Posts Tagged ‘Sydney Jazz’

505 – now U-18 Friendly


Cameron Undy has just informed me that 505 is now under 18 year old friendly when accompanied by an adult.

This is great news for all the keen students looking for a place to go regularly to see jazz in Sydney.


E. Dilla

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Hey Everyone,

As some of you may know I am currently writing from London for the next 2 months as I am here on a scholarship to study along with fellow Dilworther Alex Boneham.

So far the summer weather here is more like a warm Sydney winter day but the extended hours of sunlight (sun sets about 10pm) is encouraging to get out each night to see some of the great gigs that have been taking place.

While still battling jet lag, I haven’t had a chance to slow down the last three days. Aussie ex-pat Graeme Blevins led an All-Star quintet at the Pizza Express Jazz Club two nights in a row featuring German trumpeter Till Bronner and Guitarist Mike Outtram. By the second night this band was smoking playing a few standards and modern originals. Till has a super slick sound and outstanding technique that sucks you in with every note he plays. Graeme used to lead a band in Perth called K which is well worth checking out.

Yesterday before watching the frustrating England vs Algeria match was a keynote address by Wynton Marsalis. This week Jazz at the Lincoln Centre orchestra is in residence. I’m particular excited to go see them on a free stage this afternoon and also another group with Terrell Stafford and Rodney Whitaker. Wynton gave a very inspiring talk and used his trumpet and quintet to demonstrate. In particular talked about some ideas of group playing and time modulations that had Alex and I going home together and trying some of it out! Check out a great review of the address from London Jazz Blog – http://londonjazz.blogspot.com/2010/06/wynton-marsalis-keynote-address.html

Below is a photo of Wynton with Walter Blanding, Dan Nimmer, Carlos Henriques and Ali Jackson.

Thats all for now,

E. Dilla

P.S Feel free to drop a comment on the posts! Id love to know whats happening back home!


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Here’s a tune I wrote entitled “Trapped” and features Karl Laskowski and Steve Barry. Dig!

Below is a PDF of the score.
Click here to view the score for Trapped (E.Dilworth)



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Hey Guys,

Beginning of May I was fortunate to be invited by bassist Lyndon Gray to come down to Adelaide to perform a few gigs at COMA and La Boheme. I had a fantastic time and got to play with some really great musicians including Dan Clohesy – with whom I recorded an album of octet music back in January.

I was promoting The Dilworths’ album and performing music with two bands while I was in town. I was very excited for my first experience of stepping of the plane and driving straight to the gig, meeting the band for the first time and then performing my compositions. They played the tunes really well and I has such a blast playing with them.

The Monday night was at COMA with Dan Clohesy, Lyndon Gray and Stephen Neville and Wednesday night with some of the teachers from the Adelaide Conservatorium – Chris Soole, Chris Martin, Lyndon Gray and Kevin Van Der Zwaag.

Some pictures were posted of the Monday night gig in which you can view here and a few in the slideshow below.

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E. Dilla

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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!!!

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Hey Everyone,

Just a heads up that The Dilworths have to exciting shows coming up this weekend.
We are featuring music from our debut album “Introducing The Dilworths” as well as a whole set of new original compositions the band has been workshopping over the last few months. This will also be Hugh Barrett’s Last run of gigs with the band while he heads away for 6 months with The Beautiful Girls so make sure you come down to here him before he goes.

On Friday (26th March) we make our long awaited debut at SIMA
For full details click here.

Two sets 8:30pm and 10pm

Please note: This is an All Ages gig (under 18’s need to be accompanied by an adult)

To celebrate this debut performance we have a double pass giveaway for the first person to email us at management@thedilworths.com

Also, on Monday (29th March)we are taking over the new 505 venue for the night. 505 has since moved from its hidden warehouse and now sits on the corner of Clevelend St and Perry Lane.

9pm Start

$10 entry and you can find out more at http://www.venue505.com

Hope to see you at one or both of these gigs this weekend! be sure to come say hi!


E Dilla

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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.


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.


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.


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

E Dilla

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

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Mike Rivett hails from Cairns, studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, then moved to Tokyo (married) and is now about to finish a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He was a few years above me at University and I only got to see him play a few times but last year while I was in New York I met him, hung out and made some music. He is an amazing saxophonist and one of those guys whose always willing to share information. Each time i saw him he’d show me a new idea he’s working on and even got me into one of his classes at MSM with Phil Markowitz. I sent him a few questions via email recently, as he’s someone who has inspired me greatly. Click here for his MySpace

1. You’ve lived in Cairns, Sydney, Tokyo and New York. Can you describe the transitions moving cities and trying to play music?

