“I did not expect the music that came out of me to be political, to be conscious jazz. I thought I would write a beautiful lovely AABA jazz standard that could swing.I didn’t realise that I was so angry or desperate.I didn’t realise I was so opinionated.”
“The best part of being in Koi Kingdom is how open and free each member is with each other’s compositions. The foundations lie in the players that we are, so you hear heaps of Marcos’ signature whammy sound and b9 chords, Cheryl’s rhythmic and sometimes atonal blowing and Stephen’s songlike phrasing and free-blowing grooves.”
A cohort of inspired, inspiring women took to the stage, one by one sending out a War Cry, singing songs of Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln and Sharon Jones – along with their own originals, all songs that describe what it means to struggle, to fight back, to do your bit to create social change, one note at a time, one verse at a time.
It was sheer joy watching her and the entire ensemble throughout the night clearly having so much fun on stage.
“We’ve made a conscious decision to compose freely in this band, not feeling restricted by genre, just bringing whatever we feel like to the table. You can hear influences of Jazz, 20th Century Classical music, North India Classical music, South American music. With the instrumentation of the music and the mixed influences, you could very much describe it as a contemporary jazz band.”
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.