Tag Archives: Aaron McCoullough

FIRST, SHE TAKES MELBOURNE

Chris McNulty

Chris McNulty                                              (Image: M. Montgomery)

PREVIEW

Chris McNulty Quartet (Australia/US), The Jazzlab,
Friday 4 August and Saturday 5 August, 8pm

Australian-American jazz vocalist Chris McNulty is giving two back-to-back performances in Melbourne next month before embarking on a world tour.

The award-winning singer/composer will introduce her new trio — Darrin Archer piano, Hiroki Finn Hoshino bass and Aaron McCoullough drums — to Melbourne audiences in two concerts at Melbourne’s newest jazz club, The Jazzlab.

McNulty premiered her singing with the trio to great acclaim earlier this year at the Mansfield Art gallery now run by Miriam Zolin of extempore fame.

Melbourne-born Ms McNulty moved to the United States in 1988 and has been a fixture on the New York jazz scene for almost three decades. She worked with American jazz musicians such as pianists Mulgrew Miller and John Hicks, saxophonists Gary Bartz and Gary Thomas, drummers Billy Hart, Kenny Washington, and Matt Wilson, guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Ugonna Okegwo . She featured on the Venus label’s recording Big Apple Voices in 1995 that presented six “new exceptional” vocal talents. Her seventh and latest album, Eternal, a chamber ensemble and jazz quintet collaboration reached #11 on the 80th Downbeat readers Poll in America.

McNulty has often performed at international festivals. Her next tour will take her back to Europe, Russia and America. The American magazine Jazz Times has described her vocalising as “fearless” and her composing as “peerless”’. Britain’s Jazz Wise magazine said she possessed “a voice of serene beauty, striking veracity and compelling emotional fervency”.

In 2013 McNulty received the Australian Jazz Bell award for the Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album for her album The Song That Sings You Here. Since moving back to Melbourne she has performed at the Perth Jazz Festival in 2014 and 2016, the Stonnington Jazz Festival in 2014 and 2016 and at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues in 2013 and last year.

She has continued her work as a teacher and is about to launch her groundbreaking book Vocalist As Complete Musician, in which she expounds a method (utilising tetra chords) for singers to expand their knowledge of jazz harmony and provides them with tools for improvising while improving sight reading and composing skills. The book will be launched internationally and available through Amazon, McNulty’s webpage, and digital platforms from August 30.

Information above taken from material provided by Andra Jackson.

Roger Mitchell

Reviews:

“Exquisitely delivered with consummate feeling and jazz sensibility … McNulty’s uniquely emotive vocal interpretation achieves a transcendent quality.”
— 4.5 stars, The Australian, Weekend Review – John McBeath, Oct 2015

“McNulty applies poignant jazz chops to the vocal, while accomplishing the impossible, the expression of her story through song….making listeners rethink the meaning of why we love jazz..”— 5 Stars,  All About Jazz (USA) , July 2015

“Chris McNulty wowed an audience full of rapt jazz lovers at Mansfield Art Gallery who were thrilled by the sounds of world-class jazz delivered by one of the best voices in the business. A well deserved standing ovation finished the night and every heart in the room was filled by the experience.
A highlight for music lovers in Mansfield.”  —   Miriam Zolin, Mansfield Art Gallery, April 2017

TAKE YOUR PICK: BACK FROM BERLIN OR NYC

GIG PREVIEWS: Sunday, September 2, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne

The phrase an embarrassment of riches comes to mind, though I daresay Bennetts Lane is not the tiniest bit bashful about its double bill on the evening of Father’s Day this year. In one room is a father and daughter breaking the champers (sorry, sparkling wine) bottle over their new album, while in the other room the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative presents German drummer/composer Jochen Rueckert, on tour from New York with bassist Des White and expatriate Australian saxophonist Jacam Manricks.

It’s a case of choose one room and stick with it, or sample a little of both.