Moving to Cairns was great for me.  It gave me a chance to really study electronic music production.  I built a studio in my parent’s basement and acoustically treated it on the cheap- making acoustic panels out of rock-wool, caneite and frontrunner.  While I was there I studied various books such as “Mixing with your Mind”, “The Visual Guide to Mixing” and a bunch of other things I can’t remember off the top of my head. I got totally obsessed with it.

As far as playing went, there wasn’t much – a couple of functions here and there and the occasional cafe gig.  There was only really one other musician there that I dug playing with- Andre’ Houghton- a Guitarist that studied at Berklee.

Teaching was easy.  In a small town it’s easy to be “the man” as a musician.. I ended up teaching woodwind at a school and a bunch of private students- sax, piano, flute and clarinet. But of course I got bored with not playing serious music all the time.  As well as this I missed my girlfriend (now wife) who was living in Tokyo.

Next came the Tokyo stint.  This was a tough one- initially at least.  First came debt.  I was trying to find the ideal english teaching job- something that paid well and had flexible hours so I could still gig.  It took longer than I expected- thus the debt.  But eventually I settled on GABA corp- they had flexible hours… one out of two ain’t bad.

In terms of playing I was limited to what Ko (my good friend from Sydney who is bilingual in English and Japanese) would book me for, as in the beginning I couldn’t speak any Japanese.  However, as the time went on I picked up more and more and got to the stage where I could have very simple conversations in Japanese and thus could book some of my own stuff.   I ended up doing pretty well in Tokyo as far as playing at cool clubs with cool musicians went, but there was almost no money.  Most clubs offer a door deal.  So the english teaching job was essential.  If I was fluent in Japanese I could have taught music for a much higher rate- but that’s how it was.

While I was there I also started a record label with my friend Andre from Cairns, who eventually moved to Tokyo to live with my girlfriend and me.  The label is a minimal techno label and is called “Primpy Records” www.primpyrecords.com

Lots of fun.. silly… but fun.   We made a 12″vinyl and released also on all the digital platforms such as beatport etc.

Tokyo was a super positive experience and I wholeheartedly recommend doing what I did.  Possibly the best 2 years of my life.

Next came NY.  This is still happening but so far has been really intense, lots of study and practice- but I have learned a lot and made some great friends.  This school is the absolute bomb but really expensive.  With no scholarship it is US 100 grand including living expense for 2 years.  I managed to get a small scholarship- the president’s award.  I have been lucky enough to have my parents pay the difference.

2. Can you tell us about studying at Manhattan School of Music? What was the audition process like – demands, requirements – and the kinds of classes you undertake.

First you send a CD of “Billie’s Bounce” and a couple of other standards.  This is the prescreening process.  Then, if they like you, you get offered a live audition.  I sent a DVD audition from Tokyo which had 10 standards on it.

We take Improv, Jazz Styles, Piano, Ear Training, History, Arranging and Pedagogy.  There are many other electives too.  There has been a lot of composition involved. We have to write a tune a week for improv and write a more serious composition about once a month for Jazz Styles as well as writing solos and performing them for the class.  The requirements for improv are ridiculous.  Hexatonics, Pentatonics, approach notes through a progression in 4, 5, and 7/4, structures e.g. 1, 2, 6, b9 , structures with chromatic approach- i.e Maj. third above and below of the 1st note of the structure.. so in C it would be E, Ab, C, D, A, Db.  Then we do every possible approach up to a Maj. 7th.  Now we are working on countdown in 12keys with various patterns.  E.g.- chromatic below, scale above, chord-tone, chord-tone.  so for Emin7 it could be- F#, A, G, B..etc etc.

3. Who have you been learning from and what are some of the teachings they have imparted on you?

I’ve been studying triadic chromatic approach with George Garzone intensely for the last few years, even before MSM.  This is the secret weapon. Come and take a lesson if you want to get into it hahaha.  Takes a bit of explaining.

I’ve been studying bebop with Garry Dial.  Learning how to take the line from anywhere in the scale and knowing all the possibilities to play totally inside but really chromatically (tonal chromaticism).

With Lieb [Dave Liebman] and Phil Markowitz we learn more non-tonal chromaticism.  Again.. it would take a while to explain..

4. About a year ago in New York, we were discussing ‘developing your own sound’ and at the time what you were working on. (triadic approach to improvising) How has this developed since and if changed, what is your concept towards working on developing your own sound.

(For me) Developing your own sound means playing only things you like and filtering out the stuff you hate.  It’s about having enough musicianship to then execute those decisions.  In terms of the saxophone getting your own sound is inevitable as no one has the same mouth. But it’s all about hearing something and trying to achieve that.  You also need a concept for how in or out you want to be- how pretty, or how aggressive you know. I think it really starts by listening to cats and thinking to yourself, “I would have done that differently”  or ” I like that, I’m going to steal that”.

