‘Several ideas guided my creative process in this project: to interpret Yusef Komunyakaa’s poetry, to pay tribute to Charlie Parker, and to do this in my own way in the context of the vibrant Sydney jazz scene of the 1990s.’ Evans says. ‘I’m very proud of this work and thrilled that, in some small way, it is a vehicle for the voices of some very fine Australian musicians, and their embodiment of Parker’s influence, to be heard internationally.’
Evans’ bold vision has allowed her to remain faithful to Komunyakaa’s poems and to Parker’s spirit, while doing so firmly with her own voice. Her finely-crafted composition has given the vocalists and soloists excellent vehicles within which they can pay their individual tributes to Parker, perhaps best summed up in the memorable ‘Testimony Coda’, with Bernie McGann’s last notes floating gently in the air.
‘…catchy themes, tight arrangements and some excellent solos.’
Nikolsky has tackled the difficult task of giving a representative sample of Australian jazz composition and the size of the book is testimony to the explosion of interest in this field in recent years.
The band has been playing together so long that they know each other’s playing intimately: ‘We can just look at each other or play something and know that we are going to go on to a new section of the music or that the dynamics are going to rise or fall. It’s amazing how it works.
Kinetic Jazz Orchestra at 505 13 February 2012 Review by Phil Sandford The 18-piece Kinetic Jazz Orchestra, now in its third year, featured original compositions by band members and charts by Gil Evans when it returned to Sydney’s Venue 505 in February. The first set opened with Mike Kenny’s ’15’, which uses various 5/4 time …
The night of my 75th birthday party I had a corporate gig and then rushed across town to the 505 club. The place was packed and when I walked in they all started singing Happy Birthday – it was absolutely beautiful. Lots of my friends were there and Jex Saarelaht came up from Melbourne, which I thought was wonderful.
by Phil Sandford | Mike Gibbs has integrated jazz, classical and popular influences in his composing and arranging into a distinctive sound that is fresh and interesting. Now living in Spain he continues to compose and explore new ways of expressing his musical ideas.
There is a calmness and beauty on much of this CD, typified by Saarelaht’s impressionistic solo introductions to three of the tracks, which testifies to the maturity and skill of all four musicians. Phil Sandford reviews Fiveways by the Jex Saarelaht Quartet
The distinguished Australian pianist Michael Kieran Harvey has produced a powerful and virtuosic tribute to Frank Zappa. Harvey has created a suite that establishes him as an emerging composer of piano music.