Keller’s harmonic sense throughout seems to have its own logic, following its path to places, once arrived at, are just where we want to be. Like all valid jazz writing, her compositional language seems to suit the soloists just fine, too.
extempore and the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues have collaborated with National Jazz Award winners from every year of the festival since it began. The result is this eclectic set of souvenir postcards from some of our most creative musicians.
‘…cross-cultural mash-up worked beautifully across the entire suite – a testimony to Robertson’s smart writing, deep research and even deeper emotional connection to the music.’
In the lead-up to Baecastuff’s performance of Mutiny Music on January 29 2104 at Sydney’s 505, John Hardaker asked Rick a few questions about this remarkable suite of music.
‘ …stunning debut from a vocalist-composer who I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot more from in the future. A wonderfully realized, collaborative effort by an outstanding ensemble headed by a gifted vocalist.’
The compositions, all originals by Zwartz, develop organically and effortlessly, belying the extensive work that has gone into their creation. The soloists tailor their contributions to the mood of each piece, adding to the feeling that the album is a suite of connected pieces. Meanwhile, Zwartz, Stuart, Hevia and McCall lay down a rock solid basis for proceedings.
‘a strange and beautiful world conjured among the bricks and grime, the litter and the 7-11 stores’
It can all shimmer and ripple like an ambient cloud, underpinned by a deep oscillation from Zwartz’s bowed bass under trills and pings from Dewhurst’s guitar, before bursting forward with irresistible momentum.
His ideas are clear and strong, and deceptively simple motifs unfold and develop in unexpected ways, always maintaining the listener’s interest. Suite SIMA is a model of how to write for a medium-sized jazz ensemble that will provide student composers and arrangers with many lessons and lots of inspiration.
Exhilaration does not fade for those who are listening rather than assuming. It builds as the bricks seem to be stacked more rapidly to form more complex percussive patterns. Or are thrown one by one through the air.