HALLS GAP - Jazz Band Shirazz will be launching their new album at this weekend's twenty seventh annual Grampians Jazz Festival.
This will be the second time Shirazz has launched a new album at the festival in Halls Gap.
Shirazz, a six-piece Dixieland and traditional jazz band from Melbourne, is returning to the Grampians Jazz Festival to launch a brand new album, Rewined. This follows last year's festival where Shirazz released their previous album, Enjoy Responsibly.
"The Grampians Jazz Festival is a great festival - it's very laid back and everyone's just there to have fun. We knew launching there last year would be great but we were really blown away by the response," Matt Dixon, Shirazz's trombonist, vocalist and leader said.
"After the last CD was received so enthusiastically at Halls Gap last year, we immediately knew we'd have to bring another new one out this year!"
The new CD is a product of that decision. Soon after the Grampians Jazz Festival was over last year, the band started working on material for a new album. From August onwards the band rehearsed fiercely, aiming to record in late November.
Being a jazz album, it is no surprise that Rewined features a lot of traditional numbers - jazz fans would know early hits like South Rampart Street Parade and Tiger Rag, but a few more obscure tunes are featured, and even a cover of Valerie, made famous by Amy Winehouse.
Shirazz was lucky to secure the talents of Harry Williamson, who Matt says is "one of this country's most accomplished sound engineers." Harry used a church hall to record the band, and added an extra microphone away from the band purely to record the natural sound of the room. The result is a natural-sounding record which makes the listener feel like the band is there in the room!
After recording, it was a race against time to finish the album before the festival. Mixing and mastering sessions and a photo shoot all took time and eventually the album was delivered to the printers just before the deadline. When the album goes on sale at Shirazz's first festival set at 8.45pm tomorrow night, it will have been off the press less than 48 hours. Get it while it's hot!
Shirazz's appearances at the Grampians Jazz Festival are 8.45pm tomorrow and 11.15am Sunday. Both sets are in the Seppelt Marquee in Halls Gap.
Shirazz is also playing a special dinner show on Sunday night at the Country Plaza Halls Gap Restaurant. Patrons should contact the venue on 5356 4344 to book tickets.