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John Shand

(b Oamaru, New Zealand, April 9, 1961). Australian keyboard player. Having moved with his family to Australia in 1964 he began taking piano lessons at the age of five; his early inspirations included the boogie-woogie pianists and Teddy Wilson. He took Australian citizenship in 1975. During high school he heard Red Garland on a recording by Miles Davis, which led him to contemporary jazz. He attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, where he formed The Benders with fellow students Dale Barlow, Lloyd Swanton, and the drummer Andrew Gander; the quartet recorded three albums in the first half of the 1980s. Abrahams was also involved with an improvised music collective, the Keys Music Association, which saw the start of an important association with Mark Simmonds. With the saxophonist Jason Morphett having replaced Barlow, The Benders recorded two more albums (1983, 1985), then toured India, Europe, and Cuba before disbanding. In those same years Abrahams recorded as an unaccompanied soloist, and in ...

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AC/DC  

Robert Walser

Australian heavy metal band. Formed in Sydney in 1973 by the brothers Angus Young (b Glasgow, Scotland, 31 March 1955; guitar) and Malcolm Young (b Glasgow, Scotland, 6 Jan 1953; d Elizabeth Bay, Australia, 18 Nov 2017; guitar), its best-known line-up stabilized in 1975 with Mark Evans (b Melbourne, 2 March 1956; bass), Phil Rudd (b Melbourne, 19 May 1954; drums), and Bon Scott (Ron Belford Scott; b Kirriemuir, Scotland, 9 July 1946; d East Dulwich, London, 19 Feb 1980; vocals). Cliff Williams (b 14 Dec 1949) replaced Evans in 1977, and upon Scott’s death, he was replaced by Brian Johnson (b 5 Oct 1947). By 1976, they were Australia’s leading rock band and decided to move to London in the hope of broader success, which they achieved in the UK and the USA by the end of the decade. They are known for crude, rowdy, and sometimes juvenile lyrics that celebrate excess, transgression, and communal bonding, delivered through very hoarse, sometimes screaming, vocals. Their music is blues-based, displaying few of the Baroque influences that strongly affected most heavy metal bands. It is usually built around riffs that are primarily chordal and rhythmic rather than melodic. Their ensemble work is both forceful and precise, featuring effective use of the two guitars for complementary rhythm parts. Their most popular and critically respected album is ...

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Bruce Johnson

(bSydney, March 31, 1922; dSydney, Aug 11, 1987). Australiansaxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader. He began to play saxophone in 1933 and joined George Fuller before working as a freelance musician and in wartime entertainment units. Following the war he performed in nightclubs and pit orchestras, and in coffee lounges in Melbourne (1948), then worked in Sydney with the trombonist George Trevare and as a freelance musician. From 1955 he led bands in Sydney hotels, among them the Criterion (1958–65), the Windsor Castle, and the Bellevue. Later he was a member of bands led by Dick Hughes (1979–85) and Alan Geddes (1984–6) and led his own group at the Canberra Hotel in Paddington, Sydney. He retired in 1986 because of ill-health. Acheson’s playing, which was chiefly in dixieland and swing styles, is heard to advantage on Merv Acheson 60th Birthday Concert...

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Roger Covell

(b Melbourne, June 8, 1927). Australian baritone . He began his career with Gertrude Johnson’s National Theatre Movement. He left Australia in 1954 for further study in Paris and worked at Covent Garden from 1956; in 1959 he moved to Germany, where he was based for the next decade, appearing in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, and becoming a principal baritone at Cologne until ...

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Roger T. Dean

(b Sydney, May 4, 1969). Australian guitarist. He first played drums, but while a rabbinical student, influenced by a mixture of Jewish mystical components and the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and others, he changed to guitar. He performed in particular with Rob Avenaim (percussion, electronics, sampling), for example in the rock-noise group Phlegm (formed 1993), and also with the pianist Max Lyandvert in Ear Rational Music. The latter group involved Eddie Bronson (a member of the earlier and influential band Free Kata), whom Ambarchi had met through his rabbinical studies and who had been another early influence. From 1994 Ambarchi coordinated a series of improvising large ensembles, often based on John Zorn’s conceptual “game” piece Cobra. Following a series of small-scale recordings, often involving studio manipulation of their playing, he released a major work with Avenaim, The Alter Rebbe’s Nigun (1998). In the late 1990s he focused intensively on unaccompanied solo performance and made a series of recordings on European labels, mainly recorded in real-time (rather than involving studio manipulation), and with analogue rather than computer processing. He uses an array of effects units linked to create varied timbres....

