Nancy Ruth combines different elements – her classical training, her dramatic flair, her adventurous spirit, her sense of ‘duende’ – to create a sound where genres such as pop, jazz, flamenco and latin co-exist and dissolve into each other.
– What makes a torch song?
– Truth. The lyric is poetic truth, and the music frames the words and creates the mood.
“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.”
The best part about programming and running the club is discovering so much incredible talent which is right here in Melbourne! The scene is constantly evolving and developing. I’m proud that we have been able to create a space for musicians to play, be it musos just starting their career, or those who have been in the scene for many years and who are re-discovering new projects! Paris Cat jazz club really does have something for everyone!
What is it that you most admire about each other?
James Sherlock: Kristin’s ability to inhabit songs and really communicate not only with listeners but also with the musicians she plays with; everyone loves playing with her!
Kristin Berardi: I love that James loves this music so much, and he listens so much. Sometimes it really freaks me out, but it’s like he knows what I’m going to do before I do! It’s easy to make music with someone who’s a good friend. There’s a trust there but also we have fun. That’s important.
When Mercer Ellington decided to keep his father’s orchestra alive, after Duke Ellington’s demise, he chose the word ‘Continuum’ for the title of the outfit’s first post-Duke recording. This is the word that constantly comes to mind, when I think of Vincent Gardner and Belinda Munro, who are touring Australia these days.
“For me singing is catharsis. I really believe a vocalist’s one and only job is to be a great storyteller, that’s more important than hitting the right notes, more important than being able to read or write music. So when I’m on stage, I’m just 100% immersed in the song”.
“I wanted to push myself to present something different, something that echoes not only mine, but so many other guitar players’ rite of passage, listening and copying Wes”.
When he takes out his flute to play ‘It ain’t necessarily so’, he turns it into a hard-grooving soul-jazz anthem and when he plays an actual 60s soul-jazz anthem, like ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’, he does it with a free spirit and a post-bop sensitivity.
I have always loved horns and a big band sound so I wanted to inject that into the project. I also had to have piano because of the colour it provides. I was looking for a slightly theatric bent as well.