THE WANGARATTA JAZZ AND BLUES FESTIVAL IS BARFING UP FOR ANOTHER YEAR IN THAT SLEEPY RELIGIOUS TOWN BLOTTED BY GOLDMINE OPSHOPS AND SADFACE LAMP-POSTS. AMONGST THE OBVIOUS VIRTUOSO WHITE SULKING BLUES AND ACADEMICALLY APPROVED JIZZ JAZZING THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME LEFT FIELD LOLLYPOPSICLES POKING OUT OF THE PROGRAMME WHICH DESERVE THE MOST ATTENTION.
OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS I WILL PUBLISH A SERIES OF SHORT INTERVIEWS WITH SOME OF THE PERFORMERS AND FESTIVAL STAFF, PRESENTING THEM WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE ALL YOU FASCIST ROCK N ROLLERS PRECONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE STATE OF JAZZ IN THIS FLAT WORLD…
WE BEGIN WITH…
B A R N E Y M c A L L
LOOKING AT THE PHOTOGRAPH OF THIS HEAD, YOU CAN SEE HOW MUCH THINKING IS GOING ON INSIDE. IT’S DIFFICULT TO FIGURE IF BARNEY IS A PERSON OF INTEREST TO THE POLICE, A DRINKING BUDDY OF AKI KAURISMAKI, OR BOTH, ALONG WITH HAVING PRETTY HOOTIN DISCO FINGERS ON THE BLACK AND WHITE BISCUIT BUTTONS.
FIRST OFF, I WOULD LIKE YOU TO DESCRIBE YOUR JAZZ FACE IN THE WRITTEN WORD…
My facial expressions whilst playing reflect the un-sane. They reflect a push back against the detrimental aspects of that unsteady and dangerous term “sane”. Once on a ferry from Amsterdam to London a meat puppet told me he was tripping on acid near a lighthouse. As the acid took hold, the lighthouse started spinning faster and faster. My facial expressions speak to that .
YOU ARE PERFORMING AT THE FESTIVAL WITH YOUR GROUP ASIO. YOU HAVE COSTUMES. SIMPLE, EVERYDAY, ROAD WORKER, SMART-CYCLIST, HI-VIS VESTS. ARE YOU PLANNING TO WEAR ANYTHING LESS (OR MORE) ELABORATE AT THIS SHOW?
Because what we wear is more important than our music , current possibilities include; tourniquets so we can help stop the haemorrhaging of society or… one glorious wing sprouting from the right hand side of a business suit : the complex balance between bohemia and responsibility.
I FIND MOST CONTEMPORARY JAZZ GENERALLY MORE ETHEREAL, BASED AROUND MODAL MOVEMENTS RATHER THAN THE BLUES, A DIFFERENT KIND OF PLAYFULNESS IS PRESENT, ONE, WHICH, TO MY SORE EARS, SOUNDS MORE ACADEMIC, AND POLITE, AND LESS ABOUT FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND FUN TIMES. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THESE THOUGHTS I HEAR?DOES JAZZ TEND TO BASE ITSELF AROUND TECHNICAL VIRTUOSITY AND ACADEMIA THESE DAYS?
This is a strange and very broad generalisation. There are so many levels to this answer that I would need to complete a PhD in order to respond properly. One thing I will say is its either good or bad (subject to changes in consciousness). The leather elbows want to dine out on theorising and analysing and that bores me to tears…you know what? let ’em but I need to try to make something useful. Have fun in the mirror maze because the shadow is 90% pure gold.
WHAT WOULD THE WORDS BE IF YOUR MELODIES HAD WORDS?
Night came and wove a star, cast it to earth again,
with song the tears carry home once more (sadness leave this place)
Gladness for all that’s been and ever was sweet golden climbe
As blood does sing, as blood does sing
EXCLUSIVE SCOOP: BARNEY McALL IS LAUNCHING HIS NEW ALBUM “HEARING THE BLOOD” AT THIS YEARS FESTIVAL.
TICKETS FOR WANGARATTA FESTIVAL OF JAZZ AND BLUES (NOV 3-5) ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE WEBSITE WWW.WANGARATTAJAZZ.COM