Jazz History

The great lineage of traditional and Modern Jazz

At Sydney jazz company our lineage to the great tradition of artists and bandleaders such as Art Blakey,Dexter Gordon, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane and the Blue Note recordings of the 50s and 60s is our pianist and composer Bobby Gebert and his associates.

This lineage goes right back to the roots of afro American Jazz, from the negro spiritual to the great musicians and trumpet mentors of the great Louis Armstrong  to Duke Ellington ,Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Mingus,Herbie Hancock.

On arrival in New York in the  early 1980s for his first visit Sydney Jazz Company’s Bob Gebert was offered a room with the great Pianist Walter Davis, pianist to Charlie Parker, Art Blakey and countless other greats, and at the same time his traveling companion Mark Simmons (teacher and mentor to saxophonist from Sydney Jazz Company Henry Holt) was getting lessons from George Coleman the great tenor saxophonist of Miles Davis.

Bob and Mark studied with their mentors and rubbed shoulders and played with  many great musicians of the time, at this time many of the great names from this golden age were still around and passing their knowledge. This was a time when jazz was generally not learnt in a curriculum or college book, but from the great lineage by mentors, teachers, listening and jamm sessions…

The genius composer and musician Duke Ellington once said “There are only two types of music. Good and Bad”

The lineage of the great and good jazz is one of studied, dedicated professionals who sacrificed their lives for their art and part of this lineage, always respected and understood their tradition with humility. New boundaries were always broken and always grounded in the lineage and forms passed down from the great to the great..

Only when Australians like Bobby Gebert and Mark Simmons travelled to New York studied and immersed and humbled themselves with the great players and the tradition was their lineage brought home to us. Australians who have been to New York have been humbled and when they return realise how little of that true lineage remains.

We at Sydney Jazz company carry the jazz tradition and strength of lineage into our music  for the best quality music available and your pure enjoyment.