Sunday, July 28, 2013
Sure enough the relatively quiet start to this year completely contradicted an amazing whirlwind 3 months gone by almost constantly travelling with Lulo Reinhardt and his Latin-Swing Project, and separately Fay Sussman and Asthmatix to places far and wide including Agdz in the Sahara in Morocco playing at the Rendezvous de la Musique Festival, Kiev in the Ukraine playing at the Volodymyr Molotkov International Guitar Competition, Poznan and Piwa in Poland for 2 separate concerts, a 13 day long intensive tour throughout the UK playing 12 separate concerts, numerous concerts throughout Germany, a week long intensive tour of Poland performing Yiddish songs in a number of towns that hadn’t had Jewish music performed there since before the second world war, a fantastic concert in a small arts centre right next to the airport in Vilnius, Lithuania and many more impossible to describe performances and situations all over the place. To say that the past few months have not been somewhat life changing is an understatement and of further impact is the fact that I am now based in Berlin after almost 10 years travelling year in year out to Europe from Sydney, Australia where I have previously been living all my life. There is a lot of very interesting music work and of course yet more travels in the pipeline, here is the latest news:
At the end of August I will be travelling back to Australia and staying for some weeks to see family and friends before heading back to Europe in mid September for a month after which I will be back in Australia from mid October till the end of November for various concerts throughout Australia including with Fay Sussman and the Perogi Klezmer Band in Wagga Wagga and Sydney as well as the annual Oz Manouche Festival at Brisbane Jazz Club where I will be performing with Dutch Gypsy Jazz legend Lollo Meier. There will almost inevitably be shows with Asthmatix, Monsieur Camembert, Nadya and her 101 Candles Orkestra and The Date Brothers that will pop up so I will be posting dates and locations on my home page/gig listing as more information comes in.
The impact from Zohar’s Nigun’s 2012 debut album The Four Questions keeps on rolling with a very recent review by Michael McDowell from Blitzmag in which he described the opening track as ‘mesmerising’ and opens his review with the following incredibly kind words: ‘It has been said that great music is art, and that such art is timeless. If that is indeed the case, then such periphery as chronology and geography at best only factor marginally into the proceedings, if at all. Which under those circumstances makes the project (Zohar’s Nigun) at hand somewhat of an anomaly…’
Zohar’s Nigun’s music continues to make it’s impact felt far and wide and The Four Questions was also recently nominated for an award in the ‘Traditional’ category of the 2013 Bell Jazz Awards. There will be many more things to come for this seminal band so keep your eyes and ears out will keep all posted as to any developments. In the meantime there is video footage of the band’s Saturday April 14 2012 album launch at venue505 courtesy of documentary makers Judy Menczel and Paul Green and the album, released through my label Rectify Records is available in hardcopy at Birdland, Title Music, Thomas Music, CD Baby and Amazon as well as available for digital download through iTunes and CD Baby.
Rectify Records is a ‘slow burner’ as they say and I set up this label with the specific goal of releasing extremely unusual and beautiful recordings that mix social commentary and authentic folk, jazz and experimental music drawing from some of the finest artists and ensembles from across Australia and the world. As promised there are some very exciting as well as quite poignant potential releases on the cards through this label. On February 24, 2013 there was a highly successful fundraiser at Camelot Lounge for multi-instrumentalist and close friend Neill Duncan who was diagnosed with a sarcoma late last year and had his left arm amputated to fight this dreadful cancer, which thankfully he has successfully overcome. The result of this tragedy was the production through Rectify Records of the debut album of our old New Orleans-Jazz-Klezmer band The Ticklers. The album is currently only available in hardcopy and can be purchased directly from me either through the contact page of this site or Rectify Records but there will be tracks available as a digital download as well as CDs available for purchase through select music stores in the coming months. All proceeds from this album will be going towards helping Neill and his family.
There are several further recordings in the pipeline for Rectify Records including an album of Central/Eastern European, Gypsy and Polynesian music by the one and only Nadya Golski recorded in Paris several years ago as well as a recording I made with the phenomenal guitarist Ian Date several years ago. A sequel recording to my tribute album to the composing prowess of Django Reinhardt Souvenirs described in the New York City Jazz Record as ‘rejuvenating the gypsy jazz craft in evocative colours’ is also slated for completion this year and will also be released through Rectify Records. Souvenirs is available online both in physical form and digitally through Toca Records, CDBaby, iTunes and in hardcopy in Australia at Birdland.
My absolute favourite music project of all time Asthmatix has been still BUSY working on our first full length album. This will be an album that I am pretty close to certain many people will be talking about for a long time to come upon release. Recorded over many, many years in an endless variety of studios, bedrooms, basements, balconies, parklands, etc it is a natural follow up to our critically acclaimed EP ‘Go Team Go’ and features some truly fantastic guest musicians including master drummer Achim Färber, legendary Yiddish singer Karsten Troyke and even beat boxer Killa Kella amongst a cast of thousands. The band has based itself in Europe again this year from June to August and as per always an interesting roller coaster ride of experiences both musical and otherwise ensues with the guys which naturally influences the eclectic madness and endless creativity of this enormously enjoyable band. STAY TUNED…