Debut Album – Out May 4th 2015
Trombonist/Composer Jackson Hardaker Releases
Guitarist Syberen van Munster
Bassist Lorenzo Kim Sandi
Drummer Nico Dann
Trombone heavy, original, modern/avant garde jazz. From the land of the long white cloud, via New York City.
The name Watering Can was reached in a roundabout manner. Several years ago, while still at school in New Zealand, Jackson put together a recording session with a few horn players and a pianist, and informed everyone to bring along some miscellaneous percussion, which they could play at any time they felt inspired to, due to the lack of a conventional rhythm section. One individual had the audacity to bring an old, beat up watering can; which he then, with great fervour, proceeded to bang with a stick. The fantastically preposterous event obviously stuck in Jackson’s mind, and later provided the inspiration for an equally absurd album title.
Watering Can consists entirely of compositions written by Jackson himself, and draws from a wide range of influences; from the sometimes sparse and always playful melodies of Steve Lacy, to the various stops along the artistic spectrum of Jackson Pollock and René Magritte, all the way to inanimate objects.
To realise these ideas, New Zealand trombonist Jackson Hardaker assembled a ragtag group of global nomads in the form of: Dutch guitarist Syberen van Munster, Italian bassist Lorenzo Kim Sandi, and Canadian drummer Nico Dann.
The music can be at times haunting, surprising, humorous, and traverses the musical styles of rock, swing, march, punk calypso, and beyond.
“I always enjoy music with some kind of anchor that I as a listener can grab onto” says Hardaker, “I wanted to play around with that when writing the tunes for the album. However, I didn’t want the anchor to be the same in each composition.” This ‘anchor’ manifests itself in various forms throughout the album. The opening track, The Deep, doesn’t have the repetitive chord sequence that a more straight ahead jazz tune would have, yet has a series of repeating sections which allow the listener to grab onto these as familiar elements as they pass by. During the solos, the form changes again, and moves away from a sectional repetition, and instead moves through a series of tempo shifts which shape and frame the improvisations.
The title track of the album, Watering Can uses a different anchor. “In Watering Can, I made repeated use of a marching drum beat. It occurs often between the rubato sections of the melody, planting the seed of the rhythm in the listener’s ear.” From here, it becomes an expected element, and reinforces this when it continues underneath the solos. “I also enjoy setting up a musical expectation, and then pulling it away.” This occurs during the guitar solo. Suddenly everything drops away, leaving a stark solo guitar, and then just as the listener gets used to the minimalism, the marching drum beat explodes into existence again, stretched and sparse beyond the original riff, but familiar.
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