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Archive for the ‘5 Question Profiles’ Category

This week I asked Sydney drummer James Jennings to write about some of his influences and favourite albums. He is possibly one of the best dressed Jazz musicians in Sydney and while still studying at the Sydney Con, he has started to make waves around town. Check it out below:

Top 3 drummers:

Very difficult to List only 3 favorite Drummers as there are so many inspiring players out there. At the moment this would be my top 3 for various reasons.

#1 Brian Blade:

Anyone who knows me would definitely have guessed this as my Number 1 but for reasons everyone is aware of. Brian Blade is why i started to play jazz drums. Brian’s Drumming/musicality is so so so deep and can rival and match any of the greats in the past. So much of my inspiration has come from Brian. His groove touch and feel are all aspects i wish to absorb. When i was 16 i was handed Ryan Kisor’s battle cry, which Brian is on and from that moment i knew i had found a drummer/musician that i truly wanted to grasp. Brian’s versatility as a musician is also absolutely astounding. Be it grooving with Sam Yahel, swinging with Joshua Redman, creating timeless art with Wayne shorter or getting his rock on with Black Dub, Joni Mitchell and Seal. He brings so much history present and future to every stroke he applies to a drum/cymbal.

Bill Stewart:

In my opinion Bill Stewart has changed the way Modern Drummers thing about playing jazz. His sense of phrasing among the limbs is amazing as well as the understanding of the ride cymbal as not only a time keeping devise but a creation of colour.The way Bill has taken from the masters of the past is also inspiring. You can definitely hear the history with large amounts of Roy Haynes ha.The very first album i heard bill on was John Scofield’s What We Do. His creativeness and undeniable groove blew me away! i still listen to that album a lot and still find new things every time which in my opinion is a true sign of a master.

?queslove:

Lately i have really been checking out a fare amount of Hip hop soul and r&b.?uestlove has the best time feel. Its CRAZY!. I really think checking out and really listening to hip hop and r&b is on of the best ways to get your time feel happening in any genre. Drummers such as Spanky, Steve Jordan, Chris “daddy” Dave, Eric Tribbett, Aaron Spears, Gerland Heyward, are just some of the drummers i’m checking out in this genre.

Ok so i cant leave off Eric Harland:

Eric is my biggest inspiration right now. His articulation on the drum set is out of this world. His power intensity and GROOVE are all things i want for my playing. His compositions and arrangements are also amazing. His Arrangement of Monk’s I mean you played with SFJazz Collective is a perfect example of this. Also his total musical support towards other musicians and the music is what makes him one of the most happening and sort after drummers of today.

Other drummers that I’m checking out at the moment include:

Kendrick Scott,Jeff Ballard, Mark Guiliana,Matt Chamberland,Felix Bloxsom Nate Smith, Billy Kilson, James waples,Jorge Rossy, Roy Haynes, Jack Dejohonette, Jochen Rueckert.

Note:

I know all 4 of my Picks have been recently “modern” drummers as HIGHLY important as it is to look back on the MASTERS of jazz music and the art of jazz i think it’s also equally as important to listen and check out the new things that are happening in the world of music around us in present times.

3 fav Youtube videos:

Kendrick scott:

Christopher Hitchens:

Wayne Shorter Quartet:

Favourite Albums:

Kurt Rosenwinkle’s The Remedy:

Aaron Goldberg- Piano

Eric Harland- Drums

Joe Martin-Bass

Mark Tuner- sax

This album is just full of raw hardcore energy and inspirational solos form all players. This for me is the perfect example of Eric’s musical support to the band. Kurt’s compositions are also jaw dropping.

Chris Potter’s Gratitude:

Brian Blade-Drums

Scott Colley- Bass

Kevin Hayes –Keys

This Album really hit home to me with how truly amazing Brian Blade is. His groove on this album, on every tune is rock solid but not in a rhythmical pattern way. He could be breaking up the beat without loosing any sense of the groove what so ever!! I also really like Scott Coley on this album and of course Chris Potter is just killing!

