idea was to foster a collaborative approach to the music making and invite the other musicians to contribute their compositions and favourite tunes as well, rather than me having complete control over the repertoire (as was the case in the Andrea Keller Quartet). By opening things up like this, there’s diversity to the music that otherwise wouldn’t exist to the same degree.
“The internet has made the world really small. ‘Two Cities’ could really be called ‘Three Continents’ (maybe doesn’t have the same ring to it), because it was made all over the world. It was written and recorded in Australia and America, mixed in Australia, mastered in England and manufactured in Germany.”
“Half of ‘Cloud Appreciation Day’ was written before a friend died suddenly and completed after the event, so there is a bipolar quality to it. Almost every track has a distressing background, but it doesn’t always make the music depressing. In some cases, the reaction was to write more uplifting sounding music”.
“While studying jazz at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, this made me feel quite inadequate, but there was a point when I stopped comparing myself to all the great bebop singers and embraced my own way of making and enjoying music”.
“We decided to record this performance because we felt it was a good time to document the work we’ve done so far, and also because the musicians are so good. We’ve been very lucky in Melbourne to have worked with great players; it’s a great privilege to have your music played by such fantastic musicians”.
“As far as music goes, I reckon I sound like me, and no one else, that’s really what I feel good about. I have a long way to go still, plenty more to explore and learn, but having your own sound and being recognised by it is surely what I feel is most important, other than not sounding like shit. “
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”.