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I Wrote A Song For Her, For Me (Jayden Blockley)
ABC Jazz is excited to announce the release of I Wrote A Song For Her, For Me, the debut album by Jayden Blockley. This is gorgeous, old-school music-making – a quintet of friends collaborating to create something new and pure.
One of Australia’s rising jazz stars, Blockley was the winner of the 2018 Generations in Jazz James Morrison Jazz Scholarship. In recording this album, he gathered an incredible group of musicians from all over Australia to create their unique sound. Recorded with the ABC’s Mal Stanley in Melbourne in July 2019, this is the sound of a mature and exciting young songwriter and group leader emerging before our eyes.
Jayden writes, “There is liberation and reward to expressing your feelings into a creative process, whatever form it may take. Being creative is such an undervalued quality of our humanity, and the creative process wasn’t something that I appreciated until embarking on this project. I didn’t consider myself much of a writer before this record and writing music wasn’t something that felt entirely natural to me, but it’s been the single most rewarding experiences of my musical journey. I’ve come to realise that even if there was nothing in the world to dedicate my songs to, I’d still write them because it’s the process of creating something meaningful to me that I cherish so much, hence the title I Wrote A Song For Her, For Me.
Many of my tunes are inspired by my experiences growing up in Perth and the subsequent struggles and homesickness after moving away to study. Bao was written for my mum when I was feeling particularly homesick one day in Mount Gambier. It’s become an unofficial tradition for us to make dumplings together every time I come back home. I grew up on a road called
Darwinia Loop, so Darwinia is a tribute to some of my close friends and neighbours who I share fond memories growing up with. I didn’t originally intend for the album to be about my home in Perth, but it’s what I'm reminded of every time I hear it, so for me, this record is also a tribute to all the things I love about the home I grew up in.
Assembling the musicians on the record was like putting together my dream team of people I really wanted to play with. When planning for the project, I considered recording in Sydney and in Perth, but eventually decided Melbourne was the best option simply based on my vision for the personnel.
Will Pethick and I grew up playing together and have lived together for a few years whilst studying in Mount Gambier. We’ve developed a trust and great understanding of each other’s phrasing and sound, which worked perfectly for the amount of rubato writing that I did. He knew exactly how and where I wanted to place the notes. Theo Carbo has been someone I’ve wanted to play with ever since I met him. He brings such a vibrant palette of sounds and textures, which really brought my songs to life. I’d played with Patty Danao for a few years through uni and heard him play many times with James Morrison’s band. Patty has such a deep sense of groove and plays with a sensitivity that I knew would be perfect in this band. Sam Anning, as well as being the ultimate bass player, was one of my compositional inspirations. He was immediately onboard with my vision for this music, but also helped take it to places I couldn’t have imagined at first.
All the players on this album have such a unique musical voice and they each get such a beautiful sound out of their respective instruments. Although the music I wrote was mostly fleshed out before I brought it in, they gave it so much life. They each left their own creative mark on the record.”
1. Bao 7’56
2. Subconsious-Lee (Lee Konitz) 8’28
3. I Wrote A Song For Her, For Me 5’04
4. Song For A Better Day 8’45
5. When Will The Blues Leave? (Ornette Coleman) 7’27
6. Darwinia 6’00
7. The Straight And Narrow 9’39
8. An Ode To The Optimists 10’34
Jayden Blockley – saxophone
Will Pethick – trombone
Theo Carbo – guitar
Sam Anning – bass
Patrick Danao – drums