UQ Big Band – the other side of mozART
I have conducted the UQ Big Band since 2007, and the ensemble has gone from strength to strength since then. This year, the band premiered Markus Geiselhart’s ‘the other side of mozART’, a suite for big band, narrators and string quartet. Ben Stewart (from Scene Magazine) reviewed the concert stating: “The vibrant and immensely talented young musicians of the UQ Big band gave ebullient fanfare and funk sensuality to the life and works of Mozart; marvellous soli from the brass, with all stops and stylistic restrictions removed, groove and power evident in the whole. Drive and groove were abundant, as solid and qualified funk was applied to an already taxing repertoire of bombastic and emotionally powerful music. The whole show was right on the money, presentation and message-wise, and the players loved what they were doing. Marvellous.”
The DVD of this live concert is now available here: http://clintallen.bandcamp.com/album/uq-big-band-the-other-side-of-mozart
This album documents Churchill Fellowship recipient Clint Allen’s foray into contemporary composition and performance that seeks to bring modern jazz together with classical sensibilities. After rehearsing in Amsterdam at the ‘Theatre de Roode Bioscoop’, the six musicians travelled to the famous ‘Fattoria Musica’, a recording studio in Osnabrück, Germany (with an amazing Steinway D-series concert grand piano), which is located on a beautiful old farm and is considered to be one of the leading facilities for music production in Germany.
“Impulse” hints of contemporary jazz, minimalism and avant-garde experimentalism, where the improvisations are themselves organic and act seamlessly with the compositions. Recorded under the watch of renowned sound engineer, Chris Weeda and mastered by Darius Van Helfteren (Amsterdam Mastering), the result is a CD of haunting beauty, unsettling at times with dark overtones, but with glistening strings and gorgeous piano lines. This CD is available online here: http://clintallen.bandcamp.com/album/impulse
Trumpet: Clint Allen
Piano: Martin Fondse
Violin: Jeffrey Bruinsma
Violin: Jasper le Clercq
Viola: Oene van Geel
Cello: Jörg Brinkmann
The return of the Resin Dogs
It’s been a thrill to work with Dave Atkins over the past couple of years writing and recording horn lines for a number of artists including the Resin Dogs, Thavy Ear and the Bankrupt Billionaires. The first of these have recently seen the light of day. The first single from the EP is ‘Still The Beats’ and features Dialectrix on vocal duties. The second Single ‘Ride’ features the sassy vocals of Kel from Bankrupt Billionaires to fire up the party, and Hau from the JJJ Hip Hop show features on the track “For My People”. This EP is also available online here: http://hydrofunkrecords.bandcamp.com/merch
It was also great fun to play on Thavy Ear’s single, “Slipped Away”. This track was inspired by Miles Davis-esque trumpet lines (taken from the film “Ascenseur pour l’échafaud”).
CrXssover Big Band
The ‘CrXssover Big Band’ is comprised of Brisbane’s top classical, jazz, studio and commercial musicians, who come from a variety of backgrounds and bring with them a range of performing styles. The ensemble debuted in early 2010, performing the music of Frank Zappa at a sold-out Brisbane Jazz Club, where the venue was forced to disappoint scores of enthusiastic patrons eager to attend the concert, by closing its doors on the already packed venue. The ensemble was also featured at the Globe Theatre (Fortitude Valley), and the Brisbane Festival in 2010, again selling out the Spiegeltent with over 500 people in attendance. After playing the music of Frank Zappa to sell-out audiences in 2010, the ‘CrXssover Big Band’ turned its focus to the music of Icelandic songstress, Bjork, whose diverse and eclectic musical style has been influenced by many different pop and avant-garde musicians and genres, including alternative rock, jazz, electronic dance music, classical, folk, ambient and hip hop. In 2011, the band performed to a huge crowd at the Broadbeach Jazz Festival (Gold Coast) and will also perform on two nights at the Woodford Folk Festival (in December, 2011).
It seems ideal that an ensemble, with a base musician core of 18 (5 woodwinds, 7 brass, piano, guitar, bass, percussion/midi, drums, vocalist) be best equipped to play music from such a variety of sources. Although this instrumentation is the standard ‘big band’ lineup, it is hoped that other groups come from this ‘collective’. It is equipped to tackle the music of avant-garde composer David Sanford (who won the Rome Prize and used it to write totalist/big band compositions), interpretations of the music of Satie and Strauss by Matthias Ruegg (who directed the Vienna Art Orchestra for 25 years), music for big band and strings by Markus Stockhausen, adventurous rock compositions by Frank Zappa and alternative rock outfit, Radiohead; angular compositions by Louis Andriessen and Michael Torke (premiered by the infamous Orkest de Volharding), hip-hop inspired pieces that feature turntables and sampling (such as the work of Paul Leary), new works that blend genres by controversial Dutch composer Jacob Ter Veldhuis, jazz theatre works inspired by Mozart from Germany by trombonist/composer Markus Geiselhart, new commissions by Martin Fondse (who runs his own Starvinsky Orkest in Amsterdam), and electronica-inspired arrangements of Icelandic songstress, Bjork.
Churchill Fellowship trip to Europe
I’m looking forward to meeting, and working with many European trumpeters such as Eric Aubier (Paris), Wim Van Hasselt (Amsterdam), Marcus Stockhausen (Cologne), Thierry Caens (France), Pierre Dutot (Lyon), Andre Heuvelman (Amsterdam), Ruud Breuls (Amsterdam), Marco Blaauw (Amsterdam)…..