Everything Bob played was a melody of its own. The way he would weave the notes through the harmonics of a song somehow keeping the integrity of both melody relevance and the critically important harmonic notes, was something to marvel at.
As a matter or fact, all the ballads in the album have a high charged emotional density, without ever turning into melodrama — this is probably due to Libor Smoldas’ earthy lyricism, Jakub Zomer’s ability to create haunting sonic undercurrents, and Sacha Kloostra’s carefully timed explosions, not to mention Ingrid James’ masterful control of her instrument.
A great deal of art is description, or at least representation. Describing or representing love, hate, the universe. None is the right description. Nor the wrong one. This is art after all.
“We immediately moved an initially serviceable, hired, upright piano from the cellar beneath Bill Ross’ parents’ home to the new club; but, because we managed to drop it from about halfway down the stairs to the bottom, it was then deemed no longer serviceable by its owner. “Written off” – and therefore now rent-free – the piano was actually in reasonable shape. It held its tune reliably; and it never left the Cellar until the club finally closed its doors in the early ’70s.”
Diversifying jazz and improvisation appears to be a non-issue in Australian culture. But addressing the exclusionary and harmful practices ingrained in jazz can inform the social change puzzle for other aspects of Australian culture where prejudice also prevails.
My intention for this short essay film was to create a pacey montage of archive footage, photographs, memorabilia and interviews with musicians and key personalities to reveal the unsung story of St Kilda’s significant contribution to Australia’s jazz history.
Horst Liepolt’s motivation to support Australian jazz was never fiscal. “I did it because I had a good time doing it,” he says. “I loved doing it, I loved Australia, and I loved my buddies.”
Each year, the Australian Jazz Museum receives hundreds of hours of music left behind by the switch to online – recordings by giants of Australian jazz not to be found on iTunes or YouTube, locked away in gradually decaying vinyl and plastic
From the ’20s to the ’60s, St Kilda venues ranged from grand ballrooms and dance halls to cabarets, coffee lounges and clubs. Some of the buildings were stunning examples of architecture, reflecting periods of Melbourne’s social and cultural wealth. They hosted major international artists of the era, as well as providing a hub to showcase local musicians and foster the emergence of new jazz styles.
He had nothing more than a grant of $3000 and a vision for nurturing creative and experimental jazz performance and composition. The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative announced its arrival with a concert at RMIT’s Glasshouse Theatre on the Australia Day weekend in 1983 with a Sunday afternoon concert. On the bill was the Paul Grabowsky Tro, making its debut, with the young Grabowsky on piano, the late Gary Costello on bass and Allan Browne on drums.