Oz Jazz Compositions

IN the absence of a readily available list of Australian jazz compositions – I couldn’t find one anyway – in 2012 I began to cobble together my own list from various sources: my small collection of Australian jazz recordings, jazz magazines, musicians’ biographies, the Internet, discographies  etc.

My thanks go to the people who have helped already in the preparation of this list:  Jack Mitchell, Bill Haesler, Kate Dunbar, Mel Blachford and Terry Norman of the Victorian Jazz Archive, Don and Margaret Anderson of the Australian Jazz Convention Archive, Diana Allen, and the numerous musicians who have supplied me with details of their own compositions.

The Victorian Jazz Archive holds many of the charts and original manuscripts of these compositions which will be of interest to musicians wishing to add some of these to their repertoires. The Archive is also a great source for recordings of Australian jazz compositions.

I know I have only tickled, not even scratched, the surface of this rich jazz vein, so please don’t throw your hands up in horror at my presumption. Send me a note with additions, corrections, inclusions so that the list can grow, and perhaps become a useful resource for those interested in Australian jazz.

My email is jlascala@optusnet.com.au. I’d love to hear from you.

The list is arranged in two ways – one by composer, and the other by title so you will have two access points.

I have chosen prolific composer, Dave Dallwitz as the portal for
the Composers’ list:

And for the Titles’ entry point, the Wombats Jazz Band which has a large repertoire of Australian compositions which they play at their regular residency at the Elsternwick Hotel on the third Monday of each month.

Australia Music Centre. Jazz: Catalogue of Australian Compositions VIII. Sydney: Australia Music Centre, 1978.

Mitchell, Jack. More Australian Jazz on Record. Canberra: National Film and Sound Archive, 1998.

Ricketts, Jack, comp. A Discography of Ade Monsbourgh. Melbouren: Victorian Jazz Archive, 2005.

4 responses to “Oz Jazz Compositions

  1. A list of winning original tunes is always available in the Australian Jazz Convention programme each year.
    For quite a few years now a prolific winner has been John Roberts, trumpeter, formerly of Sydney, now from Melbourne, followed by John Bates and Adrian Ford, both from Sydney.
    John Roberts has donated most of his original tune charts, about 60 in all, to the Victorian Jazz Archive, and is still composing, although he does not claim to be a “composer”, just a tunesmith or “hack” – reserving the title of Composer for such as Bach, Tchaikovsky, Puccini , Strayhorn, Dave Dallwitz, Ade – and Louis of course.

  2. Hi Chris,
    Long time no see/hear. I am but one of your thousands of fans, have spoken to you several times but probably not for 20 years, and wouldn’t expect you to remember me.
    I am looking for an emal address for Ian Smith, just listening to his Scallywags CD.
    Thanks & Kind Regards
    Roger Clark.
    Grantville 3984.

  3. My compositions:

    Moomba Stomp
    Someday, Somewhere

  4. Dear Jane,
    Wow. Where to start?
    The VJA library for starters:
    1. Jazz. Australian Compositions. (1978. Australia Music Centre)
    2. The Australian Jazz Convention Archive (housed at the VJA) and its Original Tunes Composition files. Talk to Don and Margaret Anderson.
    3. The Jazz In Australia website at http://www.jazzinaustralia.org.au/history.html#otc Check out the Original Tunes entry
    4. The Index to Jack Mitchell’s three Australian Jazz On Records Discographies. Although you will need to recognise the Oz musicians’ names.
    5. Chat to Herb Jennings, Bob Pattie, Ian Smith, Harvey Duff (Adelaide), Nevill Sherburn and Bill Armstrong.
    6. I can also help at anytime.
    Happy New Year.
    Very kind regards,
    There is no need to publish this reply.

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