5. What projects are you currently working on?

I just recorded a CD with this drummer from Austria- Peter Kronreif.  He’s bringing some other cats and me out to Europe in March for a tour to promote the record.

I have an organ trio of my own.. We are going to record in late Feb.  The music has interesting harmony but is melodic as well.  We are trying to make it as interactive as we can.

I’m also playing in Dan Jamieson’s big band.  We are going to record at the end of May with John Riley on drums.  The music is a mixture of straight ahead and more chromatic, experimental sounds.

I also have a rock band that I just started writing for.  It’s the band that plays after the jazz guys when everyone wants to drink and party.. always fun to be in that band you know haha.  It has a few notey heads, which is unavoidable for a jazz geek like me, but the bulk of it is filthy grooves that would make you want to “have another beer and possible get the courage to go and talk to that chick over there.”

6. Who are some musicians we may not know about here in Sydney but should check out?

All the cats at this school.  Don’t worry you’ll hear about them.  Give it 5 years they’ll be the new cats.   But as far as pros on the scene:  I really like Ari Hoenig’s band with Gilad Hekselman and Orlando Le Flemming and Tigran Hamasyan. That music is SO INTERACTIVE.. it’s what we would all dream of achieving.  It is real jazz.  Totally open, anything can happen, but the architecture is strong and the form perfectly adhered to.


E Dilla

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This week we have Simon Ferenci’s main musical influences. Ferenci is one of the trumpeters in the generation before me (by that I mean a few years older) that I drew a lot of inspiration from. I first heard him play in Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection and since then we have played many times together in various big bands and recently more frequently in a Mariachi Band. Ferenci can be heard with his own group ‘Simon Ferenci Quartet’, ‘Doig Collective’, ‘Watussi’ and ‘The Beautiful Girls’. Check out his Myspace and hear what he does!

Here are some musical influences of mine (in roughly chronological order).

Lee Morgan

Hearing Lee Morgan was what really got me into jazz – I’d heard some other recordings before but none of them had the impact that he did right from the first note. The first album I heard him on was “Blue Train” (thanks to Scott Simpkins), but not long after that I heard his own album “The Gigolo” which is still one of my favourites. I also really like “Live at the Lighthouse” (the 2CD Fresh Sound one). So raw and dirty but it just sounds so good.

Miles Davis

I love Miles Davis’ playing but he also had a great ability to bring together some really great combinations of musicians (I think Dave Douglas is another musician who is really good at this). The quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams is probably my favourite band of all time – I love the way that they play together, sometimes going with the soloist and sometimes playing against each other. Also the freedom they have within a composition. I think the tunes “Country Son” and “Black Comedy” from “Miles in the Sky” are probably the two tunes I’ve listened to more than any others – and I still can’t believe what Tony plays!

Chris Speed/Jim Black (I reckon they count as one influence… it’s hard keeping the list down to 5!)

I went through a period where I listened to hardly anything else. ‘Alasnoaxis’, ‘Yeah No’, ‘Pachora’ etc… (and Human Feel! Gotta use this opportunity to put in a mention of Kurt Rosenwinkel who nearly made my list of 5!). The sounds and textures they get are amazing and I really like their approach to composition/structure. Also I love how “simply” Chris Speed plays his notes -no vibrato, shape, not much variety in his articulation – but still makes it sound beautiful. That’s definitely not easy. Current Chris Speed/Jim Black favourite: “Swell Henry” by Chris Speed’s band ‘Yeah No’.

Tony Malaby

One of my favourite musicians playing today. I was fortunate to see his band ‘Paloma Recio’ (with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik and Nasheet Waits) twice when I was in New York a couple of years ago. The second time I heard them was maybe the best gig I’ve ever seen (it definitely had the best drum solo I’ve ever heard!). I also really like his recordings as a sideman/collaborator with Angelica Sanchez, especially “Mirror Me”. Again, as much for the way the band plays together as for the individual playing.

-The other musos I play with

They probably deserve more than being lumped in one group together – collectively they have influenced and inspired me in my playing and approach to music more than anything else. Especially the members of my quartet (Hugh Barrett, Mike Majkowski and James Waples) but also many others: Dale Gorfinkel and Scott Simpkins back in high school, a lot of the students and teachers I studied with at the Con, and a lot of musicians/groups I’ve had the opportunity to play with since. Pretty much any playing situation you find yourself in there’s something (even if it’s only a little thing) you can learn by listening to the other musos; I try to always be open to that.

That’s it.



E Dilla

P.S He’s playing down at the Big Gorilla on Sunday

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