If someone asked me about the music of the 20s, I instantly think of the beginnings of what we now know as jazz, including the first formations of Big Bands. It is terrifying to think in only a handful of years, this fantastic, energetic dance music will be a century old! But is this sensational, large jazz ensemble style still relevant in the 21st century, where DJs and pop superstars dominate the music charts?
The Daryl McKenzie Jazz Orchestra proved that Big Bands are still accessible and popular for young and old, at their monthly concert at The Apartment last Monday. The group, led by trombonist and composer Daryl McKenzie, includes many of Melbourne's greatest musicians, and their sound is always incredible to witness.
If you have seen my earlier reviews, you will know that I am a massive fan of US jazz fusion supergroup Snarky Puppy. Too many times in previous years have I seen them headline the Melbourne International Jazz Festival or tour their latest album, and been unable to attend due to my age. But this year, I vowed to see them, at last an adult. Within a minute of receiving the email that Snarky Puppy had announced a new concert in Melbourne, I had the ticket booking page bookmarked to my laptop, and the opening time for tickets added to my phone’s calendar. I was not going to miss out this time!
So last Friday night, stomachs filled with Japanese delicacies, two mates and myself made the trek down to The Forum. To our surprise, more than 45 minutes after doors opened for the show, the queue was still lengthy and literally went around the block. Patiently and eagerly, we waited in the crisp winter weather. Despite the cold temperatures and pitter-patter of rain, there was a buzz amongst the crowd waiting for entry. Vape smoke filled the alley-way and a neighbouring bar blasted soft house, and I realised how incredible it was to be with a crowd of people who all shared a passion for a band that I also admire so greatly.
Just listening to the last 12 months of pop charts, funk looks like it’s back in town. with tracks like Uptown Funk and The Trouble with Us employing slap bass and rhythm guitar to create a refreshed vintage sound, labelled as “Future Funk”. So with the past becoming the present, it seems only right that the fat synth glory and screaming sax solos of the ‘70s ought to be making a return, right?
M83 has heard your demands, and have developed their strengths from their 2011 hit Midnight City to create a ripper new single that simultaneously feels authentically vintage, and yet so contemporary. Do It, Try It opens M83’s album “Junk” and it is an awesome single. The honky-tonk piano, fat synthesizer lines, massive drum beats, ‘80s party anthem-style vocals; it all adds up to a mega track that’s plenty of fun, on and off the dancefloor.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.