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Posts Tagged ‘Carl Morgan’

Hey everyone,

Last night I got to film the great Dave Panichi’s Septet at the new 505 venue.
It was a great night featuring Phil Slater, Peter Farrar, Carl Morgan, Hugh Barrett, Brendan Clark and Evan Mannell.
Dave writes some great conceptual compositions and I hope to put up a few videos over the next week to show those who couldn’t make the gig.

For now here is Peter Farrar’s solo on the last tune for the night. Peter is one of the most interesting and exciting players in Sydney and it’s rare to see him perform. Hope you enjoy:

later,

Eamon

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One of the things I’ve wanted to do with the blog is not only put up articles about my peers but also put up interviews with some of the people who have inspired us to make music.
I sat down with guitarist Carl Morgan a few weeks ago to come up with the following series of questions to ask Sydney based Guitarist James Muller.
Here’s what he said:

What motivates you to keep practicing/disciplining yourself to continue working on furthering your craft?

A lot of it is being inspired by other musicians, especially my contemporaries and the new-breed. I get jealous sometimes when I hear my friends sounding better than me. Ha. I don’t want to be left behind sounding old and lame! Also, I get bored playing the same old stuff.

What are some of the ways you’ve approached working on time/feel?

Mainly, it’s just something I’m always aware of rather than working on specific things. I’m more conscious of time than harmony or melody. It’s the most important component of jazz, I think. I play little rhythmic games when I practise – usually just picking a tempo and then subdividing the beat in different ways. I like going up and down through quavers, quaver triplets, semiquavers, semiquaver quintuplets and semiquaver sextuplets. Then I try and mix them all up randomly. Also, dividing regular quavers/semiquavers into odd groupings 3/5/6/7/9 etc… All of these things really help your basic 4/4 playing. Feel, is different. It’s harder to work on. I listen to players with great feels and try and analyse what it is that makes their feel great. Usually, it’s about the way they accent certain notes and where the lay on the beat, but it’s also the shape of the melodic line itself that makes it feel groovy or not. I don’t think you can play any old bunch of notes and make it swing, no matter how good your time feel is. The way the notes are arranged is really important (and the rests too!). It’s taken me a long time to figure that out…

What are some of the key aspects that you feel are most important for younger aspiring musicians to work on?

If you’re a pianist or guitarist – COMPING. I’ve only really just started to get into that. What a fool I’ve been. It’s so important to learn how to do well. Transcribe comping as well as solos…

Business skills! I’m not kidding. I still have no idea with that stuff and I really regret not learning more about it. Hopefully it’s not too late.

Are there any bands or musicians (of any genre) you’ve recently discovered that are challenging or inspiring you to think differently about music and improvisation? If so, what aspects and/or ideas have you drawn from them?

At the moment I’m on an Allan Holdsworth kick. He is a real genius. Listening to him has totally reinvigorated my practising. The way he constructs lines and chords is incredible and completely unique and I think everyone should be checking him out. He’s as heavy as Coltrane, I think. He has changed music. Sean Wayland is a constant source of inspiration. Simon Barker has some great views on music and life. I guess I haven’t “recently discovered” these guys technically speaking. All of these guys are really methodical about the way they practise and learn. I have always been really erratic and just noodled for practise which I guess works to a certain degree but it’s time for me to actually start thinking about precisely what I want.

How has living in Australia affected your development as a musician?

That’s hard. I could be nasty and say “adversely”. There is some incredible talent here and Australia it’s a wonderful place to live but I can’t help thinking we all (jazz musos) would be better off living in the US or Europe. We would be better players and might be a lot better off financially, certainly artistically. It’s not the musicians’ fault really. The more I think about it the darker I get about the way we are viewed by the general public over here. Still, there are many worse places to be.

You recently completed a tour with Sean Wayland’s band featuring Mark Guilliana. Can you tell us about your history with Sean and some of the highlights of the projects of his that you’ve been involved in?

