“The big band orchestration is genius. The instrumentation of five saxes/woodwind, four trombones, 4-5 trumpets and a four – piece rhythm section results in literally countless and millions of different compositional formulas that will never be exhausted, even if every composer in the world was to write for the next thousand years.”
The band needs to be extraordinary to navigate Sugg’s remarkable compositions and bring them to vivid life – each tune is completely owned by the ensemble; the ensemble playing and solos leap from the speakers with a rush of blood and fire.
The band has ruled the roost at Balmain’s Unity Hall Hotel forever and Walkin’ Shoes – Dan Barnett’s seventh album – captures all the life and spark of those great gigs and of vocalist/trombonist Barnett’s larger-than-life musical personality.
“We’re seeing more women artists in jazz, but perhaps not at the rate we’re expecting. I think one of the biggest challenges is to encourage young players to pursue music at a tertiary level and beyond.”
. We have persisted with our business model and received a warming and supporting response from our guests and musicians. The Paris Cat Jazz club is well established in the Melbourne Jazz scene. In the early years we featured around 150-200 gigs per year. In 2016 we featured just over 500 all because my wife Liz is obsessed with programming bands.
“Due to [JMI’s] small size, every student is known by each and every faculty member and receives continuous personal mentorship – which is not possible at a large institution. The JMI classroom and performance space ‘incubator’ reminds me of my days on Woody Herman’s band, traveling every day on the bus, surrounded by great, more experienced musicians, seriously listening, discussing and playing music night and day. JMI is that kind of growth environment and it shows in the competency of your graduates” – John Riley, Internationally acclaimed drummer, publisher, educator, lecturer at Manhattan School of Music (NY).
James Carter plays the sax as if his survival depends on taming this shiny, golden reed instrument that possesses this mystical, divine energy that he tries to put to good use for the 55 minutes of each set.
Manzanza’s vision is one of virtuosic precision which never enslaves the groove – a very African approach: complex yet irresistable.
“Performance aspects aside, this album will definitely seek to explore some different compositional structures. ade and I have toyed with – and talked about – the idea of through-composed work and song forms that aren’t of the typical “head-solo-head” structure. Those elements are now coming out in our co-writing, certainly.”
There were over 70 performances to choose from, so even without the big international names in the line-up, it was outstanding value for pass holders. The tightly packed schedule meant catching complete sets was the biggest challenge.