Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

The Jac

Decade(s) active:

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We say:

The Jac features some of NZ’s finest musical talent, with members of The Troubles, Rodger Fox’s WJO, the Richter City Rebels and even the NZSO! Inspired the writing of some of the world’s foremost jazz musicians, including Joshua Redman, Miguel Zenon and Dave Douglas, the Jazz Collective’s 4 horn, 4 rhythm instrumentation (trumpet, alto, tenor, trombone, guitar, piano, bass & drums) combines the textures, power, range, and versatility of a big band with the intimacy, playfulness and interaction of a small group. With the release of their debut album NERVE on Rattle Records The Jac is opening a new page in the book of original NZ music

The Jac started out as a rehearsal band for students and tutors at the NZSM jazz school in Wellington, transcribing and performing charts by New York and San Francisco composers. Before long they began writing and performing their own music, and Nerve is the result, a suite of intelligent, dynamic compositions for jazz octet.

Describing themselves as a ‘small big band’, The Jac is a tight eight-piece ensemble that performs with attitude and intensity. “That’s one of the cool things about the group,” says Callum Allardice. “We sit halfway between a combo and a big band, which allows us to draw from both.”

The band tackle styles and grooves rarely associated with large ensembles. Improvisation is integral to each piece, written into the work rather than separated from it, and their sound encompasses a wide palette of colours and textures. It’s uncommon for jazz ensembles to play music as highly arranged as this, but smaller size allows for more intimacy and interaction.

“There’s tension and energy in our music, and an emotional element that seems to resonate with people,” says Jake Baxendale. “It’s technically difficult and requires lots of rehearsal, but we’re aiming for as much simplicity and directness as possible.”

Cover image

A live studio performance of “The Heist” by Callum Allardice; this composition features on The Jac’s upcoming album “The Green Hour” Performance…

From RNZ’s ‘Jazz Footprints’ – ‘The Jac’ featured in the Wellington Jazz Festival, 2014 (Begins around 10 minutes in).

Cover sourced from Bandcamp. Text sourced from Facebook & Amplifier. Used with permission.

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