The COMPOSITION series:
Each member brings sketches of music to complete an album bearing the title of their stage name.
First takes - no rehearsals.
The second album in the COMPOSITION series. Featuring the works of Gerard Masters AKA PHANTOM JAZZ.
Here is a breakdown of each track from Gerard
Phantom Jazz - Track 1 : Booze Blues
I captured my son Liam playing a rather unusual swing beat on my phone when he was about 4 or 5. It sounded like the kind of swing feel a 60 year old seasoned pro would play in the 4th set at an RSL lounge gig after about 6-8 schooners of Reschs
Anyway I looped up Liam’s drum beat and wrote this song over the top. When we recorded it I told the guys to play as drunk as possible , even though it was 11am and we were stone cold sober.
Thanks Liam. With kids , all you have to do is watch and listen - they have all the answers you need.
Phantom Jazz : Track 2 - Does Steve Swallow
A lot of our fans have commented that this is perhaps our best track title yet, who am I to argue?
In the 90s Steve Swallow released an awesome album called Real Book and I guess this track is influenced by that a bit. Nice medium swinger with some pretty ‘standard’ like changes to blow over.
Phantom Jazz : Track 3 - Liam’s Lullaby
This melody was written the day my son Liam was born 10 years ago. I had just ducked back home from hospital to feed the dog and decided to sit at the piano for a few minutes while I was there.
This was maybe the only time that a song has just dropped down out of the air for me - the whole piece was composed in about 5minutes - will have to give some APRA points to ‘The Universe’
I played it for Liam last night as he was going to bed - he got about half way through and switched the track to The Final Countdown by Europe.
Lumberjack plays an incredible bass solo on this one. Give it a score out of 10. It’s a 10 from me for sure.
Phantom Jazz : Track 4 - World Cup
This piece was compose whilst the Soccer World Cup was on - the holy grail of sporting events.
Mexico 1986 was the first World Cup I remember watching - I used to get up super early to watch it on TV and was enthralled by the magical powers of Maradona , as every 8 year old boy on the planet was.
Not too sure what this particular piece of music has to do with soccer. But I do love it equally as much as I do music.
Check out the ‘pots n pans’ drum intro from Stallion on this one.
Phantom Jazz : Track 5 - Elfi
I taught piano to a really beautiful person called Elfi for a while. I was always struck by her sense of wonder and intrigue towards the magical mystical world of chords and melody on the piano.
I tried to conjure up this sense of the beautiful unknown when writing this piece and just watch and observe as the chords and melody plonked out of my hands.
Seemed to turn out ok and I really like how this slow ballad has a nice circular form to it too.
Good track for slow dancing to and/or brushing your cat
Phantom Jazz : Track 6 - The Smiths
Johnny Marr’s guitar style was a definite influence in this song. I love his jangly melodic way of chord playing - I tried to incorporate some of this in the melody here.
It really sounds nothing like The Smiths due to the completely non-harmonically related bass drone underneath it all - sometimes it’s good to hide the obvious..
Phantom Jazz : Track 7 - Folk Song
The final track on the album. It’s been fun writing a few tidbits about each composition through the week.
Not much to say about Folk Song , except that I love it when those really simple melodies come to you. So simple that you think that somebody must have already written it. These ones are often the best (and hardest) to stumble upon)
Nice way to finish the album , left the last chord unresolved .... so like a Star Wars movie - you know there’s another one coming in a couple of years
released February 29, 2020
Gerard Masters - Piano
Brett Hirst - Double Bass
Miles Thomas - Drums
Recorded by Richard Belkner @ Free Energy Device
Mixed and Mastered by Miles Thomas @ Studio C
Such a beautifully crafted album. Such intense rich weaving of sounds and feelings. It’s one of those albums you are happy to share at the same time want to keep as a personal secret.
Amazing stuff by Mr Halsall. I suggest anyone reading this to spend some time in his early stuff too. Song to Charlie is monumental. il-berts