Wayne Shorter’s Footprints Live:

Brian Blade-Drums

Wayne Shorter- sax

Danilo Perez- Piano

John Patitucci- Bass

This album is my example of how a band can work together to create something that has never been heard before. All members’ are virtuosos of their instruments but not for a second dose ego or selfishness entre the music. They are all there 100% for one anther and the music!! P.S Brian Blade is bubbling intensity GOD.

Brad Mehldau’s largo and Live in Tokyo:

Largo is one of my favorite albums I can put on and just simply listen to with out my brain trying to over analyse. The Producing on this album is wicked.

Live in Tokyo I think truly shows what a amazing musician brad is.He makes the piano sound like a 80 piece orchestra with not a hint of physical effort. The way he can build and maintain and solo on this album is another aspect why I choose it for my Top list.

and

Zubin Mehta Conducting L.A Philharmonic Orchestra Playing Dvorak’s New World symphony #9

Later,
E Dilla

P.S check out James with Mike Nock, Karl Laskowski and Alex Boneham at 505 on Saturday

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For this weeks musician profile I thought it’d be great to hear from a guitarist Steve Barry introduced to me from New Zealand. He’s 20 years old and currently resides in New Zealand. We got together last year for a play with Steve and Evan Mannell and man this guy can play! I hear he’s planning to move to Sydney sometime and hopefully I can get some video’s up too.

1. Favourite/Most influential Jazz Musician?

John Coltrane. The first Jazz records I owned were Blue Train and Kind of Blue. I’ve always loved his playing even though I didn’t (and in a lot of cases still don’t) understand what he was doing. I think the power and the emotional intensity of his playing communicate with the listener on a different level. At the moment I’m really into Coltrane’s Sound and Bye Bye Blackbird.

2. Favourite/Most Influential Australian Musician?

James Muller – James did a workshop and some gigs in Auckland in November last year and as usual just blew my mind with his mastery of so many different aspects of both the guitar and of music in general. Getting to see him play with Roger Manins was such a treat.. I wish those two could play together more often. Roger is another guy who just has this amazing mastery not only of his instrument, but of the history as well. We’re very lucky to have him here!

3. All time favourite album?
Probably Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Deep Song. A great guitarist in Auckland called Dixon Nacey (anyone who’s over here should check him out!) showed me this album back in 2006 I think. It was the first time I heard Kurt and it blew me away. I’d never heard anything like it before. I’ve got a lot of mileage out of that record, for both listening and playing, and I still keep coming back to it and hearing new things. The line-up is great too, I think it was probably my introduction to Brad Mehldau as well.

4. Best live gig you’ve seen?
It’d have to be either John Scofield with the Muller trio at Wang in 08, or Kurt Rosenwinkel’s solo gig, also at Wang in 07.
Kurt’s control over the instrument was unbelievable. It was great to hear him playing standards, his chord melody and reharm ideas are amazing!

5. What are you working on right now?

I’ve been trying to learn some of the heads that Tristano and that group were writing, I really like the rhythmic ideas they were using, so I’ve been finding different ways to use those ideas… Also, finding ways to make those lines sit nicely on the guitar can be very challenging, so sometimes you have to be creative when finding the best way to play them.

Later,
E Dilla

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Meet the Casey Golden Trio.
I’ve known all these guys for years and grew up playing music with the drummer, Rob Turner. Last night they played a smokin’ gig at 505 and I’ve uploaded two tracks that you can check out. There’ll be a debut record coming out later this year which is being recorded as I type and if you can, you should definitely give these guys a listen. A few weeks ago I spoke to Casey about doing a feature on his band and so here it is, in his own words.

When we first started playing together I wasn’t really thinking about forming a band too much. I met both Brendan and Rob on non-jazz gigs so we decided to get together and have a play on some jazz stuff one day. I remember thinking at the time how easy it was to play with these guys. It felt really good from the beginning. Around that time (mid 2008) I’d started writing a lot more than I had been before and it just seemed like a natural choice to use Brendan and Rob on some of my original tunes. We all have pretty eclectic tastes in music but there is a lot of crossover between the three of us in favourite bands/records/musicians and this is part of why I like playing with these guys. I’ll often bring tunes to rehearsal that are unfinished or vague and it never takes these guys long to come up with the sound I’m after.

