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The GCO: “I Cakewalked With A Zombie” CD launch

Where
Foundry616
Foundry616
616 Harris Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
When

Thursday 27 July 2023 from 8:30pm to 11pm

Cost

Starting from: $27

Saxophonist Phillip Johnston’s latest release I Cakewalked With A Zombie features his miniature repertory orchestra, The Greasy Chicken Orchestra.

Sydney-based saxophonist/composer and New York ex-pat Phillip Johnston leads the 8-piece miniature repertory ensemble, The Greasy Chicken Orchestra, through innovative arrangements of jazz of the 1920s and 1930s, as well as his original music reflecting that musical language on their new release, I Cakewalked With a Zombie. This long-evolving project continues Johnston’s exploration of the history of orchestration and composition-focussed ensembles, such as The Microscopic Septet, Big Trouble, and The Silent Six.

The group consists of a four-saxophone front line and rhythm section, featuring leading jazz artists from Sydney. The music leaves room for individual expression of its unique soloists and aims to express a combination of freedom and discipline, a love of jazz history and creativity, and the infectious rhythm, mystery, and sheer joy of the jazz of this era. 

“Johnston has always understood that jazz’s history is a rich resource rather than a liability, and with this band, he immerses himself almost completely in this era of energised and good-humoured dance music... a nuanced and blended sonority, combined with an emphasis on pinpoint arrangements and concise solos.” – John Shand, Sydney Morning Herald

Within that style, the repertoire traverses a wide variety of this rich time period, from New Orleans trad (Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong/Lil Hardin) to tight small ensemble arrangements (John Kirby Sextet) to the great early small big bands (Ellington, Don Redman), as well as modern arrangers, Forrester, Dasent & Johnston, which pay homage to the music of this era and turn it inside out. 

The band is led by Phillip Johnston, an American saxophonist-composer who lives in Sydney while still maintaining a musical life in his hometown of New York City. His original music and arrangements range from the traditional to the avant-garde, and his homage/re-arrangement projects have featured the music of diverse artists including Jelly Roll Morton, Thelonious Monk, Steve Lacy, and Captain Beefheart.

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Foundry616

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