Recorded live in June 2018 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Hothouse sees the trio of Kevin Hunt (piano), Karl Dunnicliff (double bass) and Dave Goodman (drums) perform works by composers as diverse as Maurice Ravel, Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, and a recently rediscovered chant from 1793 by the famous Indigenous leaders Woollarawarre Bennelong and Yemmerrawanne.
“I've been working on this repertoire for many years,” says Hunt. “Each of the seemingly disparate musical entities of Ravel, Ellington, American jazz standards, bebop and music of Australian Indigenous culture seems to have evolved naturally for me through playing and experimenting with the Stuart & Sons piano. And the art itself – so many aspects intrigue me about the performance of jazz piano style. The scope of repertoire is huge, and the potential of presenting in various ways is wide open in a jazz performance.”
This recording continues Kevin Hunt’s research into the unique quality of the sound produced by the Stuart & Sons piano, the iconic Australian instruments built by Wayne Stuart. To deepen the experience of creating music using this Australian piano sound, Kevin began to collaborate with Sydney’s Aboriginal musicians using the sounds of the Stuart piano mixed with traditional chants and new Aboriginal songs. Since moving to Redfern in 1983, Kevin has been looking for ways to collaborate and learn with the inherently artistic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers throughout Australia.
In 2010, historian Keith Vincent Smith re-discovered the musically transcribed performance of the Sydney Aboriginal chant Barrabul-la (1793) by Woollarawarre Bennelong and Yemmerrawanne. This transcription provided Kevin with historic and cultural musical materials to initiate the interests of the Sydney and western NSW Aboriginal communities to collaborate with him – and so began an artistic journey that continues today.
“The performance of Duke Ellington's Black on this recording is the link for me between African -America music and Aboriginal music, in this case Barrabul-la,” says Hunt. “Both musical forms are designed for ceremony and improvisation, and both contain cultural information. My arrangement of Black is based on my transcription of the premiere performance of Ellington's monumental suite Black, Brown and Beige (1943) in Carnegie Hall. This I understand was also the Ellington Orchestra's debut performance at Carnegie Hall.”
|Brand||Australian Independent - Kevin Hunt|
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