Mike Nock on his highly sought after Collector’ edition album MOVE, 55 years on

“musicians  are  often the worst  judges  of their  own  performances – what feels  better and  maybe  even  sounds  better,  to  the  person  playing  it, is not necessarily  how the  music  is  perceived  by  a  wider  impartial   audience”

JK: You were only nineteen years of age at the time of recording. Tell us how the Move album came about?
MN: The  trio  had only been  together for 6 weeks and had already begun attracting  a lot of attention. Our music  was  very  exciting and energetic, no one had  heard  music played like  this  in Australia before and we very  quickly began drawing  capacity  crowds  to our   gigs. We  also appeared  on several  TV shows  like  6 O’clock Rock  etc., and were  generating a  huge buzz around  town.

JK: It must have been an exciting time in Sydney with venues like the legendary  El Rocco. Some of your recollections?
MN: It was  very much an exciting and transitional time,  Australia was beginning  to wake  up and take its place on  the  international stage, television had only recently been  introduced and a new era was  dawning on many fronts.  There  was a  strong  feeling of  national  pride  beginning to permeate  everything and it seemed  anything  was  possible. Jazz at that  time enjoyed  a much  higher comparative profile than it does today and a  much  bigger percentage  of  the population were  actively interested in the music, largely helped by  the widespread  media  coverage the arts  received. Jazz  was  generally accorded the  same  respect  as  classical and  pop music and  there  was not  the often  overwhelming variety of possibilities we are confronted with  in today’s 24 hour trending cycle. People  tended  to  form personal  emotional attachments  to their  favourite music rather  than  having   choices  subtly, or even not so subtly,  dictated  to  them by  commercial  interests.

JK: Why do you feel this album is so special and has become a collectors album?
MN: Apart  from being  the  first  hard-swinging  local  modern jazz  album  released in Australia, it  was  also the  first  recording of my  quite  extensive international  catalogue,  which  would  make  it attractive  to  many  record  collectors. It  took me  many  years  to appreciate how  good  this  first   album  was as  I  always thought I played  much better on  the follow-up  album Sittin’ In,  but   musicians  are  often the worst  judges  of their  own  performances – what feels  better and  maybe  even  sounds  better,  to  the  person  playing  it, is not necessarily  how the  music  is  perceived  by  a  wider  impartial   audience. Plus, in spite of  a  couple  of lapses, I  now  think it was  a pretty   successful and interesting  program overall. It  certainly  made  a  big  impact  at the  time.

JK: You once saw an original vinyl copy of the album for sale in Japan – tell us more.
MN: Some 15 years ago I saw it  advertised on  DIW’s website (Japan) for  US$3000.  At the  time I  was  contacted by DIW’s label  head  to  discuss  the  possibility  of  finding  pristine  copies  here in  Australia  to  export to Japan,  plus   the  idea  of  doing a  pressing  here  to  capitalise  on  this  potential  windfall was  mooted,  but  for  various reasons  this  never  happened.

JK: The album has now been reissued along with the follow up Sittin’ In. How did this come about?
MN: I can only surmise, although  the  possibility has been talked about for several years. I  recently heard it had been released by a German company ( BEJAZZ!). It’s  now available in Japan and the  US and  I  believe  it’ll  be  imported  into Australia through Birdland.

JK: It has been said that the music on this album changed the  face  of  Australian modern jazz,  what do you think was that change?
MN: The  trio  played a very  emotionally extroverted form of jazz which encouraged  audiences to express their appreciation vocally, like an ‘Auzzie’ version of a  black revival  church  meeting.  As  the  three  of us  left  for  England though,  soon  after recording the 2nd album ( Sittin’ In )  any  changes that came  about would  probably have more  to do with  Australia opening  up to top  overseas  musicians,  such as the Oscar Peterson Trio, Nancy Wilson, etc.  But  having  said  that  I’m  also  pretty  sure  our large national profile   encouraged many younger musicians to follow in our footsteps and  consider  playing  jazz more seriously as a possible career path.

JK: How did the invite for the 1960 Jazz Festival arise?
MN: We did a short season at expatriate American promoter, Lee  Gordon’s King’s Cross strip club,  Primitive. When he  booked  Australia’s first  International Jazz  Festival in 1960 he included the 3 Out trio in the  line-up. It  was a  tremendous boost  to  us,  both  artistically and  commercially, as we toured all  major cities,  appearing  on  stage  alongside  some  of  the  top  jazz artists  of  the  day,  such as   Coleman Hawkins, Sarah Vaughn, Teddy Wilson, Dizzy Gillespie, etc., which  really  cemented our status  as  a  leading  Australian  jazz  group.

JK: Any special memories of this tour?
MN: It  was  an unbelievable experience  for  me  to  spend  time travelling  with   some  of  my musical  idols and hear  them  every  night  under such  circumstances. We mainly  played stadiums  and I remember  in Sydney there was a revolving stage  in the  centre of the  arena. Coleman Hawkins, who was  no  longer a young man,  found this  so  dis-orienting  he had to be  assisted off  the  stage after finishing  his  set. I  also  remember  Arvell Shaw’s bass snapping  in two while  he was playing  on  stage with  Teddy  Wilson’s  trio.

JK: What sort of twist can audiences expect to hear at Foundry 616 when you revisit the album?
MN: We’re  learning  the original  arrangements as a starting  point to  play  the music  from our  current  perspective of 55 years  later. This  is  turning  out  to  be a  bigger challenge than  I originally thought, but  I’m finding it  an incredibly  interesting  process and  a huge  journey  of self-discovery, as the music  contains  most  of  the concepts  I’ve spent my  lifetime exploring  ever since. It may be true  one  can never  go  home again- but  maybe  that’s because  we really never  leave  it!

In  1960 the original 3 Out trio comprised , pianist  Mike  Nock,  drummer Chris Karan, both 20 years old at  the time, and 30 year  old  Dutch bassist  Freddie  Logan.

Dick Hughes  wrote  in  the Sydney Telegraph,  “MOVE  remains  one  of  the  greatest  jazz recordings  ever  made in  Australia.”  Both albums ( MOVE & SITTIN’ IN) have been remastered and re-released  on  vinyl  and  CD  by  German label  BE! Jazz.

If you would like to catch a live performances, the premiere outing will be on Friday 12 Feb @ Foundry 616, with hopefully a national tour to follow.
More info
THREE OUT ‘REDUX’, The classic MOVE album revisited
MIKE NOCK – piano