The darker the night, the brighter the stars; and few stars shine as bright as renowned Australian jazz saxophonist Jamie Oehlers on his new album, 'Night Music'.
Jamie's 14th album in total and his 10th solo recording, 'Night Music' features a selection of original songs composed by Jamie that have been inspired by the hours between dusk and dawn. “I know it sounds cliche to say, but I wrote most of the music when I was in New York a couple of years ago,” Jamie explains.
“That's very much a night city. It's ideal for an Australian really because you turn up in New York and you're jet-lagged and turned around and you're awake all night, and that's exactly when that city is truly at its peak.
“So I found myself totally jet-lagged but doing what I usually do when I go over there and going out to see lots of live music, and experiencing the city and the energy the night gives off over there.”
Invigorated by the 'city that never sleeps', Jamie has created an album imbued with the sounds of life being lived after-dark. You can almost hear the twinkling lights of glittering skyscrapers in the dulcet tones of the Fender Rhodes electric piano deftly played by Harry Mitchell.
“Some of the pieces were literally written about people I know very well who have a different persona in the night time, or recurring dreams I've had,” Jamie explains.
“Just elements of that part of the day, which as a jazz musician is probably the part of the day I'm most used to.”
Joining Jamie and Harry on 'Night Music' are trumpeter Ricki Malet, bassist Zac Grafton and drummer Ben Vanderwal.
Much of 'Night Music' was written as part of a 70,000 word PhD thesis Jamie was researching that explores the interaction of melody within improvisation, the findings of which he intends to use as a way to teach jazz musicians to be better improvisers. “I've always been one to try and find a unique approach to improvising seeing as though the majority of what we do as jazz artists is making it up, so to speak,” he explains.
“I've always had a really deep interest in how that occurs, and how much is made up and how much is determined by what it is we practice.
“My PhD was actually around a device for creating melodies that takes you out of the normal pathways that as jazz musicians we're generally taught. This was really about creating melodies that aren't directly to scales and chords, which is what we usually do.
“It doesn't mean that it creates music that's totally abstract and unrecognisable, it's just a different approach to creating it.”
Jamie Oehlers launches his new album 'Night Music' at The Wheatsheaf Hotel 27 May as part of the COMA Sessions, presented by Creative Original Music Adelaide (COMA). 'Night Music' is available from 20 May.
Jamie Oehlers 'Night Music' Album Tour 2019
Mon 27 May - COMA Sessions @ Wheatsheaf Hotel (Adelaide) - Album Launch
Tue 28 May - Newcastle Improvised Music Association
Wed 29 May - Doo Bop Jazz Club (Brisbane)
Thu 30 May - Smith's Alternative (Canberra)
Sun 2 June - Sydney Con International Jazz Festival
Wed 5 June - Melbourne International Jazz Festival
Thu 6 June - Ellington Jazz Club (Perth)