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Ned Heckling The Band – Finding Hidden Musical Gems

Written by Ned Green on September 1, 2009

So I was speaking to a friend of mine about various problems occurring during life and somehow we got onto the topic of music. A slightly odd tangent, I know. Anyway, we were discussing how there is so much music out there but the really good stuff seems so hard to find. She informed me of her dislike of radio and how she really wants to listen to some fresh, new music. Music that won’t be ruined by repetitive airplay or annoying groups of girls on the bus singing the melody.

Enthusiastic at this sudden digression of the conversation, I told her that this weekend had been such a good one for me because I had been introduced to at least three new bands that I hadn’t heard of before (including the impossibly cool ‘Ween’. Check them out here) and as a result my music library has grown significantly.

This seemed to strike a nerve with her, and as a result she exclaimed, “Ha ha that’s so true… I love discovering new music, and I get really jealous of people who always have heaps of good music that isn’t on the radio. I seriously don’t know how to find that stuff!”

Immediately we bonded over the idea that in almost every group of friends there always seems to be one person who has the most eclectic, varied and interesting collection of music. Not only is this person’s collection so impressive, but it seems to grow weekly with the additions of new and unheard of music. Everyone is jealous of this friend, and every time they play a new track the same question is asked – Where the hell did you get this from?

Invariably the answer is almost the same every time – the Internet. But where? Well, one can start at Music Feeds, specifically in fellow columnist’s Katie Dazzle’s weekly column Dazzle Me This. Moreover, you could check out the hundreds of music blogs out there, including Hypem, Stereogum, and Elbo. These blogs, amongst many others, will provide you with frequent updates on all types of popular music.

However, new Jazz is seemingly harder to find. Fortunately, it is my job to inform you of those hard-to-find gold mines of Jazz. Some of these sites include The Jazz.com Blog, Blog-O-Jazz, and DO THE MATH. These are just some of the blogs out there that will help you discover some of the coolest jazz you’ve never heard of.

So then, seeing as I’ve taken it upon myself this week to help educate you as to the whereabouts of some cool new music, I thought I’d join the fun and tell you of some cool new jazz that I’ve been introduced to recently. As a result of this, I’ve decided not to review an album this week. Instead there are three jazz bands that I want to tell you a little something about:

Informal Troupe

Recommended to me by the bass player in the jazz quartet I play in, Informal Troupe’s new album Urban Parkland is truly the “soundtrack to the inner west’s hidden and abandoned reservoirs, bridges and industrial sites.”

Clearly influenced by rock and electro music, Informal Troupe’s music makes for relaxed yet engaging listening as the subtleties of the performances serve to create a piece not soon forgotten.

Consisting of Matthew Ottignon on tenor saxophone, Dave Symes on electric and acoustic bass, and Hamish Stuart on drums, Informal Troupe are a jazz trio definitely worth checking out. Do so at their Myspace with the track One Single Room being my personal recommendation.

Pollen Trio

Hailing from Canberra, this simple trio consisting of Austin Buckett on piano, Chris Pound on Double Bass and Evan Dorrian on drums prove that sometimes simplicity is best.

My good friend saw these guys at Sydney underground Jazz club 505 and said they were awesome. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to catch them as of yet, but as a result of their Myspace I will definitely be at their next gig. Their unique style of atmospheric electronic jazz is exhilarating listening that leaves you wanting more.

Check these guys out at their Myspace and experience their incredibly interesting orchestration and use of melodic motifs. Never has a repeated melodic phrase been so captivating.

Hot 8 Brass Band

This group was recommended to me by a traveling friend who read about them in Time Out London and saw them soon after. Honestly, I couldn’t be more jealous of him.

You have to check these guys out.

These guys are one of the coolest bands I’ve ever heard and when I get my hands on one of their CDs it will never leave my car. When I went to their Myspace and listened to their first track I realised they were playing a Snoop Dogg melody. Just imagine that for one second; a New Orleans brass band playing Snoop Dogg. Epic. Oh yeah, they also a version of Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing.

You cannot consider yourself a true music fan until you check these guys out. Do so at their Myspace or at their Website.

Upcoming Jazz Events

Wednesday 2nd September, 9:00pm
Lulo Reinhardt Australian Tour @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $45 (plus booking fee)/ Dinner & Show Tix $91.80 per person @ ww.moshtix.com.au

Thursday 3rd August, 9:00pm
SPRING IS SPRUNG with Nic Alexander (Band) + Tim Bowen (Band) + Christina Mullaney (Band) @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $12 (plus booking fee)/ Dinner & Show Tix $60.80 per person @ ww.moshtix.com.au

Friday 28th August, 10:00pm
James Morrison & Emma Pask w/ special guest Sarah McKenzie @ The Basement.
Gen. Admission tix $25 (plus booking fee)/ Dinner & Show Tix $73.80 per person @ ww.moshtix.com.au

Friday 4th September, 8:30pm – 11pm
The Kris Wanders-Janicki Outfit @ The Sound Lounge.
Tix $18/$14/$12 @  thesoundlounge.com.au or at the door if not sold out.

Saturday 5th September, 8:30pm – 11pm
Roger Manins ‘Return of Project Shoint’ @ The Sound Lounge.
Tix $18/$14/$12 @  thesoundlounge.com.au or at the door if not sold out.

New residence for Marsala beginning on Friday 21st August! @ 8pm – 11:00pm
Marsala @ Waverly Bowling Club. Free entrance! Free car parking for 100 cars!

Got a gig to advertise? Email details to nedhecklingtheband@hotmail.com

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