Exclusive Premiere: Menagerie “Escape Velocity” (Freestyle Records)
The current resurgence of Jazz in all its forms has certainly been impossible to ignore in recent times – from the chart-bound, mainstream crooning of Gregory Porter, to the leftfield ‘Jazz not Jazz’ soundscapes of Kamasi Washington, Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and Snarky Puppy proves this is a worldwide phenomenon.
One artist who has been been ploughing this furrow in the southern hemisphere for longer than most is Australia’s Lance Ferguson, leader of Menagerie. Lance himself explains: “The Arrow Of Time draws its inspiration conceptually from the themes of space exploration, human evolution and the future of humankind. It’s pretty big stuff to be underpinning an album of modal Jazz tunes – but the main message is one of hope, and I hope that comes across in the music”.
“After working on my solo album ‘Raw Material’ for such a long time it was refreshing to jump into a more live/ensemble-based record. With electronic productions I am used to labouring in the studio, EQ’ing kickdrums endlessly, losing sleep over synth sounds and the like. When you record a live band in situ, the beauty of the process is that once you get mic placement and basic sounds right, it’s more a matter of capturing the performance and getting the takes that you want. The actual recording time involved for the album was only a couple of days. This is due in no small part to the calibre of musicians that I am lucky to surround myself with here in Melbourne.”
“The Arrow Of Time” releases February 9, 2018 on Freestyle Records