So by the time he turned 20 his palm was etched with a future as both player and composer, as jazz artist and classical. This puts Isaacs in a very select company – Don Banks, Bruce Cale, Phil Treloar, Mike Nock and Paul Grabowksy come to mind – of Australian artists whose work has been taken seriously in both idioms, and he sees the twin careers as being mutually beneficial.
Concepts aside, one of Grabowsky’s most significant contributions to creative music has been to popularise the pooling of players from different Australian states. Common enough in the 1960s, the practice had waned until Grabowsky did it with the Wizards of Oz, the band he co-formed with saxophonist Dale Barlow in 1986.
Bertles remains imposing, and perhaps it was always a big man’s absence of timidity – a crash or crash through mentality – that made his playing so compelling
He went backstage at a Miles Davis gig in LA to say hello to Dave Holland and Chick Corea. When they started talking about Scientology to him, he had Miles Davis wink at him and say to the others, ‘You’re not telling a grown man that shit, are you?!’
Article by John Shand Banner image Harry Sutherland Trio with guest Jessica Carlton. Photo: Scott Burgess. To say he polarises people could be a lame […]
Few players besides Pochée have been members of six pivotal Australian jazz bands: in the ’60s the Heads (subsequently the Bernie McGann Quartet); in the ’70s the Judy Bailey Quartet and the Last Straw (which continued into this century); in the ’80s the Bernie McGann Trio (and Quartet, both also running into this century) and Ten Part Invention (ditto); in the ’90s the Engine Room. Furthermore Pochée led the Straw, the Engine Room and Ten Part, the latter involving the Herculean task of keeping a 10-piece band together for three decades.
John Shand’s feature on Bryce Rohde, ‘He is a pivotal figure in Australian jazz.’
No sooner had I filed the review of the Bernie McGann album Wending on this site than McGann’s closest musical associate John Pochée phoned me with the news that our great and dear friend had gone.
‘Another thing I came to realise when I had to spend a few years really lost in my film and unable to practise music, is that when singing, because the breath is really focussed and controlled over a period, it has a meditative, almost yogic quality that is incredibly good for health and mind.’
“In his last dozen years Motian began to sound like a complete neophyte who just happened to be blessed with an unerring instinct for what that music demanded, moment by moment.”