Article

Elizabeth Forbes

(b Pinnaroo, South Australia, July 30, 1953). Australian soprano . After appearing in Australia she joined Opera Factory Zürich, with whom she made her London début in 1980 as Galatea. With Opera Factory London (1982–92) she has sung Pretty Polly (Punch and Judy), Lucy (The Beggar’s Opera), Denise (The Knot Garden), Juno and Callisto, Gluck’s Iphigenia, Fiordiligi, Donna Anna, Countess Almaviva and Poppaea, and took part in the première of Osborne’s Hell’s Angels (1986). For ENO she sang Monteverdi’s Eurydice and Hope (1983) and Queen Tye (Akhnaten), which she had already sung at Houston and for New York City Opera (1984), and created Oracle of the Dead/Hecate in The Mask of Orpheus (1986). She sang the Queen of Night for WNO (1986), Musetta for Opera North (1988) and Jo Ann in Tippett’s ...

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Andrew Harrison

Australian contemporary improvisation quintet. Its members were Elliott Dalgleish (reed instruments), John Rodgers (violin), Adrian Sherriff (bass trombone, flute, and south Indian percussion), Jon Dimond (six-string electric bass guitar, trombone, and various percussion instruments), and Ken Edie (drums). It was formed by Dalgleish in 1989 and performed at the Pinnacles Festival in Brisbane that year. Between 1991 and 1992 the ensemble invited established musicians from other parts of Australia (including Roger Frampton and Roger Dean) to play with them in Brisbane, where they were based, and in the latter year it made an eponymous recording, Artisans Workshop (Tall Poppies 028). After receiving government funding, it embarked on national tours in 1993 and 1994, performing at universities, art galleries, and clubs. In 1996 the quintet appeared in Bombay, India, and at the New Music Tasmania Festival at the University of Tasmania. Artisans Workshop was a collaborative group with a broad philosophical position on contemporary music whose members exhibited remarkable technical virtuosity; their performances usually included completely improvised pieces and their own rythmically elaborate compositions, often involving metrical modulation. (J. Clare [G. Brennan, pseud.]: ...

Article

Mervyn McLean

(‘ground bamboo’)

Stamping tube set of the ‘Are’are people of Malaita, Solomon Islands. Among the neighbouring Kwarekwareo they are called ‘au ni wado. A set consists of ten bamboo tubes 13 to 46 cm long, closed by a node at the lower end. Unlike the kiro stamping tubes which accompany singing, they are carefully tuned to a pentatonic scale. A single musician sits on the ground or on a low seat, legs spread. On the ground between his thighs he places a stone against which he strikes the tubes of his choice, held four in each hand. Between the two largest toes of each foot he wedges one of the two remaining tubes, which he strikes on smaller stones, one by each foot. Alternatively the tubes may be shared among two or three musicians, in which case the ensemble may increase to 12 with each player holding two tubes in each hand. The simultaneous and alternate striking of the tubes produces a sound like a xylophone....

Article

Barry Kernfeld

Ensemble formed in December 1954 by the reed players Errol Buddle and Dick Healey, the pianist Bryce Rohde, and the drummer and vibraphonist Jack Brokensha. It first recorded in New York in 1955; thereafter its members played with a succession of other musicians (including Frank Capp, Osie Johnson, and Nick Stabulas), working latterly as a quintet and occasionally as a sextet. Australian sources testify that the group disbanded in 1959, after touring Australia in 1958, and played only two isolated reunion jobs in 1986 and 1993. Colin Bailey asserts that he became its drummer after moving to Australia in 1958 and traveled to the USA as a member of the group in 1961; he reports that two group members then moved to Canada, while Rohde and an American musician returned to Australia. Evidently the dispute may have less to do with the actual events than with the question of whether these later activities were by the Australian Jazz Quartet/Quintet or by the Bryce Rohde Quartet/Quintet....

