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Des Cowley

It is a testament to Ralph J. Gleason’s standing in the jazz community, at the time these interviews were made, that a composer of the stature of Duke Ellington would consider ...

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In his introduction to the opening night concert of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF), Michael Tortoni, the artistic director, noted that some 43,000 patrons were expected to attend over 120 concerts during this year's program. That is a lot of devotees to a musical form often ...

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This year's Wangaratta Festival delivered two outstanding performances of extended works composed for large ensembles: Dave Douglas's suite Fabliaux and Lloyd Swanton's Ambon, inspired by his uncle's experiences as a prisoner of war from 1942–45.

American trumpeter Dave Douglas has been a leading figure in jazz since the early 1990s, when ...

It is tempting to draw parallels between Anton Corbijn’s Life and the director’s own personal history, in particular his series of striking 1979 black-and-white photographs of UK band Joy Division. The Dutch photographer, upon hearing the band’s first album, Unknown Pleasures, was convinced something great was in the offing, and set out for Engla ...

Possibilities by Herbie Hancock

May 2015, no. 371

In the opening pages of his memoir, Herbie Hancock recounts an onstage episode in Stockholm in the mid-1960s, when he was playing with Miles Davis. In a few brief paragraphs, he sums up Davis’s genius as only a musician deeply conversant with his music could. It is this sort of privileged entrée into Hancock’s musical world that makes Possibilities a wor ...

After Naptime by Chris Edwards

April 2015, no. 370

Chris Edwards is an enigmatic presence in Australian poetry. Part of a generation of poets who came of age in the 1970s, he co-edited the short-lived Beyond Poetry (1974–76) but then abandoned publication for many years. With the onset of a new millennium, he unexpectedly re-emerged, publishing a series of chapbooks that culminated in his first full-length ...

With Axis, his first full-length publication, a.j. carruthers explicitly aligns himself with the lineage of the long poem. It is a bold move, if we consider that the major exponents of the form, from Ezra Pound to Anne Waldman, had invariably produced significant bodies of work prior to embarking on their poetic marathons. But ambition is fundamental to the long poem, and Axis, comprising thirty-one extended sequences and billed as ‘Book the first’, certainly outstrips Pound’s inaugural efforts – a mere sixteen Cantos issued in 1925 – by a country mile.

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There was a genuinely celebratory air to this year’s Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival, and why not, given that the Festival was marking its twenty-fifth birthday. When the city first hit upon jazz as the basis for a festival back in 1989 – a somewhat arbitrary decision, based on the fact that most other musical forms had already been snapped up – few could h ...

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