Australia's thriving jazz scene reflects the country's diverse heritage. Along with the influences of North American and European jazz masters, Australian jazz breaks boundaries by incorporating Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian, Latin, U.K., Punk/Ska, and Indigenous influences. The music ranges from electronic sounds to a more conservative jazz fusion.
If you walk into your local record store and head for the international section, you may be amazed at the amount of great music you are missing out on. Here are a few albums to check out. If you are lucky enough to be in Australia, watch out for these bands at local venues.
Decoy combines the soul of acoustic instruments with hard electronic beats. This group provides a climactic symphony of both new technologies and traditional concepts unlike any other.
Funken Wagnells is the product of an almost infinite array of musical influences, from Latin to jazz to funk. The 12-piece group includes a rhythm section that produces a fat, complex groove spanning many genres.
Lewis & Young. Their dialogue between Western woodwind instruments and the ancient didgeridoo is more than the sum of its parts.
Piffen Yonnies. Experimenting with styles, sounds, and textures, the Yonnies have combined hipshakin' grooves and unique Aussie lyrics to capture audiences wherever they play.
Snag produces an eclectic blend of jazz, South American rhythms, and folk themes with popular Western music influences.
The Band Who Knew Too Much or "The Band" has old musical styles with strong local lyrics and gang vocal delivery create their unique bushranger jazz sound.
Astronaughty could be the beginning of a whole new appreciation of a completely new genre of music for the typical N'Sync and Backstreet Boys fan. Pop music generally has become very repetitive, however, with lyrics suggestive of India Arie, combined with the funky free style of Stevie Wonder, Astronaughty will make the whole family fight for the CD. This band is currently seeking a record deal. Keep an eye out for them in the near future.
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