Trib­ute paid via trum­pet

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Greig John­ston

JAMES Mor­ri­son is a man in­debted to jazz’s past and com­mit­ted to pre­serv­ing its fu­ture.

Next month the 54year-old trum­pet vir­tu­oso will team up with Amer­i­can singer Patti Austin in a trib­ute to jazz gi­ants Ella Fitzger­ald and Louis Arm­strong.

The con­cert will put Mor­ri­son and Austin to­gether with the WASO Big Band Horns.

Mor­ri­son said it was hear­ing Arm­strong play Basin Street Blues as a seven-year-old that set him on his way.

“Hear­ing him was what made me want to be a jazz mu­si­cian,” Mor­ri­son said.

“The feel of that mu­sic – I said ‘That’s that I want to do’.”

The con­cert with Austin marks 100 years since the birth of ac­claimed singer Ella Fitzger­ald.

“We’re do­ing this trib­ute to Ella and Louis, two of the greats, but Patti is one of the greats her­self,” Mor­ri­son said.

“She’s a Grammy Award-win­ning artist.”

Once a wun­derkind of Aus­tralian jazz, Mor­ri­son is now bridg­ing gen­er­a­tions.

His two sons, bassist Harry (19) and gui­tarist Wil­liam (21), are part of his tour­ing band.

“Play­ing with younger mu­si­cians is a great tra­di­tion in jazz,” he said.

“The youth bring some­thing else to the mu­sic.

“When I was play­ing with (trum­peter) ‘Sweets’ Edi­son he was 70-some­thing, and I was 20-some­thing and it just didn’t mat­ter.”

Mor­ri­son is also help­ing to ed­u­cate the next gen­er­a­tion of Aus­tralian jazz greats, open­ing his James Mor­ri­son Acad­emy of Mu­sic in Mt Gam­bier, South Aus­tralia, in 2015.

“I didn’t want it to be in a cap­i­tal city,” he said.

“I wanted that feel­ing of when you go to band camp.

“They all live to­gether, they cook din­ner to­gether and talk about what charts they’re play­ing. They get much more mo­men­tum and I love that feel­ing.”

Jazz mu­si­cian James Mor­ri­son.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.