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Barry Kernfeld

(James )

(b Swindon, England, July 9, 1934). American drummer. He began to teach himself to play drums as a small child and studied formally from the age of seven into his late teens. From 1958 he lived in Australia, where he joined the Australian Jazz Quartet and recorded with Bryce Rohde in 1960. He gained his green card to work in the USA for a tour, with Rohde, in the Australian Jazz Quartet (or, by another account, in the Bryce Rohde Quartet), but within about five weeks of his arrival was taken on by Vince Guaraldi. He worked with Guaraldi until 1963, and recorded in San Francisco with the pianist’s trio accompanying Jimmy Witherspoon and Ben Webster (c1962; misdated as 1959, 1960, or 1967 in various discographies); he also collaborated with Guaraldi in recording the music for the Charlie Brown television shows in 1965. After settling in the Los Angeles area Bailey performed and recorded with Clare Fischer (...

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Jeff Pressing, John Whiteoak and Roger T. Dean

[Judith Mary ]

(b Auckland, New Zealand, Oct 3, 1935). New Zealand pianist and composer. After arriving in Sydney in 1960 she quickly became a prominent studio musician. She led a succession of trios and larger groups and worked with many important Australian players, including Don Burrows and Errol Buddle; she was also active in education, notably as a staff member of the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music (from 1990, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music) and as music director of the Sydney Youth Jazz Ensemble. Her compositional output increased considerably during the 1970s, when she wrote film scores and music for children. Bailey participated in performances of Don Banks’s Nexus for jazz quintet and orchestra, and made several recordings. In the 1980s she undertook several tours of Asia and in the 1990s she remained active, recording again as a leader in 1992.

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Mark Gilbert

(b Sydney, Dec 25, 1959). Australian saxophonist. He learned classical piano, flute, recorder, and drums as a youth and played electric bass guitar in a rock band at the age of 12. In his teens he took up alto saxophone, and when he was 16 he changed to the tenor instrument. He attended the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music (1980–82); later he studied at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in New York (1989–91) and the Australian National University in Canberra (MM 1995–7). When he was 17 he toured Australia with Sonny Stitt, and in 1979 he played at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Young Northside Big Band. In the 1980s and 1990s he spent much of his time in the USA and Europe, and he performed with Cedar Walton and Guy Barker in London, and with Gil Evans in New York and Europe; during the same period he was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers (...

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Tony Gould

[Robert Graeme ]

(b Melbourne, Australia, Nov 24, 1933). Australian trumpeter, brother of Len Barnard. He gained early experience in brass bands, and first played jazz in 1947 with a group consisting of members of his family. From 1947 to 1955 he was a member of the traditional-jazz ensemble led by his brother Len; he continued to make recordings with this group at intervals until 1968, and also recorded as a leader in 1952, 1957, and 1962. In 1957 he moved to Sydney, where he played with a number of bands, including the Graeme Bell All-Stars (with which he recorded, 1962–4). Barnard formed his own band in 1974, and toured Australia, North America, Europe, India, and South-East Asia; he toured the USA as a soloist in 1985. As a sideman he worked in Australia and overseas with, among others, Bud Freeman, Ralph Sutton, Wild Bill Davison, Milt Hinton, Don Burrows, and Peanuts Hucko. Throughout the 1990s he continued to tour overseas, often joining groups as a guest artist. His recordings involve both prominent Australian and international artists, and his warm fluid playing with its origins in the styles of Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, and Bobby Hackett may be heard in a wide variety of musical settings....

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Tony Gould

[Leonard Arthur ]

(b Melbourne, Australia, April 23, 1929; d Sydney, November 4, 2005). Australian drummer, brother of Bob Barnard. He first played jazz in his family’s band, then in 1947 formed his own traditional-jazz ensemble, which recorded from 1949 and made one of the first Australian jazz albums. The group continued to record until 1968, often under the name Len Barnard’s Famous Jazz Band; its albums include The Naked Dance (1961, Swaggie S1287 [incl. previously released tracks]). Barnard also played with the orchestra of the Palais de Danse in Melbourne (1956–60) and with the trio led by the pianist Les Patching (1961–70); during the same period he recorded with Roger Bell, Frank Johnson, Ade Monsbourgh, and Dave Dallwitz. After moving to Sydney in 1974 he performed and recorded with Judy Bailey, Errol Buddle, and John Sangster. In 1976 he joined the group Galapagos Duck, led by the saxophonist and flutist Tom Hare, with which he toured abroad in ...

