Powerful, dynamic, sometimes gentle but most predominantly highly energetic; Mount Kujo is a Melbourne based, internationally formed act blending Funk and Jazz influenced by Latin and Afro-beat. A collective of jazz musicians from all around the world deeply rooted in Melbourne’s music scene, playing original arrangements rich of colourful harmonic changes, syncopated rhythms with explosive horn sections and extensive solo parts.
Mount Kujo have an extensive touring record in Australia, having played festivals (Dragon Dreaming, Castlemaine Jazz, Renaissance Festival) as well as some of Melbourne’s finest night clubs (Night Cat, 24 Moons, Toff in Town, The Gaso), they are probably best known for their intimate residency shows in some of those beautiful hidden bars in the side streets of Melbourne’s underground music scene.
“If there is one thing to be grateful for in these tumultuous times, it is what has happened to the state of modern jazz. Far away from the traditional jazz-club house bands are clusters of musicians developing jazz in the most exciting and sincere ways. These artists have been developing their styles by excitedly combining music of all ages and cultures.
This new generation of musicians have heard the intersections of time and space and found a similitude between the ultra deep Soul-jazz works of 70’s period American composers such as Les McCann or Yusef Lateef, with West African Afrobeat and Highlife legends, Progressive Rock, Ethiopian Jazz and more. Following the first generation of bands to do this such as The Shaolin Afronauts, The Budos Band and The Souljazz Orchestra, comes the newest addition of soulful and talented musicians to explore this expansive melting pot: Melbourne’s own Mount Kujo.
Those lucky enough to have experienced the band in their formative years leading up to their first album and to have seen one of their legendary monthly residency shows at the cultural apogee of Bar Oussou would have fond memories of these wild, sweaty nights: Mount Kujo, in all their wisdom and curiosity, have formulated the perfect concoction for a cathartic friday night freak out: Tight jams, low on keychanges but high in technique and energy, drums pounding out infectious polyrhythms while bandleader-guitarist Max Myland raises the roof by hoarsely screaming instructions to the band.
Add to this the sonic explorations the partake in by hooking up their instruments to myriads of pedals that push the band into psychedelic territory, completely improvised jams that sound like the band has been on tour together for decades, and colourful outfits to lighten the mood, and you are close to the joy and excitement Mount Kujo bring to a live show.”
James Carman – Drums
Nicola Russo – Bass
Max Myland – Guitar
Philip Setton – Organ
Marcelo Garcia – Percussions
Will Larsen – Bari Sax / Alto Flute
Tom Panckridge – Trombone
Shaun Fogarty – Alto Sax
Gabe Smale – Flugelhorn
Hugh Parsons – Trumpet