On the 16th of July 2014 Associate Professor Rob Burke recorded a CD in NY with bassist Mark Helias and Drummer Nasheet Waits; both musicians considered archetypal improvisers on the New York scene.
Professor Paul Grabowsky, Paul Williamson and Jordan Murray.
(The studio selected for the recording : Acousticrecording – Brooklyn – New York)
This recording is an investigation of the various connotations of transversal approaches of melody (in composition) and how this informs interactive improvisations based on free improvisation. The overarching theme is the ‘power of the idea’; that is spontaneous improvisations that are perceived to be genuinely ‘in the moment’ as distinct from pre-conceived material that inevitably includes identifiable melodic formulas, assimilated melodic and rhythmic clichés and learnt scales and patterns.
The compositions are the foundation of the improvisations – everyone is a soloist – everyone is an accompanist. The process included recording of improvisations and then identifying ideas, which were developed, notated and orchestrated.
The CD will be released through Jazzhead in May/June 2015.
Australian Launch at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club – June 2015
USA Launch at Smalls Jazz Club – New York – 12th July 5 – 7pm 2015
The power of the idea (Andrys Onsman)
Most often, ideas fit into a sequence, or rather a variety of sequences. An idea has
a myriad of potential consequences, both intended and serendipitous. In
improvisation, the performer makes a constant stream of decisions about which
of the possibilities he or she decides to make real. Part of listening to a
performance is to trust the performer’s decision-making, to let the music lead
regardless of whether the direction being familiar and reassuring or strange and
In music as anywhere, a new idea invites exploration. That is the power in an
idea. The success of any exploration depends on both careful, meticulous
planning and a preparedness to “take the road not taken”; to entertain the
possible rather than only rely on the probable. A new idea is a starting point for
what-if and if-then.
This album is not an armchair ride along well-prepared roads. In each track
there is enough of the familiar to lay the groundwork for exploration; to find new
ways of expressing complex ideas; to build startling new harmonic structures
and to push the idea to where it had no intention of going. Decisions are made
right there and there, sometimes by all the performers at once but mostly one
will ask what-if and others will respond with if-then. For that to work, the
performers need to not only understand and trust each other, they need to listen
to each other. In any ensemble there are a lot of toes that can be trodden on.
Rob Burke (saxophones), leads this wonderful iInternationally renown group of
musicians including New Yorkers – Mark Hellias (bass), Nasheet Waits (drum-
set) with Australians – Paul Grabowsky (piano), Paul Williamson (trumpet)
and Jordan Murray (trombone) all consummate, generous performers,
attuned to the power of a musical idea, and skilled enough to make it tangible.
Each takes turns as soloist and accompanist, and despite the complexity of the
music, there is no (obvious) indication of hurt toes.
The performers can’t take their performance(s) back, everything was ‘in the
moment’, but we the listeners, can. We can listen as many times as we want,
allow ourselves to become familiar with the ideas, to slowly create beach-heads
of understanding from where we can do our own exploring. As listeners, we too
can be active and we can follow our own ideas. An idea is a powerful thing.
SHIFT – CD Release 2017
SHIFT Rob Burke – George Lewis – Paul Grabowsky – Mark Helias Released through … Continue reading SHIFT – CD Release 2017
Agency in Jazz and Improvisation – Call for Papers
The Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network (AJIRN) is pleased to announce a call for papers/presentations for a 3-day research conference on jazz and improvised music in association with the 2017 Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF).
New Book – Perspectives on Artistic Research in Music
Perspectives on Artistic Research in Music I would like to announce the publication of a … Continue reading New Book – Perspectives on Artistic Research in Music
Sardinian Liturgy – With Paolo Angeli (Ita) CD Release (2016)
Canto a tenore, a traditional Sardinian folk music can take a bit of getting used … Continue reading Sardinian Liturgy – With Paolo Angeli (Ita) CD Release (2016)
NOW and THEM – Dec 2014 Shanghai CHINA
Creative thinking stimulates innovation, broadens perspective and encourages critical thinking. It is fundamental to the success of human development and transports ideas beyond their usual realm. It is often overlooked but its absence always noticed.
Recording with pianist Kenny Werner in NY – Released on Jazzhead Aug 2014
In the first week of October (2013) Rob Burke recorded with legendary pianist Kenny Werner. Repertoire included original compositions from Rob Burke, Werner and Paul Grabowsky.
Practice based research in jazz – a reflective study in jazz performance (PhD)
Analysis and observations of pre-learnt and idiosyncratic elements in improvisation: a reflective study in jazz performance