When Michael Griffin’s lips touch the mouthpiece, he’s transfomed: the awkward teenager gives his place to a jazz master of superb confidence – and his pinstripe suit becomes a perfect fit. It’s uncanny.
“For us jazz is about a willingness to explore new possibilities with only a moment’s notice, whether it be inviting a guest on stage who has no idea what they’re getting themselves into, or intentionally playing something that goes against what would normally be done, say in a piece of music that has become well known. As a more broad ranging metaphor this can be used as an invitation to leave past mentalities behind that were potentially stifling, freeing us to move forward in life.”
“My idea of excellence is something which takes incredible patience and great care. A master craftsman doesn’t get bored of their craft, but rather finds more depth in it over time. I can’t remember where it is from, but I think it’s a Nietzschean aphorism – ‘seriousness is a child at play’, which I think is important too.”
I don’t know how much distance there is between Carla Bley and Frank Zappa, but Cheryl Durongpisitkul covers it with ease. And, however helpful references and namedropping might be to describe a sound, it is mostly just noise. Because, the loudest, clearest, most assertive voice here, is that of Cheryl Durongpisitkul herself.
Contrary to most modern jazz recordings, that verge towards minimalism and a downtempo, contemplative approach to analyzing and exploring musical ideas, Chris Frangou created an uplifting, visceral rollercoaster of rhythms.”I’ve got a bit of hyper-energetic personality”, he agrees, “and that’s something that came in that record. I like music to invigorate me, to motivate me, to make me run 14,000 km and climb a building from the outside. That’s what I want music to make me feel and I was trying to transfer that energy in the recording.”
“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.”
“Work hard, stay focused. Connect with other positive, creative artists who are also good human beings. Give more back than you take. Stay true to yourself. Don’t waste your time with useless BS. Dont be silent if something doesn’t feel right.”
Ella Fitzgerald visited Australia four times – in 1954, in 1960, in 1970 and in 1978 – and Dr Ian D. Clark sheds light to each of these tours, offering valuable insight on the impact, the press coverage, the audience reception, everything. Apart from info of specific Australian interest which are hard to find anyplace else, the book contains photos and press clippings, which makes it a must-have for every Australian jazz fan.