SCAT - THE JAZZ SESSIONS

Date           Saturday 24th March
Doors         3:00pm
Tickets       $21.50

SCAT!
They play jazz

“SCAT have that thing that is all too often missing in jazz - they connect with their audience and share the experience of making this great music” - James Morrison

Having shared the stage with big music icons such as James Morrison, The Whitlams, Emma Pask and Grace Knight, this 4 piece band (vocals, keys, drums, double-bass) does for jazz what bubbles do for soda-pop. Original tunes, tasty standards, clever arrangements, brilliant musicianship and serious humour is a package that audiences can’t get enough of. SCAT’s live show fronted by vocalist Craig Burnett is a unique blend of accessible sounds, instrumental mastery, lyric riffing, crowd interaction and off-beat humour. Craig believes their greatest and most frequent compliment says it all, “I don’t usually like jazz, but I love what you do!”

That might seem like an odd compliment to hear when you play in a jazz band, but for Brisbane four piece SCAT, it's something they've become quite accustomed to.

Over the last 10 years or so, the band - featuring Craig Burnett on vocals, Jeremy O'Connor on bass, Daniel Smith on drums and Chris Poulsen playing piano - have crafted a unique musical persona that mixes equal doses of fun with blistering jazz virtuosity.

"We have to be having fun for it to be fun for the crowd," says Chris, a fine jazz pianist and whose collection of keyboards, pianos and organs is rather impressive.

"Often when you see a jazz trio, it’s kind of this intense introverted experience, where we try and purposely do the opposite and make it accessible and entertaining."

This sense of fun and entertainment is something that seems to flow naturally from the four Conservatory trained musicians, who reguarly decide to make up songs on the spot and hope the other members of the band follow their lead.

"Sometimes we don’t get up with a set list." Says Chris."Yeah," agrees Craig, "we might know the first two or three tunes and then we’ll just wing it from there, and I’ll just call it or I’ll start raving on about some story like 'a bush turkey stole my sports car', and the guys will just start playing something under it, make up a song on the spot kind of thing. The spontaneity comes out of our personality, and you get to a point where you’re actually comfortable and go. 90 per cent of the time people like it." 

This somewhat absurd approach to performing is often matched only by the band's choice of clothing (shiny purple suits are not out of place), and is something they encourage the crowd to embrace.

With such antics a mainstay of their show, it's little wonder that SCAT were hosts of the annual Fancy Pants Ball at Easterfest for many years. Punters were invited to dress up in crazy costumes and an on-site op-shop was provided. SCAT themselves dressed in crazy costumes each year, one year in painted suits with matching coloured hair and skin, another year wearing suits made of newspaper . “It was our job to kind of run a party for an hour and a half.” says Craig. “It was so much fun to be doing a ‘jazz’ gig to over 1000 people all dressed up crazy and having fun” 

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