By John Shand
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Extra info for Jazz: The Australian Accent
He still tries to practice an hour a day, and would love for his quartet to be working more. If some of his recent performances lack the sheer power of days or yore, they give nothing away in terms of artistry. indd 34 14/7/08 1:06:20 PM ‘When the time comes, I can still hit’, he says, ‘but it’s just very hard to keep yourself up on that level when you’re not doing anything. I’d love to have one regular real gig a week. But it won’t happen. The optimum would be playing three nights a week, playing what you want to play.
Whatever I have had to play in my career has contributed to the music I make’, he says. ‘And that, my life’s experiences, and having the opportunity to travel and play with wonderful musicians have all gone into the melting pot that I draw from’. It’s a rich brew. The Godfathers... indd 45 14/7/08 1:06:28 PM ] Mike Nock: Player on the world stage If Bernie McGann and John Pochée have forged careers out of being instantly identifiable, Mike Nock has built his on being a chameleon. He can be a driving post-bopper, a free-jazzer, a groove merchant or a sculptor of superbly sensual melodies.
It pays off in the long term. I’m an artist. Not every jazz musician is – doesn’t want to be! – but there are artists in all fields. I think being an artist is bringing a sense of integrity to what you do. Trying to realise a vision. An artist is a commitment to an ideal, and following it through, and living your life like that… I had an interesting experience many years ago. At some point – I was quite young, I think – I decided not to play any more gigs I didn’t want to play. You know something?