CD launch: Andy Sugg Group — The Berlin Session 8pm $15/$12

Andy and Kate

Andy Sugg and daughter Kate Kelsey-Sugg

Berlin Session

It’s billed as a first to have a father and daughter launch a contemporary jazz record on Father’s Day. That may well be true, but it’s the music that counts and this album was recorded early in 2011 at Freeborn Sound Studio in Berlin, which saxophonist Andy describes as “an incredible place” with a culture so vibrant “you can breathe it on the street”.

Andy was reunited with German drummer Jan Leipnitz, with whom he had previously worked with in Sydney, for this album, which also features Sean Pentland on bass and Andy’s daughter, Kate Kelsey-Sugg on piano.

For the Melbourne launch, Andy and Kate will be joined by Aaron McCoullough on drums, Pat Farrell on bass and Kumar Shone on guitar.

The Berlin Session was mixed in Berlin by Phil Freeborn and mastered at the ABC studios in Melbourne by Mal Stanley.

Publicity material for the album describes it as exploring “a more acoustic avant garde setting”.

“While firmly grounded in its stylistic time and place, this is music that has left home. It is music in the moment, played by highly articulate musicians with something to say both as soloists and as members of a collective.”

Andy Sugg has played with David Liebman, Paul Grabowsky, Julien Wilson, Stephen Magnusson, Jamie Oehlers and the late Gary Costello. For his PhD Andy studied the music of John Coltrane.

Kate’s Kelsey-Sugg’s accomplishments include winning the VCA Marion Isobel Piano Scholarship (2010), the Gold Prize at the Rotarua New Zealand Stage Band Music Tour (2004), first place in the 2009 VCA Jazz series competition and second place in 2008. She was 2005 Future Piano Finalist in the James Morrison Scholarship and took first place in the 2010 James Morrison Vocal Scholarship.

She recently returned from studies in New York, where she played at The Living Room.

Jochen Rueckert Trio 8.30pm $18/$12
Jochen Rueckert drums, Des White bass, Jacam Manricks alto saxophone

Jochen Ruerckert

Jochen Ruerckert at Bennetts Lane recently with Jacam Manricks and Des White

Cloud Nine

On Tuesday, August 28, Melburnians had a chance to hear expatriate saxophonist Jacam Manricks again, back on an extensive tour of Australia. Manricks has a new album out, entitled Cloud Nine, which features David Weiss on trumpet, Adam Rogers on guitar, Sam Yahel on organ and Matt Wilson on drums. This is a line-up I’d love to see at Wangaratta or the MIJF some time.

The Tuesday gig at Bennetts Lane was also an opportunity to hear German drummer/composer Jochen Rueckert in action on the drum kit, as well as Des White on bass.

For Sunday’s gig, the line-up is the same, but the music will include Ruerckert’s compositions and he will lead the trio.

Here are some notes copied from the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative:

“Jochen Rueckert has built a highly successful [career] in New York since relocating there in 1995 as a 20 year old. He performed in Melbourne previously in 2002 in the trio of pianist Sean Wayland (with bassist Matt Penman), after recording albums.

“Since then his playing and recording with a variety of bands include Kurt Rosenwinkel, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, Marc Copland Trio, Nils Wogram Quartet, Mark Turner Band, Chris Cheek, and Sam Yahel, with tours all over North and South America, eastern and western Europe, Asia and Australia.

“Rueckert is also known for his non-jazz work with NYC punk rock band Bonnie Lundy, NYC rock band Seems So Bright and electronic work with Marcus Schmickler, Jochen Bohnes, Hayden Chisholms, The inflictors, Burndt Friedman and Nublu bands, most mentionable Wax Poetic and I Led 3 Lives. He also plays bass in NYC rock band Wworldclass and programs, remixes and produces music for various artist in the electronic music/idm/breakcore sector. His programming alias is Wolff-Parkinson-White.”

ROGER MITCHELL