Interview with Jamie Oehlers and Amy Curl for Jazz Australia
AC: You have a new duo album out with US based pianist Tal Cohen, Innocent Dreamer. Having worked with Tal on numerous projects and tours since 2010. Can you tell us about your dynamic as a duo and why you think the combination works?
JO: After playing with Tal for so many years now, there is an uncanny musical rapport. He know’s my playing exceptionally we and I know his – we also have to ability to tell each other when we don’t think things are working and to practice solutions. Sometimes, in this industry, egos can be easily bruised if you have a blunt and honest discussion about what you think is not working in a certain musical situation. Knowing that we are both searching for a better musical experience enables us to be really candid about what it is that we are doing.
AC: Your last album, “The Burden of Memory” (2015) featured US artists Eric Harland and Reuben Rogers and Australian Paul Grabowsky. How might you describe the music on your new album?
JO: The new album is more of an exploration of the duo setting. The nature of the diminished instrumentation means the more space is automatically created. Tal and I explored this, especially on the title piece “Innocent Dreamer”, where the concept of not playing can create tension within the music.
AC: Your new album will be your 13th. How do you think your compositions have evolved over thirteen albums?
JO: I think my compositions have become less involved rhythmically, maybe a little deeper harmonically, but at the same time, shorter! These days I like to write music that everyone can quite quickly become comfortable on…where there is no stress involved and each musicians individuality can come through. I feel some of my earlier compositions bound people up at times – including myself.
AC: The release gigs last year were postponed due to complications with Tal’s new US Visa. Are there plans for Tal return to Australia soon and when can Australian audiences expect to hear the album live?
JO: We are (re)launching the album around the country, but it is already available for purchase on my bandcamp site and website. Just go to bandcamp.com and search for Jamie Oehlers!