Recently, I had the pleasure of of recording and performing Rites, an album of my compositions with some of my favourite Australian improvising musicians in a band called Franklin. I was interested in exploring unusual forms and rhythms, often setting up rhythmic and harmonic frameworks without specifying individual parts. I was joined by Jamie Oehlers on soprano/tenor saxophone, Ollie McGill on piano and Dave Beck on drum, and bunch of the works were developed in collaboration with Ollie. The basic premise of the album was ‘no swing and no solos’. However, with Jamie in the band, I had to be somewhat flexible with the rule!
We launched the album in Sydney on May 15 at Lamps as part of the Bohemian Grove Series (with James Waples on the drums) to an amazing crowd of people who were engaged every step of the way whilst we made these sounds live for the first time. The band brought a lot of new energy and life to the tunes in the live space. Action 5 (a group of upcoming improvisors) really set the vibe for the evening. On Thursday May 17 we performed at the Jazzlab in Melbourne with a mind-blowing opening set by contrabass soloist Nick Tsiavos, whose work everyone should know! Even the notoriously difficult Melbourne crowd braved the cold and brought the vibes.
It was my first album of this kind and was an immensely rewarding experience. I learned a lot, and am really looking forward to further developing and expanding this project. The project was gratefully supported by Aus Co and Arts Initiative Australia.
Check out the album here: