Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A record label

Should I? I am moving to The Blue Mountains in a months time. It's the most beautiful World heritage area just west of Sydney. I am doing what Australian's refer to as a "tree change" (or sea change if that's where you are going). Bowing out of the very expensive fast treadmill of city existence. - Did you know that for the price of one unit in Sydney you can buy two in Paris? And I am thinking of starting a Jazz record label. Just for fun. We have just great musicians in Australia, and I thought it may be fun to release an album a year. It's something I have dreamt about for near on a decade and I thought that now may be the time to start. I could call it something like:
1. Echo Point Records. (or EPR)
2. Three Sisters
3. Mount Solitary Records (or MSR)
3. Blue Bower Records (or BBR)

As I shout out into the wilderness....I am sure the echo will come back. Echo Point Records sounds good.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Translating, Transcribing

One of the things that interests me is the idea of taking one piece of information and using a different form of language or data - and re-creating it. Translating from one language into another is one of those ways, another is transcribing a jazz solo into notation - particularly if the piece was originally improvised. My 'Grand Artwork' - which this blog is ultimately about and sourcing for, is based on inviting translations of a piece of foriegn text and having jazz music attached to each. In my ongoing research into the 'Grand Artwork' - i have stumbled across a guy who has transcribed to Brad Mehldau pieces for users to download. One is for Lament for Linus from his album Art of the Trio Vol 1 - it's a great effort and a wonderful little piece of the long tail the web is so good for. (and for any Brad fans - this guy also had an entire discography of Brad Mehldau here)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Patty Griffin live in Katoomba

This isn't exactly Jazz, but good music is good music. Patty Griffin - considered one of America's greatest songwriters around, has visited Australia for the first time. And amongst the larger venues she has performed a little venues in country towns. I went to see her at Katoomba in The Blue Mountains, at a venue called "The Clarendon" The Clarendon Hotel is famous for the big acts from overseas which stop by there. This photo was taken at a venue similar size about a week prior. The gig i saw on Saturday was the last of her tour and the last for 2007 for her. She had three beautiful guitars on stage (Gibson's i think), her guitarist and a piano. A really intimate passionate gig - and one where every person in the room was a fan. It's been a while since I have seen some live Jazz and I am beginning to hunger for it. I have been listening a lot to a new album called "River- the Joni Letters" - which is Herbie Hancock with invited singers covering Joni Mitchell songs. The band includes, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland , Vinnie Colaiuta and Lionel Loueke. Amazing stuff. It's Produced by Larry Klein with Herbie. Check out the New Yorker review here .

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday, November 9, 2007

Summer house, Hardanger, Norway

Summer House, Hardanger

This house is something like the one I would like to build to either 1) use as my studio 2) listen to jazz 3)invite jazz musicians to record an album in it. Speaking of Norway - one of my absolute favourite jazz bands - The Tord Gustavsen Trio recently (well kind of recently) released their latest album "Being
There". Check it out here.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Tonight I went to my local independent bookstore's drinks to celebrate it's expansion. Better Read than Dead has been there for 12 years and its growing. I have bought the majority of my book collection from that single store over the years. I live in a wonderful suburb in Sydney called Newtown. It's old and quirky, full of wonderful shops, fashion, design, music, books but mostly cafe's. Old and new. Lots of Thai, a wonderful genuine healthy Mexican cafe,Guzman Y Gomez, a Tea shop, T2, with every type of Tea you can imagine. The one MacDonalds eventually was kicked out. We have no Starbucks. The only 'chain' existing is a rather bland coffee shop called Gloria Jeans. It's the perfect place for artists to hang out alongside all other walks of life. It's always going, morning noon and night - and I believe unique in Sydney. It has a wonderful venue called The Vanguard - which does feature a lot of Jazz gigs, plus another The Sound Lounge - the Jazz venue/night run by SIMA every Friday and Saturday at the Seymore Centre in Newtown. It's a true genuine community, that has grown and morphed and morphed again over many years, always changing, always adapting. Tiny tiny streets, none of them one way, surround the suburb, where you are constantly backing up to let a car through. There is a very ancient historical graveyard - Camperdown Graveyard. it's hauntingly beautiful with tumbled down, chipped and rotten tombstones, telling stories of young women and men, dying at an early age from another time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz

I was recently in France. And as I do whenever I go to a different country, different city, I always check out the books stores and the music stores. And when I am in a music store I go straight to the jazz section and look under "M". For Mehldau. It's just habit. I really don't quite know why - but I just think that there may be some weird album I have missed out on. Sometimes there is. Sometimes they file some other performers work that feature him. I'm not obsessed - but he is my starting point I guess. Anyway getting back to France. So it produced a wee suprise in Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Radio broadcast of her interview with Brad. It's wonderful. My friend Michael says that she has been going for years, and has interviewed his favourites...Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson to name some. What amazed me - when she volunteered to play something herself was how absolutely timeless it was. It could have almost been Brad. Or some hip contemporary NY dude.