From a compositional point of view, my main influence comes from a lot of the younger guys living in New York at the moment. Guys like Aaron Parks, Robert Glasper, Lage Lund, John Ellis, Gerald Clayton, the list goes on. I think all the guys mentioned above are great composers and they all have a really clear concept of how they want their bands to sound. I have a pretty clear idea of how I want the trio to sound and that sound is very much influenced by these people. Alister Spence is another important influence. I used to learn from Alister and he was one of the first people I saw who really impressed me as both a composer and player. He’s got a great trio and I think he’s very thoughtful in both composition and in his concept of the type of music his trio plays. All this being said, as far as inspiration goes, these days I seem to be inspired to compose by music other than jazz.

The hardest thing leading a group is really doing enough gigs so your band has some sort of a presence on the scene. There aren’t a huge amount of well-established places to play original jazz in Sydney so it can be difficult to get regular work. I try and continually write new stuff, so if I don’t have any trio gigs for a month or two then it’s still very much on my mind. Having a lot of new material all the time also motivates me to go out and book gigs to see what works and what doesn’t.

The main thing I’m focused on at the moment is getting everything sorted for recording our album. We’re recording in February and hope to have it out a bit later in the year. We’ve got a couple of gigs booked over the next month or two then we’ll do a bunch more when the record comes out. Buy our record.

Casey:

Favourite YouTube Video:
Best live gig seen: Aaron Goldberg Trio at the Sound Lounge, mid 2008
Seamus Blake Quintet w/ Kikoski, Lage, Matt Clohesy and Bill Stewart at Smalls, Feb 2009

Favourite album: Too hard to say, but for what I’ve been listening to over the last few months it’d be between:
Matt Penman – Catch of the Day,
Gerald Clayton – Two Shade and
David Binney and Edward Simon – Oceanos.

Rob:

Favourite YouTube Video:
Best live gig seen: Too hard to decide on one! Short List -
Ed Simon Trio (w/ John Patitucci & Brian Blade) @ The Village Vanguard, NYC
Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra @ North Sea Jazz Festival, The Hague
Chris “Daddy” Dave & Friends, Revive Da Live @ Crash Mansion, NYC
Favourite Album: Oscar Peterson Trio – Night Train
(Favourite album of 2009 – Robert Glasper Trio, Double Booked)

Brendan:
Favourite YouTube Video:
Best live gig seen: The Necks at the Riverside Theatre. I couldn’t even manage to stay for the second set, it was that intense!
Favourite Album: Too many to count, but I’ll say Sam Rivers – Violet Violets

Later,
Eamon

P.S. Check out this great track from last night:

Also make sure you check out Casey’s Myspace for updates about gigs and the new album.

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1. Favourite/Most influential Jazz Musician?

It’s really difficult to put a stamp on my all time favourite musician in Jazz. I had a mantra throughout my time at the Con which was ‘DEXTRAHAR’. I still need to remind myself of what that means and how I’m representing this in my playing.

The ‘DEX’ is of course for Dexter Gordon the gentle giant. I really love the sense of humour in his playing and how he was such an influence to so many musicians but was open to what was being played by the younger guys around him.

‘TRA’ is for Coltrane and his discipline and dedication to making himself a better musician. Imagine what would have been created if he hadn’t died so young.

The ‘HAR’ is all about sound. Rory Brown introduced me to the incredible sound of Billy Harper in my first year at the Con. I still get goosebumps when I listen to ‘Preistess’. He has an enormous sound that cuts through you and then warms you up from the inside.

Seamus Blake is my modern favourite. I was fortunate to spend some time with him in New York in 2007. I really love Gary Smulyan’s baritone playing. He’s the bench mark for all modern bari players.

2. Favourite/Most Influential Australian Musician?

I know he’s from NZ but Roger Manins is my favourite Sax player. It’s a real shame that more of his music isn’t out there.

Judy Bailey was a great influence on me. She taught me to be less critical of my playing and accept that sometimes the best music happens when you are making ‘mistakes’.

