Tag Archives: The Necks


Awards are in the air and it’s fantastic to hear that some of Ausjazz blog’s favourite albums have been listed. In the ARIA list is a real favourite, Joe Chindamo’s take on Coen brothers’ music. It is frequently on the playlist. And Joseph Tawadros is another that deserves plaudits, though Ausjazz has not managed to squeeze in a review yet.

2010 ARIA Awards Nominations
Best Jazz Album

Dick & Christa Hughes – Twenty First Century Blues (ABC Music)
James Morrison & The Idea Of North – Feels Like Spring (ABC Jazz)
Joe Chindamo – Another Place Some Other Time (Jazzhead/MGM)
Joseph Tawadros – The Hour of Separation (Independent/Planet)
The Necks – Silverwater (Fish of Milk/Shock)

As for The Jagermeister Independent Music Awards, there are some ripper albums in the jazz list. Joe Chindamo’s is there again, along with Mike Nock’s superb subtleties and Al Browne’s beautiful journey into hell. And Stu Hunter’s suite deserves a gathering.

I have yet to obtain Jonathan Zwartz’s The Sea, but it won a Bell Award for Best Jazz Ensemble of the Year.

The Browne and Hunter suites will be among the Wangaratta Jazz highlights this year.

will be at The Forum Theatre, Melbourne (Australia) and Joe is performing. Doors open at 8pm and tickets are $29 + BF, through Ticketmaster!

Best independent jazz album nominees include:

Allan Browne Quintet – Une Saison En Enfer (Jazzhead)
Joe Chindamo – Another Place, Some other Time (Jazzhead)
Jonathan Zwartz – The Sea (Vitamin)
Mike Nock – An Accumulation of Subtleties (FWM)
Stu Hunter – The Gathering (Vitamin)

Congratulations to the musicians on being nominated. It is some recognition of the hard work musicians put in, though of course that does not guarantee award nominations.

OK OK OK at Bennetts Lane

GIG / CD LAUNCH, June 16

Album: Searching, Finding

Sophia Exiner, piano/toy piano
Joshua Teicher, electric guitar/effects
Josh Holt, double bass
Rebecca Ari, vocals

Sophia Exiner

On its Facebook page, OK OK OK describes itself as “a collaborative music project” and says “Sophia’s unique blend of traditional jazz elements and contemporary extended piano technique combine with Teicher’s electronic soundscapes and rock-based guitar playing and Holt’s rich, warm presence, making for a distinctive and intoxicating mix. The trio captures the broad brushstrokes of a film score together with lashings of playfulness, humour, art and improvisation.”

Their album, produced by Joe Talia, features vocalist Rebecca Ari on two tracks.

Joshua Teicher

OK OK OK formed in 2007, when the band members were VCA students. Originally there was a drummer, Nick Martin, but when he was no longer available the other three decided to develop techniques to deal with the change. Exiner has studied with in the US with classical composer/pianists Amy Williams, Amy Briggs and Phyllis Chen. The band has performed in Berlin and New York.

Sophia Exiner

For the CD launch OK OK OK played four tracks from the album — in the first set Carnival (Exiner) and in the second Alice (Exiner), Here We Go (Teicher) and Always Want More (Teicher). The first set opened with Skyland, named by one of Exiner’s piano students, in which varying tempos added layers of interest. Then came Underwater, with Exiner plucking the piano strings in the intro, and Having To Say Goodbye, which was solemn and majestic. After Carnival came Lost Highway, inspired by the David Lynch film.

Josh Holt

Josh Holt

It seems apt to describe this as “modern” music which is interesting rather than involving. It is cool in the manner of Jacam Manricks‘s album Labyrinth. The players have heaps of talent and are happy to explore and invent, but at this stage their music falls short of being “out there” (so there is an absence of the excitement that brings) and does not have the obvious (some would say too obvious) development of tension that attracts crowds to performances by The Necks.

On the night there was a lot to like about where the music took us, but the experience was not cathartic. I am not sure OK OK OK has hit its straps yet.

Joshua Teicher

Sophia Exiner

Now it’s confession time. As I have said before, I need educating on vocalists, and I’m happy for that to occur — gradually. In short, I often wish i could just listen to the instruments. But when Rebecca Ari joined the band in the second set, I did not enjoy the result. This is possibly my problem but I found the vocals too harsh and clashing in this instance. I did not stay for the whole set. It seemed as if the vocals and instrumental music were in conflict.

Rebecca Ari

That said, plenty of Bennetts Lane patrons no doubt thought differently.

Josh Holt and Joshua Teicher

OK OK OK is at the start of a journey that could take the band, and its fans, in exciting directions.

Rebecca Ari



Wrapped In Plastic

IT is surprising how well this music, inspired by artistic concepts of filmmaker David Lynch, stands up independently of its links — obvious in the track titles — to Twin Peaks. The Lynch-pin track, 23-minute Log Lady, is slow to develop, but totally absorbing and unexpectedly restful despite its mood of mystery, dark portents and events unfolding.
The composer, trombonist Kynan Robinson, has created — with Marc Hannaford on piano, Mick Meagher on bass, Joe Talia on drums, Pat Thiel on trumpet and Lawrence Folvig on guitar — a well-integrated journey in sound. Horns give a sense of space and significance, while DJ Element adds snippets of voice and “bird calls” that are not out of place. This is a surreal body of work worth unwrapping.

File between: The Necks, DJ Shadow
Download: Log Lady


Review published previously in Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne