Album of the Week – ‘Live at Colbourne Ave’ by the Mike Kenny Lab Band
‘Live at Colbourne Ave’ by the Mike Kenny Lab Band is Eastside Radio’s Album of the week.
The art of the Jazz standard; a tried and tested tradition that provides the framework of old and new Jazz musicians across the globe to breach the daunting task of the blank page with a basic framework. A guide, not too restrictive but just so that the journey of songwriting and finding their own sound feels slightly less daunting. It also works for audiences too, new faces being exposed to new sounds founded in a rich history, and old faces feeling nostalgic about their first encounters or memorable moments with these timeless compositions. Mike Kenny’s Lab Band however takes these phenomenons one step further. The album’s crux enters around the audience that takes an extremely sensitive and deliberate amount of consideration into the listening experience both for those in the room live and in the moment, and who have carved out a deserving place within their record collections to hold onto this snapshot in time of Kenny and his fellow musicians illustrious careers.
Recoded within the hallowed halls of Colbourne Avenue over two smouldering summer nights in January 2013, the album boasts a playlist full of classics arranged by Kenny himself played to their best and featuring some of the best Australian Jazz talent to date. The Jazz Standard in the Lab Band’s case takes on a different feeling and experience, being works that these artists would have performed back-to-front, inside-and-out throughout their professional careers. Kenny takes these experiences and uses them to breath new life into each framework, not forgetting to allow each musician the space to freely interpret and implant themselves within the composition as any credible musician working with experienced musicians like those featured on the release would.
A great example of this is throughout the track ‘Alone Together’ featuring Kenny on Trumpet, Jason Morphett on Saxophone and Jamie Castrisos on Drums. As an uptempo-swing, the structure doesn’t leave any space or time for that matter to drop their grad, all riding a freight train powered by an engine room featuring Castrisos and Brendan Clarke on Double Bass. That being said these artists wouldn’t let you glimpse them struggling to maintain rhythm or sacrificing a melody. Morphett’s feature in particular is a marvel, almost gliding his fingers over the body of instrument as he soars, ducks and weaves through each change without the slightest hesitation. ‘Bugsy’s Blues’ showcases the groups bluesy side, focusing on harmonies beautifully executed through a strong brass and wind section and supported by John Harkins on piano. Following a lightly swung introduction featuring all involved, Kenny takes the tempo down even further to walk the audience through his initial inspirations forming his improvisation for the piece, shortly followed by a rise in tempo bring the mood of the piece up once again and seeing Kenny open up the higher registers of his instrument to the audience. The nine track album is not to be missed and make sure to tune in to Eastside to follow their success and to find out when you will be able to catch the gang together again to perform this work of art the way it was intended; live and in the moment music being fed straight into the ears of an adoring public.
Mike Kenny: Trumpet Flugelhorn
Richard Maegraith: Saxophones, bass clarinet
Jason Morphett: Saxophones
John Harkins: Piano
Brendan Clarke: Double Bass
Jamie Castrisos: Drums
2. Speak Low
3. you and the Night and the Music
4. Bugsy’s Blues
5. In the Fridge Ian
6. Alone Together
7. Body and Soul
8. Bless, Not Curse
9. Autumn Leaves
For a physical copy of the album head here – http://halomedia.asia/mike-kenny-s-lab-band-live-at-colbourne-ave.html
Be sure to tune in this week to 89.7FM EASTSIDE RADIO for your chance to WIN a copy of ‘Live at Colbourne Ave’ by Mike Kenny’s Lab Band.
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