Mike Nock – Serious Fun Making History

Mike NockMike Nock’s legacy began with “Move”, an album he recorded (live at the legendary El Rocco club in Sydney), with his “3 out” trio; now the piano jazz master revisits this seminal recording, with his current trio.
[from the media release]
Sydney jazz pianist Mike Nock brings a wealth of experience to the stage. He lived in New York for 25 years and worked with a host of seminal jazz artists including Coleman Hawkins, Yusef Lateef, Johhny O’Keefe, Dionne Warwick and Michael Brecker.
In 1960, following the success of his album Move, he was performing on festival bills alongside the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn and Teddy Wilson.
Early in his career, the renowned pianist Bill Evans is quoted as saying that “{he} impressed me greatly…Mike Nock was creating very musical things. It won’t be long before he’ll make a mark”. And make a mark he did. After returning to Australia in 1985 and settling in Sydney after a brief stint in Brisbane, Mike Nock continued to do great things for Australian jazz. He was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for Services to Jazz.
In 2009 he was inducted into the Bell Awards AustralianJazz Hall of Fame 2009 and in 2010 his biography Serious Fun – The Life and Music of Mike Nock was published.
As musical director of Naxos / Jazz Records 1996-2002 he oversaw the production of some 70 CDs worldwide.
3 out coversHis own recordings have become important pieces of Australian jazz history and vinyl copies of his 1960 album Move can be found online for prices up to $3000, as Mike recalls “Apart from being the first hard-swinging local modern jazz album released in Australia, ‘Move’ was also the first recording of my quite extensive international catalogue, which would make it attractive to many record collectors. It took me many years to appreciate how good this first album was, as I always thought I played much better on the follow-up album ‘Sittin’ In’, but musicians are often the worst judges of their own performances.”
The album captures an exciting moment in the Australian jazz scene and for those who were around and on the scene in 1960, the album may evoke a plethora of memories of the historic and important time for Australian Jazz.
As Mike recalled, “Our music was very exciting and energetic, no one had heard music played like this in Australia before and we very quickly began drawing capacity crowds to our gigs. We appeared on several TV shows like Six O’clock Rock and were generating a huge buzz around town.”
Now, over 50 years after the release of Move, Mike Nock will be revisiting the historic recording and reinventing with a fresh perspective at QPAC on April 1st. Joined by long time collaborator, bassist/composer Jonathan Zwartz, a widely recognised leader in his own right and drummer James Waples who is featured on many of Mike Nock’s award winning albums, they will be revisiting music from the re-released 3-OUT trio recordings plus some standard repertoire and new compositions.
Mike Nock explains that “We’re learning the original arrangements as a starting point to play the music from our current perspective. This is turning out to be a bigger challenge than I originally thought, but I’m finding it an incredibly interesting process and a huge journey of self-discovery, as the music contains most of the concepts I’ve spent my lifetime exploring ever since. It may be true one can never go home again – but maybe that’s because we really never leave it!”

Mike Nock performs with Jonathan Zwartz (bass) and James Waples (drums) at QPAC 1stApril. The concert is a fundraiser for the Rotary Club of Brisbane Planetarium.
Tickets are $40 and available on the QPAC website.