Paul Grabowsky is a pianist, composer, conductor and founder of the Australian Art Orchestra. Born in Papua New Guinea in 1958, and raised in Melbourne Australia, he began classical piano lessons as a five-year-old, studying with Mack Jost from 1965-1978. He began informal studies in jazz around 1976, and devoted his energies fully to improvised music from 1978. Paul lived in Munich, Germany from 1980-1985, where he was active on the local and European jazz scenes, performing and/or recording with Johnny Griffin, Chet Baker, Art Farmer, Benny Bailey, Guenther Klatt, Marty Cook and many others. He returned to Australia in 1986.
In 1983, he formed the Paul Grabowsky Trio, winner of two ARIA awards and still one of Australia’s longest-living and most influential bands. Their latest recording Big Adventure was released in November 2004 on ABC Classics.
As a performer, he became known for his work with the Wizards of Oz, a group he co-lead from 1987-1989 with saxophonist Dale Barlow and Vince Jones, and for whom he was musical director from 1988-89. From 1990-1992 Paul lead the Groovematics, the band on the nightly national television show Tonight Live.
He performs and records regularly with singers Robyn Archer andKatie Noonan (george / Elixir).
In 1994, he founded the Australian Art Orchestra that features the cream of Australian improvising musicians.
Paul produced and presented the television series Access All Areas in 1996, and was Commissioning Editor for ABC Television Arts and Entertainment 1996 -1998.
He is regarded as one of Australia’s foremost screen composers, working with such directors as Fred Schepisi (Empire Falls, Last Orders), Paul Cox (Human Touch, Innocence), John Irvin (The Grooming, Shiner) and Gillian Armstrong (The Last Days of Chez Nous). His television credits are numerous and include the ABC series Phoenix and Janus and the award-winning Channel Ten mini-series Jessica directed by Peter Andrikidis.
His works for the theatre include the operas The Mercenary(1997-99) and Love in the Age of Therapy (2000-2001). His music for the shadow play The Theft of Sita (1999-2000) won a Helpmann award. Before Time Could Change Us – a Song Cycle with lyrics by Dorothy Porter and music by Paul Grabowsky – is scheduled for a 2005 CD release featuring Katie Noonan and the Paul Grabowsky Trio with Scott Tinkler.
In 2004 Tales of Time and Space (Warner) was released to critical acclaim. Paul recorded this in New York with Branford Marsalis,Joe Lovano, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Ed Schuller and Scott Tinkler.
Photo Credit: Jeff Wassmann
Tinkler Rex Grabowsky Edie (2005)
Tales of Time and Space (2004)
Allan spent the 1960s establishing the The Red Onion Jazz Band with close friends Brett Iggulden and Bill Howard. They toured extensively in Europe.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, after studying percussion with Graham Morgan, Allan worked extensively with Peter Gaudion, Geoff Kitchen, Ken Shroeder, Vince Jones, Barney Mc All, Steve Grant and Paul Grabowsky’s Trio and Quintet. Simultaneously he led the contemporary jazz group Onaje, which was selected to represent Australia at the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival in 1992.
Allan has worked with over 35 International Jazz icons including Milt Jackson, Jay Mc Shann, Herb Ellis, Phil Woods, Al Cohn, Plas Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon, Art Hodes, Barney Kessel, Urbie Green, Buddy Tate, Joe Newman, Mal Waldren, Johnny Griffin, Scott Hamilton, Wild Bill Davidson, Urbie Green, Ronnie Scott, Charlie Bird, Ralph Sutton, Sheilah Jordan, Red Holloway, Emily Remla and Richie Cole.
His discography totals over 70 LP’s or CDs, including The Red Onion’s “Big Band Memories”, “Creole Rhapsody” and “Crisis”. The Paul Grabowsky Trio’s “Six by Three” (Aria best jazz album 1990) and “When Words Fail” (1995, Aria best jazz album 1996), Onaje’s “Straight as a Briefcase “, New Orlean’s Rascal’s “Out of Nowhere”, “Genre Jumpin Jazz”, his Quartet’s “BirdCalls”, Shelley Scown’s “Angel”, Browne,Haywood and Steven’s “Sudden in a Shaft of Sunlight” and His New Rascal’s “East St. Kilda Toodleoo”. (The last five were short-listed for Aria awards).
Allan has also been involved in many film scores including Paul Grabowsky’s AFI award-winning music for the documentary on Joy Hester, “The Goodlooker” and Sue Stamps animated “The Whirligig”. Television credits include “The Esso Jazz Summit”, Wangaratta Jazz Festival, Bodgie Da Da and the Birth Of Cool “Access All areas”, The ABC Arts Programs and many variety appearances.
Browne is also a keen writer. He has some articles and poems published and is working on an anthology of poems and essays from the perspective of a forty-year career as a jazz musician.