Sean started booking me for gigs in 1997, a year or so after I moved to Sydney from Adelaide. Soon after I was in pretty well all of his subsequent groups right up until he left to live in NY. I’m not sure why he kept me on. I think initially he was impressed with my playing but later it became just as much about having a friend around that respected his music/vision. I think that’s a big part of why I played on his most recent US recordings. I think having another Aussie around experiencing these great rhythm sections and horn players is important to him. It’s great for me!! It’s been amazing to watch Sean develop so consistently over the years. He is one of the great thinkers and problem-solvers in music today, I think. As far as highlights go, the most exciting/fun gigs I did were when Sean brought out Jochen Rueckert and Matt Penman from NY in 2002. That was my first taste of a top-notch modern American rhythm section and I was in HEAVEN! I have recordings of those gigs. Really great experience. I did a couple of gigs at the 55 bar with Sean in 2007 with some great players – Will Vinson, Orlando La Fleming, Henry Cole, Rudy Royston. Matt Clohesy – they were awesome fun too. As soon as I get in the studio though, I can’t enjoy myself. Playing with Keith Carlock, Tim Lebvre and Adam Rogers on the Pistachio CD was great but I couldn’t relax. I wish we did a gig. There were Aussie highlights too – recording with Sean, Nick McBride and Brett Hirst in “the shed” – Sean’s old house in Jarrett St, Leichhardt. My amp was in Nick’s car in the driveway, turned up to 11, Brett was with the double bass in the bathroom and Nick in sean’s bedroom. The only way sean could communicate with the other guys was to speak “live” arrangement instructions into a microphone which came out on the recording! It actually sounded pretty good!!

What are you working on right now?

Chords. Trying to comp better. Trying to remove other people’s licks from my playing..it’s EMBARRASSING when I hear myself do it these days. It will stop!!

5 questions in 30 seconds

Favourite Youtube Video :
Best live gig you’ve seen: John Scofield with Larry Goldings, Dennis Irwin and Bill Stewart @ The Basement Jan 1995.
Best gig you’ve played: Hmm Sean Wayland, Matt Penman, Jochen Rueckert @ Coogee Beach Jan 2002
Current favourite album: Allan Holdsworth “The Sixteen Men Of Tain”
Where can we see you play next? Feb 6 @ the Walsh Bay Jazz Festival and Mar5/6 @ 505.

Later,
Eamon (and Carl)

P.S check out James Muller at www.jamesmuller.com

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Thanks to everyone who came down and supported The Dilworths set at the Jazzgroove Festival last night. Thanks to Carl Morgan or filling in – you smoked it!  It was such a great crowd and a big turn out for all the bands that night. I couldn’t stay around but heard that Elana Stone’s Band rocked the house.

For those that missed it, there was a marching band on Saturday arvo marching down Foveaux St drawing people out of the shop fronts in a wicked New Orleans style jam. It was so great and inspiring to see so many of the top sydney musicians that I’ve grown up admiring to be getting together jamming to promote the festival.

I’ll be heading down tonight to check out Gerard Masters, the Waples Brothers and the Vampires. I’m sure the Mothership will be a smokin’ gig too.

Big shout out to the Jazzgroove Association, but in particular Mat Ottignon and John Hibbard for the great efforts they went to make it such a successful festival. Hopes high that it happens again next year.

-Eamon

Current Reading: Richard Dawkins – Evidence for Evolution
Current Listening: Terence Blanchard – Choices; Check out his “webisodes’ on youtube, “Evolving” in particular episode 3 discussing the bands approach to playing.

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Just wanted to let you know that The Dilworths will be performing at the Jazzgroove futures festival on Saturday the 16th January 8pm at the Excelsior Hotel in Surry Hills.

Carl Morgan will be filling in on Guitar for Hugh Barrett whose away with The Beautiful Girls

Below is the write up from the program

8pm THE DILWORTHS

These young guys are Jazzgroove Records latest release and perhaps the next big thing. The Dilworths find the perfect balance of modern day Jazz influences, lending from American and European traditions while embracing the raw earthiness of their Australian roots. The band has undeniable experience beyond their years, having performed individually everywhere from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House.

Eamon Dilworth – Trumpet

Karl Laskowski – Tenor Saxophone

Carl Morgan – Guitar

Alex Boneham – Upright Bass

Cameron Reid – Drums

more info : www.jazzgroove.com

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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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I’ve just got back from 2 great days in the studio.
Yesterday The Dilworths went into the ABC and recorded a Live set for ABCJazz for digital radio that’ll get played later this year.
Today was a day at Morrison studios with an 8 piece ensemble lead by two amazing young players – Tenor Saxophonist Dan Clohesy and pianist Harry Sutherland. Man these guys can not only play like mofos but also write some serious music. Great tunes and arrangements and it was such a pleasure to be invited to get involved with such amazing musicians.
John Morrison once again was super supportive in the studio (as when he recorded the Dilworths).
The octet is a new project and features some of the best up and coming guys – guitarist Carl Morgan, trombonist Jimmy Bowman, alto saxophonist Ross Harrington, fellow Dilworther Alex Boneham, Drummer James Jennings and Matt Collins (great lead chops!).

Check out their sites:

http://myspace.com/danielclohesymusic

http://myspace.com/carlmorganmusic

Later,
Eamon

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