Late nights, sweaty bodies, blue smoke and beer fuelled dance freak-outs over a gravely wailing saxophone – think New Orleans processionals meets Twin Peaks. This is JAZZPARTY. Melbourne’s Monday night secret society led by former saxophonist and songwriter of Clairy Browne & The Bangin Rackettes Darcy McNulty and supreme diva and ex-Rackette Loretta Miller.
“Essentially we are a dirty beatnik rock n’roll band who play jazz and soul music” – Darcy McNulty.
After moving to Melbourne himself, Darcy McNulty effortlessly integrated into the world of Melbourne’s live music. Yet, despite being filled with incredible musicians, McNulty identified a strange uniformity within the jazz scene. He saw the need for a spontaneity and recklessness in music, the likes of which had never been explored.
With the help from Wondercore Island’s Si Gould (Hiatus Kaiyote) Jazz Party was born! Growing wildly from the lounge rooms of late night house parties to month long Monday night residencies throughout the city. Over the past four years JAZZPARTY has held court at many of the most electrifying venues in Melbourne. From Howler all the way to the mysterious Kelvin Club or local darling The Curtin Hotel – JAZZPARTY Monday Nights has brought its feverish ceremonial and hysterical performances week after week. As well as tearing up local and national Music and Arts Festivals; from Golden Plains – Melbourne International Jazz Festival, WOMAD and Dark Mofo.
“We play anything that’s danceable and anything that’s fun,” McNulty says. “Like Fats Waller, Iggy Pop and Jelly Roll Morton. Kermit Ruffins – who still plays every week in New Orleans – is one of our heroes.”
JAZZPARTY perform Darcy Mcnulty’s original material as well as some classic jazz and everything else in between. Tom Waits ballads, Calypso slow jams or Prince bangers Jazz Party pride themselves on their extemporaneity and true originality.
“It’s important that we always keep things fresh and new somehow,” McNulty says, “That might mean getting a vibraphone and a slide guitar in a dirty rock venue… Or having the bass player from the MSO sit in with a drunk blues harp player. We’ll do it. It’s all music.”
Joining Darcy McNulty is musical freakshow Guitarist/vocalist Lachlan Mitchell, heartbreaker Pianist Gideon Priess, Double Bassist and cult dance hero Jules Pascoe, baby faced assassin Eamon McNelis, hard wakkin’ rhythmical quasar Dom Hede and heart ans voice of JAZZPARTY the inimitable Loretta Miller.
Featuring a rotating cast plus regular features from members of bands such as Husky, The Cat Empire, Mo’Ju and On Diamond – The spirit of Jazz Party is surprise and spontaneity and you just never know who will show up to play a Jazz Party gig.
JAZZPARTY is like nothing you have seen before or will likely see again, as if a wild shindig collided with a cult gathering. McNulty says “We’ve had the bar staff dancing on the tables. Generally, it gets pretty raucous. I mean, we haven’t had everyone take off their clothes yet. But we’re getting there.”