3. All time favourite album?

My favourite album is ‘Standard Coltrane’ from 1958 with Red Garland, PC, Jimmy Cobb and Wilbur Haden on trumpet. There is a real looseness and a sense that it is just a bunch of guys playing over their favourite tunes and not some overly rehearsed masterpiece. When I’m at a loss I always come back to this period of Coltrane. It’s kind of like a reset button. There is a beautiful slow version of ‘Invitation’ on this record.

Other albums that I also love:

Chris Speed – Trio Iffy

Bill Frisell – Unspeakable

Anything with Seamus Blake.

Gary Smulyan – The Real Deal

4. Best live gig you’ve seen?

Kim Lawson, Danny Junor and I caught the Fung Wah bus up to Boston in 2007 to see George Garzone and the ‘Fringe’. After 5 hours of travel and the thought that we might not even make the gig, we crammed into a small room in a hostel which I think had been the scene of a horrible crime. We arrived at the gallery where the band was playing and George greeted us and suggested we visit the tavern next door for a taste of their homebrew beer the ‘Druid Fluid’.

We headed back to the gallery, took the front row seats and held on. The ‘Fringe’ is a trio with John Lockwood on Bass and Bob Gulotti on Drums that has been creating improvised music since the ‘70’s.

Garzone’s sound floored me! I had never seen anyone play so furiously yet sound so melodic and beautiful at the same time. At one climax in the music I found myself giggling uncontrollably because it made me feel so good (it might have also been the Druid Fluid).

5. What are you working on right now?

I’ve been doing most of my practise on Baritone and have been working hard to get comfortable over 3-4 octaves on both horns. I’m trying to get away from linear playing and am doing a lot of exercises on larger intervals and triad super-impositions. I am also concentrating on my posture and amount of tension in my body when I’m playing. I think it’s important to take time to go for a bike ride or a jog or anything to help with endurance. Playing a musical instrument can be pretty rough on your body!

I’m continuing to write for my Quartet with Jamie Cameron, Ben Waples and Aaron Flower.

We have a JG gig in March.

Tim Stocker
ph. 0402 043 293
timstocker
Visit Tim’s Myspace Site

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In January I was involved in a recording session (see previous posting) with some of the best under 25 y.o musicians around.
Spearheading the project was pianist Harry Sutherland and the feature musician for this profile – Dan Clohesy.
He hails from Adelaide and in 2009 he won the James Morrison Generations In Jazz Scholarship.
Not yet 18 and already a phenomenal player.
What knocked me out though was the compositions written and arranged for his 8 piece ensemble. Mature and through composed, creating great grooves and contexts for the soloist to play with.
Hopefully you’ll get a chance to hear them when they are released later this year.

You can check him out at Myspace and Youtube.

Here’s his response to my questions.

1. Favourite/Most influential Jazz Musician?

Mark Turner probably my favourite saxophonist right now.

Kurt Rosenwinkel is probably my favourite musician – his music has had a huge impact on my writing and improvisation.

Chris Potter is just totally hardcore, listen to ‘Follow the Red Line’; amazing – awesome solos and awesome tunes.

Maria Schneider has had a huge influence on approach to harmony in mycompositions. Her website is real cool; you can buy the scores for all of her albums and check out how she voices and harmonises stuff.

I’m also into what Radiohead has been doing. Lately I’ve been programming beats and synths with Ableton Live on my MacBook and using it in the studio with my band ‘Cactus’. I love the sound of acoustic drums and electronic drums in unison – thats what Radiohead have been doing. There’s also a sweet German band called Tied & Tickled Trio that have been doing a similar thing.

2. Favourite/Most Influential Australian Musician?

Barney McAll without a doubt. His albums ‘Mother Of Dreams & Secrets’ and ‘Flashbacks’ inspired me start a large ensemble project. Harry Sutherland (Sydney-based pianist; GIJ Finalist 2008 & 2009) & I organised an eight piece band of Sydney and Adelaide musicians to record our compositions.We’ve just finished recording the album and it has been amazing.

