Tag Archives: Mal Stanley

THE MUSIC MUST NOT DIE

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Today is a sad day. It is the final day on which music, other than on The Music Show, will be featured on ABC Radio National.

It is also a day of action, in which all who are dismayed by this decision are using social media, telephones and emails to inundate the ABC during the day to demonstrate the level of our concern and to encourage more listeners to sign the petition calling the ABC board to save RN music.

My radio

My radio

As part of this day of action, we are urged to post images of our radio across all forms of media.

This is my radio. Like me, it is seen many years. It has a solar panel on top. It has a crank at the side that can power the radio in case the batteries go flat. It used to have an aerial. It used to have a torch at one end. It receives AM and FM, but it cannot pick up digital broadcasts. So from today on it will not pick up Mal Stanley’s Jazztrack.

My radio is battered. I could not possibly count the number of times it has fallen off something, the batteries flying out. Yet it plays a vital and essential part of my life. The volume control is dickey, so that the ABC programs I listen to are often either too loud or almost inaudible. It requires sensitive handling. But it always recovers from each fall, to live another day, to continue its broadcasting role.

My radio is like the ABC.  It is often battered. It requires sensitive handling. But it always recovers after a fall.

The crazy decision to excise music from Radio National is a dramatic fall, but the ABC can recover. It can reverse this decision. Music can return to Radio National.

To make that happen, it is important that we support the campaign to save RN music.

Ausjazz.net urges all to support the campaign, to take up this issue with the ABC Board and to broadcast the message that we refuse to accept that the music has died.

Roger Mitchell

On November 30 last year an open letter was sent to Members of the ABC Board and ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie. It is reproduced below, along with its signatories. The battle continues.

As musicians and music industry professionals, we are appalled by the decision taken by ABC management to scrap The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set and The Rhythm Divine, and to remove Jazztrack from Radio National. This decision was taken without proper industry and public consultation and must be reconsidered and reversed.

The cuts deliver a fundamental blow to diverse, vibrant and independent sectors of the Australian music industry, which receive minimal national radio coverage elsewhere.

These programs are among the remaining windows for Australian artists to tell their stories about Australian life, for people to hear and learn from those stories and for all Australians to hear the songs and stories of other cultures from around the world.

Further, they support and underpin a music sector that, according to Music Australia, contributes between $4 and $6 billion to the Australian economy annually and which generates close to 65,000 jobs, over half of which are full-time.

They are essential listening for those working in this vibrant industry and should not be discarded on the grounds of ratings.

We do not believe that the proposed additions to Double J in any way compensate for Radio National’s losses, especially given that Double J is only available in digital format. We are deeply concerned about listeners in regional, rural and remote areas where the Internet and digital radio access is problematic at best. Many of these listeners rely on linear broadcasting.

It is clear that the cuts contradict the intent and spirit of the ABC Charter, which outlines two of “the functions of the Corporation” as:

  • –  “broadcasting programs that contribute a sense of national identity and inform and entertain, and reflect the cultural diversity of, the Australian community;”
  • –  “to encourage and promote the musical, dramatic and other performing arts in Australia.”

Collectively, The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack provide specialist, linear broadcasting of diverse music that is not broadcast nationally elsewhere with equivalent depth, breadth and expertise.

This music is often outside the mainstream. It includes folk, roots, world, blues, jazz and adult contemporary, among the many genres. It champions unique voices, small communities, alternative perspectives, story telling (particularly of Australian stories), experimentation, live performance, improvisation and excellence.

Much of this music is released independently by highly-respected Australian musicians who have developed enthusiastic audiences through extensive touring, depending on RN’s Australia-wide reach for promotion. Many perform regularly in regional, rural and/or remote areas.

The shows set for axing also provide promotion and national live broadcasting of numerous Australian music events, including major festivals, such as Byron Bay Bluesfest, Woodford Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival and Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, as well as small festivals and community gatherings. These provide regional, rural and remote areas with opportunities for place-making, musical education, tourism and economic growth.

