Ultrafox CD Launch: the Baylors’ Gypsy Swing band

THE Baylor brothers, Peter and Andy, are consummate musicians who move effortlessly between different styles – traditional and mainstream jazz, western swing, rockabilly, bebop, cajun, and gypsy swing….

The trad jazz fraternity is probably most familiar with their western swing band, The Dancehall Racketeers which performed at the Victorian Jazz Club last Saturday, 10 March.

But another superb “string to their bow” (pardon the awful pun) is ULTRAFOX, the outstanding gypsy swing band which is about to launch its debut album, Chasing Shadows, named for Alby Silver’s lovely romantic ballad from the 1920s, and which Peter sings so melodiously on the disc.

Ultrafox CD: Chasing shadows

Featuring some of Australia’s finest jazz musicians, the CD is a beautifully crafted selection of 15 tracks ranging from elegant swing, through smoky mood pieces, tender ballads to Le Jazz Hot. All are firmly rooted in the traditions of French jazz – of course Reinhardt, but also other lesser known but equally gifted musicians.

Up front are the sparkling guitars of Peter Baylor and Jon Delaney. On violin is Andy Baylor whose command of all things swinging is legendary. Michael McQuaid adds clarinet and tenor saxophone to the mix. Two different bass players were used on the CD: up and coming player Kain Borlase and, on a fleeting visit from Paris where he has been living and playing for more than a decade, Sebastien Girardot. Sebastien was one of Melbourne’s precocious “jazz babies” of the 1990s who have gone on to great things in their music. (Stephen Grant, Jo Stevenson, Simon Stribling, Mark Elton, Michael McQuaid, Simon Vancam, James Clark, Ashley Gaudion, Emelia Wilmot, Eugene Ball, Lindsay Flint – I’ve probably missed some).

Julie O'HaraAnd if that weren’t enough to whet your appetites, Julie O’Hara adds her effortless vocals and her own lyrics to some Django standards and lesser known tunes.


THE LAUNCH of this beautiful CD will be held on Thursday 29 March at the Paris Cat Jazz Club, 6 Goldie Place, Melbourne CBD. Show time: 9.00pm Bookings on line or 9642 4711.

But if you can’t make it to the launch, Julie O’Hara will be singing with Ultrafox at the Famous Spiegeltent in the Arts Centre forecourt on Sunday March 18 at 3pm in the Jazz High Tea series. I’m sure the CD will be available then also.

As a teaser, here’s one of my favourite tracks from the CD. Royal Blue composed by Etienne “Sarane” Ferret, one of several astonishing gypsy guitarist brothers who worked with Reinhardt during the 1940s. In this track Michael McQuaid plays the part which was usually played by the violin in Ferret’s Le Swing Quintette de Paris.

For further information, CD purchases etc. contact Peter Baylor 0430 484 373 or stringbuster@pacific.net.au

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