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 email@example.com. 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.