Jane Irving is one of Sydney’s most swingtastic singers. I’ve had the pleasure of performing and hanging out with her many times and she is one of my all time favourites.
Every Sunday you can check her out with her all star band “The Swinging Blades”  down at Marrickville Golf Club 3:30pm-6:30pm.

Check it!!!

Here’s her top 3 albums:

Sarah Vaughan ‘Swingin’ Easy’.
The tracks on this CD are from two New York recordings. 1954 and 1957. John Malachi and Jimmy Jones piano; Joe Benjamin and Richard Davis bass and Roy Haynes drums.
~I first heard this album somewhere back in the early 80s in high school. It was my introduction to jazz singing. It completely blew my mind then and when I return to it now it’s the combination of interaction, quality of accompaniment and Sarah’s effortless singing style that I love. Swingin easy indeed. The thing I remember the most however, was hearing Sarah’s solo on All Of Me. A perfectly constructed solo, inventive, grooving and acrobatic. It was that precise moment that I fell in love with Sarah and made my decision to go about learning how to sing jazz. I knew I had a long road ahead of me but I was attracted to that beautiful mystery. I love her time, her humour, the range (hello!) and the willingness and confidence to really take a tune somewhere –not just sing the melody and be done with it. On this album Sarah’s personality shines beautifully bright –especially for someone who had only recorded once before with a small group, and in the 50’s her larynx was no-where near as close to the floor as in later years. There are some straight ahead tunes here, ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’, ‘They Can’t Take That Away From Me’ and other tracks including a very swinging ‘You Hit The Spot’, ‘If I Knew Then’, ‘Words Can’t Describe’, ‘Linger Awhile’ and the opening track ‘Shulie a Bop’ (a tune that Sarah wrote with George Treadwell) -are tunes that I will forever associate with Sarah.

Mark Murphy ‘Kerouac, Then And Now’ 1989
Bill Mays piano; John Goldsby bass and Steve LaSpina bass; Adam Nussbaum drums.
~ Mark Murphy draws from the days of Jack Kerouac including readings from the ‘Big Sur’ and ‘On The Road’ both with rhythm accompaniment but
this is a pretty big album in terms of material. Mark says in the liner notes that people like Monk and Eddie Jefferson (who are also acknowledged in this album) “…all added a richness to the legacy of the Beats –and beyond. This legacy still is as hot today as it was then”. Well, Mark should know. He is jazz. Monk’s ‘Ask Me Now’ is so god damn groovy I can’t stand it and his singing on ‘The Night We Called It A Day’ is just sublime. Every single track on this record holds you, deeply invested in –what’s about to happen and there is a lot of ground covered. Mark is the ultimate story teller. His perspectives are totally unique and he goes to great lengths to get his point across over a lyric with the most beautiful phrasing – never the same, always giving every word the precise weight it deserves. Like a conversation. I’ve learned much from this record.

Sonny Stitt sits in with The Oscar Peterson Trio’
Two sessions1957 with Oscar; Ray Brown bass; Herb Ellis guitar; Stan Levey drums and 1959 with Oscar; Ray Brown bass and Ed Thigpen drums and Sonny on tenor and alto.
~This one swings it’s ass off, unwavering, right in the pocket. I’ve pretty much committed this album to memory – well, pretty much, ha! A tune that nobody does ‘The Gypsy’ was the killer for me. I’m sure that when instrumentalists know the lyrics to tunes, you can hear it in their blowing. Well, whether Sonny did or not, the soul and intent in this mans playing is extraordinary. This is pretty much a dream band and the vibe of both recordings is just so happening. ‘I Know That You Know’ is what I like to call stupid fast and they all get around it. Sonny with all those triplet rolls and the way he gets from one part of the horn to the other in half the blink of an eye, is so fluid. I think I’m gona take it for a spin right now… happy happy daze!

E. Dilla

P.S Coming up next – Kristen Beradi!!!


Melbourne Debut

Hey Everyone,

The Dilworths have just got back from a well received debut gig at Melbourne’s Bennetts Lane Jazz Club as part of the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival.
A big thanks goes out to Steve Barry, filling the piano chair, Sonja Horbelt, Tamara Murphy, Martin Jackson and Bennetts Lane for making the gig possible. It was wonderful to make our debut to a full house.

Roger Mitchell uploaded some great photos of the gig that you can check out here.

Here’s a track from the gig:


E. Dilla

Over the next few weeks I’m doing a favourite CD series with a few of my favourite vocalists that I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.
First up is the delightful Hannah Macklin who hails from Brisbane. We first met as finalists in the 2008 James Morrison Scholarship in Mount Gambier and I have been listening to a CD she recorded of her duo project with Steve Newcomb.
She is a wonderful, creative singer and I recommend you check her out at her Myspace.