While we value and admire Double J, we do not believe that it can fill the hole left by the cuts, despite additions proposed for 2017. These additions are limited to a four-times weekly (rather than weekly) programming of The Beat Eclectic, which covers “post rock, punk and pop, ambient and acoustic sounds”; the introduction of Fat Planet, which ran on FBi from 2003-2008 and “showcases new music from around the world, such as Scandinavian folk, Japanese dubstep and Chilean post- punk”; and a “new live music show” to feature “new recordings from local and international artists”. Meanwhile, Triple J’s primary focus will remain the youth market.

Without The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack, how will ABC Radio possibly “reflect the cultural diversity of the Australian community”?

We also emphasise the importance of RN Music’s expert broadcasters. Lucky Oceans, Paul Gough, Geoff Wood and Alice Keath are some of Australia’s most experienced, knowledgeable, passionate and intelligent musical minds. The casting off of these irreplaceable staff members contradicts RN’s commitment to “specialist content across arts and culture” broadcasting, as outlined on RN’s website.

We are far from alone in our opposition. A petition to save RN Music, launched on November 14th, has already attracted over 12,000 signatures, and numerous high-profile figures – both Australian and international have officially endorsed the petition statement. These include Paul Kelly, Missy Higgins, Archie Roach AM, Gurrumul, Kate Ceberano, Tim Winton, Neil Murray, Sarah Blasko, Megan Washington, Mike Nock, Shane Howard AM, Don Walker, Tim Freedman, Lindy Morrison OAE, Glen Hansard, Andy Irvine, Gina Williams, Paul Grabowsky AO, Rob Hirst, Deborah Conway, John Butler, Iva Davies AM, the Waifs and many, many more.

In a public statement, author Tim Winton writes:

“At a time when it seems every element of home-grown culture is under siege, it’s bewildering to see Radio National stripping music shows from its programming. To musicians, composers, producers and listeners alike, this retreat feels like a betrayal, a signal that ABC management feels no need to repay the loyalty of its audience. For years Radio National has been a defender of Australian culture and a means by which new writers, players and composers find an audience.”

Also in a public statement, Katie Noonan writes:

“I simply can not fathom how anyone would have thought this was a good idea for the Australian people … In regional Australia these radio shows are literally the lifeline for cultural connectivity … Having been lucky enough to tour this great big country of ours many times, I know how absolutely vital these programs are to people’s lives … The catastrophic effects of these cuts will be enormous on multiple levels – this decision has simply not been thought through properly and absolutely needs to be reversed”.

We urge the Board and management to respond to the following questions:

  1. (1)  Can you assure the listening public that the changes will not reduce the diversity of music styles played, the amount of new Australian music promoted, the number of Australian musicians profiled and the resources devoted to these activities?
  2. (2)  Will the changes reduce regional access to Australian music?
  3. (3)  Is the ABC confident the changes won’t reduce audiences for the genres covered by RN Music, or adversely impact the live music ecosystem for these musicians and their audiences?
  4. (4)  Has the ABC considered, in delivering on its charter, its responsibility to the broader music community and to the country, to contribute to an original, national musical culture and identity, to support viable careers and to support an important national industry, culturally and economically?

We also ask the board to look at the thousands of comments on the petition as well as others on social media.

https://www.savernmusic.com

Finally, we again call on the ABC to review this ill-considered decision, as outlined in the petition statement, and to return The Daily Planet, The Inside Sleeve, The Live Set, The Rhythm Divine and Jazztrack to Radio National in 2017. It’s our ABC.

We would be happy to discuss these issues further.
Link to petition: https://www.change.org/p/michael-mason-hands-off-radio-national-music

Yours Sincerely,
Ruth Hazleton & the ‘Hands Off Radio National Music’ campaign team.

