“I think whilst duo performance is, exposing, it’s also very liberating, as you have a lot more space to play and work with.”
The agony and speculation is over. The nominees for this year’s Australian Jazz Bell Awards have been announced. Among them appear, naturally, some of the best and brightest talents of the country’s flourishing jazz community. The winners – as well as the recipient of the Graeme Bell Hall of Fame, in recognition of an outstanding …
If there’s one complaint is that the forty plus minutes seem a little short – a sure sign that this duo is pushing all the right buttons.
Songs of Friends allows Josh Kyle to re-imagine works by some of Australia’s leading jazz instrumentalists with the addition of new original lyrics, weaving vocals into an otherwise instrumental context.
what a brilliant idea it was to invite Jones to join the list of distinguished guest artists to record with students at Monash University’s Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. What insights for those with the wit and empathy to understand that what was on the table was not a master-class in music or singing or anything so mundane. No this was much more important: a master-class in artistry, which is to say a lesson in life.
‘ …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.’
Josh is attracted to music that comes from the heart and says that all the tunes he’s chosen have the kind of investment that he believes matters in music. ‘The harmonic structure also has to catch my attention when I’m listening to songs with lyrics in mind. The thing I found is that all these songs sing really well. They are all very melodic.’
This is the musical equivalent of slow food, and will amply repay the patient. Eleven years on and this Melbourne/Sydney collective restores itself to its rightful place near the pinnacle of Australian jazz.
‘Michael is a kind of visual jazz artist. He doesn’t like to be scripted; in fact he’s a bit of a daredevil. As much as you’d like to plan, Michael would rather walk a tightrope. We offer the scaffolding in that there’s a set list and there are opportunities for improvisation, where we veer away from song form and build a different type of picture.’
Pianist Sam Keevers and tenor saxophonist Jamie Oehlers play a movingly delicate rendition of Sam Keever’s tune ‘Simple Pleasures’