3. All time favourite album?

ARTIST: Sylent Running (Feat. Barney McAll)

ALBUM: Empathy Chip

Check it out! http://sylentrunning.bandcamp.com/

ARTIST: Kurt Rosenwinkel

ALBUM: Heartcore

ARTIST: Chris Potter
ALBUM: Follow The Red Line

ARTIST: Radiohead
ALBUM: Kid A

4. Best live gig you’ve seen?

a) Julien Wilson & Jim Black Live at the Melbourne International JazzFestival 2009

c) Barney McAll’s ‘Sylent Running’ at the 2009 Wangarrata Jazz Festival.

The first time I had heard Barney McAll live, what an awesome musician! So was the singer Gian Slater.

Jim Black is amazing – probably the coolest drummer I have ever heard!

b) Jamie Oehlers, Paul Grabowsky & Tim Firth “Lost And Found” in Adelaide.
Paul was playing wild Nord Electro. This was the best I’ve ever heard Jamie Oehlers play, off the hook.

5. What are you working on right now?

I just finished recording two albums, one with my band ‘Cactus’ and another with an eight piece collective put together by myself and Harry Sutherland. I’ve had an awesome time recording both albums and am really excited about what we’ve been able to produce. Once production is complete, the albums will be available on iTunes.

Later,
Eamon

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Guitarist Carl Morgan recently moved to Sydney (across the road from me) after growing up on the south coast in Tilba, studying in Canberra for 3 years and living in Melbourne for a year.
In the last 2 months of being neighbours we’ve had many discussions about music and found we have similar views and thoughts. Carl is going to be one of the baddest guitarists in Sydney and once you’ve heard him you’ll agree. I’ve been truly inspired by his discipline and approach to improvising and in particular his exploration of poly-rhythmic ideas in improvisation.

Here’s a few questions he answered for me:

1. Favourite/Most influential Jazz Musician?

For the last 3 years New York guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has been undoubtably my favourite musician and the person who has had the biggest impact on my playing and conception of music. He is one of the most unique voices in jazz today and someone who has influenced many younger jazz musicians from around the world. I was initially blown away by his sense of melody on the first track, “Zhivago”, off his album “The Next Step”. He has an incredible sense of harmony, time and technique. His compositions have shaped modern jazz music. But the deep effect of his music goes beyond the notes that he plays.

2. Favourite/Most Influential Australian Musician?

James Muller is my favourite Australian jazz musician. He is an incredible guitar player as everyone who reads this I’m sure already knows. James is unique in that the stuff he can do on the guitar I’ve heard no one else do. He has an amazing feel and plays melodic and beautiful solos. Those who haven’t heard his album “Kaboom” with Matt Penman and Bill Stewart should really do so! I am also a big fan of Aussie pianists Sean Wayland and Barney McAll who are both doing great things in New York.

3. All time favourite album?

Thats a hard question, so I’ll just say a few:

D’Angelo – Voodoo

Wayne Shorter Quartet – Beyond the Sound Barrier

Kurt Rosenwinkel – The Next Step

4. Best live gig you’ve seen?

The John Scofield Trio/Wayne Shorter Quartet double bill at the Hamer Hall in Melbourne when I was in Year 12. Front row, right in front of Brian Blade! Wow!

5. What are you working on right now?

The Matt Penman workout off Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music blog.. Talks about practicing scales with a metronome, putting the clicks on various beats in the bar, e.g. playing a standard and putting the click on dotted crotchets. Also learning the tunes for the Dilworths gig at the Jazzgroove Festival next weekend!

Matt Penman Workout
Banff, May 2009
Metronome at 40.
Scales ascending and descending.
One note per click.
Two notes, etc…
Goes up to ten notes per click.
Metronome placement
Clicks are:
on 4.
‘And’ of 2 & 4.
‘And’ of 4.
Dotted half.
Dotted quarter.
12/8.
Different groupings of eighth notes.
Clap the polyrhythms.
Play the polyrhythms.
5/4.
Metronome on half notes.
3-2, 2-3.
Add eighth note groupings (twice as fast).
7/4.
Metronome on half notes.
Combinations of eighths against pulse.
9/8.
Metronome on dotted eighths.
Groupings.
Metronome on quarters.
Continue.

Later
Eamon

P.S Check him out on myspace

From Dan Clohesy Recording session

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