Adrian Jackson – Artistic Director Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival Andrew Legg – UTAS Director, Conservatorium of Music
Andy Irvine (Ireland)
APRA/AMCOS Board
Archie Roach AM
Association of Australian Musicians (AM)
Australian Independent Musicians Association (AIMA)
Barney McAll – Peggy Glanville Hicks Resident
Ben Northey – Associate Conductor MSO
Bernard Fanning
Black Market Music
Bob, Margaret & James Fagan
Brett Kingman
Cameron Undy – Owner Venue 505
Chong Lim – MD John Farnham/Dancing with the Stars
Chris Wilson
Craig Scott – Chair of Jazz Studies Sydney Conservatorium of Music Country Music Association of Australia (CMMA)
David Spelman – Artistic Director NY International Guitar Festival Dan Sultan
Deborah Conway
Djakapurra Munyarryun
Djolpa McKenzie
Dobe Newton
Don Walker
Eddie Perfect
Elizabeth Rogers, CEO Regional Arts NSW
Fairbridge Festival
Fred Smith
Folk Alliance Australia
Genevieve Lacey
Gina Williams
Glen Hansard (Ireland)
Greg Fleet
Gurrumul Yunupingu
Head Records
Helen Marcou & Quincy McLean – SLAM & Bakehouse Studios
Iain Grandage – Artistic Director Port Fairy Spring Music Festival
Iva Davies AM
James Morrison AM
Jamie Oehlers – Coordinator of Jazz Studies, WAAPA, Edith Cowan University Jack Charles
Jane Clifton
Jazz Queensland
Jeff Lang
Jim Conway
Joe Camilleri
Joe Geia
Joe Henry (US)
John Butler
Jonathan Dimond – Head of Program/Senior Lecturer, Melbourne Polytechnic Julian Burnside AO QC
Dr Jon Rose (Don Banks Award)
Jordie Lane
Kate & Phil Ceberano
Katie Noonan – Artistic Director Queensland Music Festival
Kavisha Mazella
Ken Stringfellow (US)
Kerrie Glasscock – Artistic Director Sydney Fringe Festival
Kutcha Edwards
Leah Flanagan
Lindy Hume – Artsistic Director Opera QLD
Lindy Morrison OAM
Lior Attar
Liz Frencham
Lucie Thorne
Lyn Williams OAM – Director Gondwana Choirs and Sydney Children’s Choir Marcia Howard
Marc Ribot (US)
Margaret Roadknight
Mark Atkins
Mary Black (Ireland)
Mary Mihelakos
Megan Washington
Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Melbourne Jazz Coop (MJC)
Michael Franti (US)
Michael Tortoni – Owner Bennetts Lane Jazz Club
Mick Thomas
Mike Nock (Don Banks Award)
Miroslav Bukovsky – Distinguished Artist in Residence, School of Music, ANU Missy Higgins
Monique Brumby
Mullum Music Festival
Music Australia
The Music Trust
Nannup Music Festival
National Celtic Festival
National Folk Festival
Nick Bailey – General Manager, ANAM
Dr Nick Haywood – Coordinator of Contemporary Music, UTAS Conservatorium Paul Dempsey
Paul Grabowsky AO
Paul Kelly
Dr Paul Williamson – Coordinator of Jazz Ensembles and Honours, Monash Uni Peter Noble OAM – Artistic Director of Byron Bay Bluesfest
Port Fairy Folk Festival
Rebecca Barnard
Rhonda Burchmore
Richard Letts AM – Founder, Music Council of Australia, President, International Music Council
Associate Professor Robert Burke – Coordinator of Jazz & Popular Music, Monash Uni
Dr Robert Vincs – Head of Jazz & Improvisation, VCA, Melbourne University
Rod Vervest -Program Manager Perth International Arts Festival
Ross Wilson
Sarah Blasko
Shane Howard AM
Simon Burke AO
Skinnyfish Music
Slava & Leonard Grigoryan
Spiderbait
Stephen Pigram
Steve Nieve (England)
Sydney Fringe Festival
Sydney Improvised Music Association (SIMA)
Thirsty Merc
Tim Freedman
Tim Rogers
Tim Winton
Tracy Bartram
Truckstop Honeymoon (USA)
Vince Jones
The Waifs
William Barton
Which Way Music Woodford Folk Festival

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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