Here’s what Hannah had to say about 4 of her favourite albums:

1. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

This was without a doubt the most-listened-to album of my high school years. I still listen to it frequently and love it; Lauryn’s tone is my favourite! “Every Ghetto, Every City” makes me want to wear high top sneakers and Afro combs and play in broken water mains, all the time. The tunes and grooves are so super solid and the lyrics are powerful and passionate and intelligent.. I don’t really need to explain it. It’s dope.

2. Bjork – Homogenic

It’s kind of hard to choose one Bjork album as the most influential… Bjork in general is a massive presence in my life! Musically, artistically, lyrically, everything. I think what sets Homogenic apart for me is the personal listening experience I had with it… at first I found the album cold and harsh, with tracks like “Hunter” and “Pluto” that really get up in your face and scream right through you. With each listen, though, the album softens and the incredible beauty of tracks “Joga” and “Unravel” becomes apparent, as does Bjork’s raw, soul-baring vocal and lyrical delivery. The arrangements and instrumentation are a constant source of inspiration – I love how she blends pure instrumentation with electronic programming – as are the off kilter grooves and leaping, soaring melodies… Just talking about it makes me want to listen to it right now.

3. Wayne Shorter Quartet – Beyond The Sound Barrier

I love the language and the conversations between the players on this album, little bits of information that gradually come together – it reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle, starting with all separate bits which move closer together to eventually make a whole scene. Wayne’s tone is of course beautiful – vibrant and joyous and always carving the direction for the band. This is inspiring as a solo voice and a band leader. There’s a particular phrase he plays on… I can’t remember which track, but it’s in my head right now, and I could base an entire song around it, it’s so packed with grit and substance.

4. Rufus Wainwright – Release The Stars

Again, it was a toss up between a couple of Rufus albums, but by the time Rufus released Release The Stars I was already a huge fan… and then I heard this, and my respect for him increased tenfold. The impact it had on me was huge. For me, Rufus writes songs that sound larger than life… and he is the master of tension and the slow build. I transcribed the orchestral arrangement on Do I Disappoint You for a uni assignment, and one day in the library whilst listening intently to the crux of the song, I found myself crying like a baby. Pretty embarrassing, but also completely amazing. His voice is an amazing, amazing instrument, and the songs on Release The Stars are for me, perfect pop songs.

E. Dilla

Next week: Jane Irving

Bell Awards

Hi Everyone,

This week I was fortunate to attend the Australian Bell Awards in Melbourne as a nominee in the Young Australian Category and it was a wonderful oppotuinty to meet some truly great musicians from both Sydney and Melbourne. My congratulations to Linda Oh who took out the Young Australian of the Year Award and also to Jonathon Zwartz who recently released a seriously good record “The Sea” and took out 2 Bells for best composition and best ensemble. The other nominee in my category was Nat Bartsh who I hadn’t met until the awards dinner where we were seated together and did a CD swap. I got back home this afternoon and put on her CD and was entranced by her music. Really great stuff. Another highlight of the  night was Kristen Berardi and James Sherlock’s performances (Kristin won best vocalist) – they stole the show and had the whole room at a stand still, mesmorised. It was great to catch up with her and Dave Theak – two of the nicest and giving musicians around.

I enjoyed an extra night in Melbourne (courtesy of my girlfriend Phillippa’s mother) and picked up some really great CD’s that I’ve spent my weekend checking out.
Here’s what I bought – check them out:
Kenny Barron  “What If” Featuring Wallace Roney, John Stubblefield, Cecil McBee and Victor Lewis
Katie Noonan & The Captains “Emperor’s Box” Featuring Stu Hunter (Best Album Winner Bells 2010) Cameron Deyell & Declan Kelly
Nat Bartsh Trio “Trio” Featuring Josh Holt & Leigh Fisher
The World According to James “Lingua Franca” Featuring James Greening, Andrew Robson, Steve Elphick & Toby Hall

That’s all for now, coming up this week is video footage of the great Roger Manins and a series of top albums with some of the finest vocalists in Australia.



New Videos!!!


E. Dilla

Current Listening:
Pivot – Make Me Love You
Wynton Marsalis – Black Codes From The Underground
Sufjan Stevens – Come on Feel The Illinoise

Current Reading:
The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
Footprints – The Wayne Shorter Biography

Hey Everyone,

Here’s a video of a brand new tune I wrote for our gigs last weekend called “Thank You Mr Kneebody” at 505.


E Dilla