The Jac release A Gathering
As The Jac mark a decade of making music together, on 5th June they are releasing ‘A Gathering’, their new double album, through Bandcamp. Featuring material from their 2017 collaboration with Korean quartet Black String, plus a swathe of brand new original compositions, the album encapsulates a milestone in their sound. Recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, it is a beautifully produced illustration of a band at the height of its powers; showcasing their intricate and immersive compositions; tight ensemble playing, and assertive, individual improvising voices. Two of the tracks from the album, “Beyond the Palace” and “A Gathering” were nominated for the APRA/AMCOS Best Jazz Composition of the Year Award in 2018, while "Tui" has been nominated for the same award this year.
Given the emergence of Covid-19 in March 2020, The Jac’s accompanying tour has now been put on the back-burner until 2021. ‘A Gathering’ will now be released in two stages: The first five of 10 tracks now and the second five will be released in the lead up to the 2021 tour.
Since 2010 the 8-piece ensemble The Jac has been a leading voice in the New Zealand jazz scene, pushing a modern sound with their distinctive, through-composed compositions, tight ensemble playing and impressive live shows. Based in Wellington and drawing talent from Melbourne and Montreal, the band brings together musicians from the jazz, classical and metal scenes.
The Jac have gone from strength to strength: their debut album Nerve (2014) was nominated for the NZ Music Awards Best Jazz Album of the year; the opening track “Sons of Thunder” from The Green Hour (2015) won New Zealand’s inaugural Jazz Composition of the Year award; in 2017 they performed 12 shows around the country as part of Chamber Music New Zealand’s “Encompass” tour, solidifying their cross-genre credentials; and this was followed by a headlining concert with Korean traditional/jazz fusion group, Black String, at the Wellington Jazz Festival, which sold out and garnered rave reviews. A spot at the Jarasum International Jazz Festival and a tour of 6 cities in South Korea followed. In 2019 they were again awarded Jazz Composition of the Year award for “Chungin’”
The band features musicians bringing influences and expertise from outside the jazz spectrum. Notable among these are Matthew Allison, associate principal trombonist in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Shaun Anderson, drummer for metal bands Saving Grace and Depths. Completing the line-up are Alexis French, trumpet; Nick Tipping, bass; Chris Buckland, saxophones; Daniel Millward, piano and compositions; Callum Allardice, guitar and compositions; and Jake Baxendale, saxophones and compositions.
“The Jac continues to go from strength to strength…the
collision, the collaboration, the combination intoxicating. This was
a wonderful show.” – Simon Sweetman, Dominion Post
“The playing is incredibly tight…it is also fantastically
listenable, with sing-able melodies and great grooves.” – NZ
“I don’t like jazz, but I loved that!” - A happy punter