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Rainer E. Lotz

[William ]

(b USA, c1890; d ? USA, after 1933). American alto and tenor saxophonist, clarinetist, and singer. His first known engagements were in China (1920) and Australia. After moving to England in 1925 he played in Bert Ralton’s Savoy Havana Band and recorded with Bert Firman (...

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Philip Greene

(Marie Wolffe )

(b Colombo, Ceylon [now Sri Lanka], June 1, 1940). Sri Lankan singer. She studied piano and cello as a child, and first heard jazz in broadcasts on Voice of America. She won a trip to Australia to sing with Graeme Bell in 1954, presented her own radio program in Ceylon, and toured Japan, Korea, and India with Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1955. The following year she moved to London, where she acted with the BBC Repertory Company and sang at jazz clubs. In 1959 she performed frequently at the Blue Note in Paris. She met Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert in London in 1962 and moved to New York to join their vocal group as a replacement for Annie Ross, who had left because of illness; Bavan performed and recorded with the group until it disbanded in 1964, and may be seen with it in the documentary film Newport Jazz Festival 1962...

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Wim van Eyle

[Pieternella ]

(b The Hague, Sept 18, 1925). Dutch pianist and singer. She is self-taught as a musician. She sang with a Hawaiian vocal group, the Samoa Girls (1939–42), sang and played piano with the Dutch group the Miller Sextet (1944–9), and appeared in shows sponsored by the USO. From 1949 she led a trio and worked as a soloist, and between 1952 and 1967 she made several visits to the USA (approximately at yearly intervals) during which she performed in Hollywood and at Birdland in New York; she also took Eddie de Haas and Wallace Bishop for an engagement in the South in 1957, but racist conditions prevented Bishop from working – he returned to the Netherlands and Al Levitt took his place. Beck operated a club in Torremolinos, Spain, from 1965. In the 1980s she returned to the Netherlands, where she has worked mainly with her trio, with Koos Serierse, George van Deyl, or Henk Haverhoek on double bass, and Kees Kranenburg, Huub Janssen, or Roberto Haliffi on drums. She made a number of recordings, of which ...

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Jonas Westover

Australian pop group formed by Barry (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 1 Sept 1946), Robin (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 22 Dec 1949; d London, England, 20 May 2012), and Maurice Gibb (b Douglas, Isle of Man, 22 Dec 1949; d Miami Beach, FL, 12 Jan 2003). They were raised in Manchester, England, until 1958, when the family moved to Brisbane, Australia, where the brothers formed a trio called the Rattlesnakes. They soon began writing their own music, often composed by Barry, and attracting media attention. In 1963 the group signed a deal to record singles as the Bee Gees with Festival Records and two years later released their first album. After moving to Polydor Records, they released two songs, “New York Mining Disaster 1941” and “To Love Somebody,” which became hit singles. Both were included on the album Bee Gees 1st (Polydor, ...

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Roger Covell

(b Nelson, Dec 1, 1932; d Sydney, April 12, 2009). New Zealand mezzo-soprano. She studied with Dame Sister Mary Leo in Auckland, at the New South Wales Conservatorium and at the London Opera Centre. Her Australian début (1954, Sydney) was as Azucena with the Sydney-based National Opera of Australia. She sang in England with the Carl Rosa company and from 1961 to 1964 at Sadler’s Wells. After a return to Auckland for a period with New Zealand Opera (1964–6) she made guest appearances at Covent Garden, Bordeaux, Chicago and elsewhere. She was a principal at Covent Garden from 1972, then joined Australian Opera in 1976, where she had marked success in such diverse roles as Jane in Patience and Carmen. In 1990 she sang Mother Marie (Dialogues des Carmélites) at San Diego. She sang Marcellina in Ponnelle’s film of Le nozze di Figaro...