“I was divided into four parts, arranging the music, recording the music, videoing the footage and finally, bringing it all together into a single film. I began the recording and arranging job simultaneously, something I’ve never really done before. I just started recording whatever I thought sounded good, adding whatever instrument I wanted along the way. Eventually, I realised this was going to be best suited to a big band (with a few woodwind doubles) and began notating arrangement and the recording alongside it.”
I don’t know how much distance there is between Carla Bley and Frank Zappa, but Cheryl Durongpisitkul covers it with ease. And, however helpful references and namedropping might be to describe a sound, it is mostly just noise. Because, the loudest, clearest, most assertive voice here, is that of Cheryl Durongpisitkul herself.
Contrary to most modern jazz recordings, that verge towards minimalism and a downtempo, contemplative approach to analyzing and exploring musical ideas, Chris Frangou created an uplifting, visceral rollercoaster of rhythms.”I’ve got a bit of hyper-energetic personality”, he agrees, “and that’s something that came in that record. I like music to invigorate me, to motivate me, to make me run 14,000 km and climb a building from the outside. That’s what I want music to make me feel and I was trying to transfer that energy in the recording.”
“Mingus’ music is very deep on so many levels. It delves into human feelings, political oppression, issues of inequality in society, intimate relationships… all of which is still significant today. I find his compositions, playing and life in general to be a massive outpouring of emotions that were possibly his only way of dealing with the world he found himself living in. A world that in a lot of regards has changed very little today.”
“Work hard, stay focused. Connect with other positive, creative artists who are also good human beings. Give more back than you take. Stay true to yourself. Don’t waste your time with useless BS. Dont be silent if something doesn’t feel right.”
Ella Fitzgerald visited Australia four times – in 1954, in 1960, in 1970 and in 1978 – and Dr Ian D. Clark sheds light to each of these tours, offering valuable insight on the impact, the press coverage, the audience reception, everything. Apart from info of specific Australian interest which are hard to find anyplace else, the book contains photos and press clippings, which makes it a must-have for every Australian jazz fan.
“Well, the level of communication is very high. We know each other’s styles so well that the music always comes together in uncanny ways. This is a real asset when the music has a lot of improvisation, as ours does. It’s basically a musical conversation happening at a very high level. This is what the best jazz really is all about.”
Across ‘The Game’, Trish Delaney-Brown’s vocal scat (in duet and solo) is exquisite, always intriguing, never empty histrionics.
“I do want to reach other/new audiences for our music and creating this video was an attempt to do that. The ice being that people who might not discover the music simply by coming to a ‘jazz gig’ might see the clip and be intrigued that way.”
Their latest album, ‘Confluence’, is made up of two long improvisations – the 40-minute ‘Stream’ and the 24- minute ‘Flow’. The titles are fitting, as this music has much in common with the nature of both water and of electricity: rushing between banks, bubbling over rapids, coming to rest calm and lake-serene, sparking, ever moving to a point of resolution or rest.