Leading Australian Saxophonist Andy Sugg goes under the Doo-Bop Spotlight.
Andy Sugg, saxophonist and band leader based in Melbourne will be travelling to Brisbane on September 12th to perform his latest album ‘Tenorness’ at Doo-Bop Jazz Bar. Click Here to Book Tickets
Describe yourself in 10 words
A musician who loves the way music creates fun, happiness, celebration.
How long have you been a musician and what was your first public performance?
I started playing when I was 14 (kinda late for many musos). I guess my first performance would have been at school. There wasn’t a lot of music at my school, but there were a group of us who were really interested in it and just starting to play and we supplied the music to school functions when we could. That was early high school; by late high school I was out playing in pop and jazz-rock bands.
Tell us about your favorite song or track of all time
That’s hard because it changes from time to time. I have a group of tracks that I never tire of listening to and that I seem to come back to again and again. One, is Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”. If there’s such a thing as a jazz masterpiece, then this is it! What an incredible work of creativity, power, passion; a fabulous representation in music of the spirit of the times (mid-‘60s) with all its hope and searching for a better way. Music at its very best!! Super smart, super exciting, super beautiful. Jazz sax players say that Trane’s “Giant Steps” is our benchmark, but I reckon it’s A Love Supreme.
If you didn’t become a musician, what would you love to be doing right now?
Well, it would have to be something artistic. I painted when I was a kid but that’s gone by the wayside — although I still love the visual arts. Maybe writing, I like to write and I read a lot of really good writers. The creative processes of writing and music-making (and painting) aren’t all that different. I’m just a hopeless arts tragic!
What is your favorite colour?
Well, I’m a ranga, so I’m “pro ranga-dom”, but it’s not red. I have a new toothbrush with some gold in the handle. My partner says I chose it because there’s gold in Thor’s costume and his hammer. She might be onto something!
Who is the most influential person you have worked with and why?
Dave Liebman. In the generation of sax players to come immediately after Trane, Liebman was one of the most important and influential. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know him well and working with him many times. It’s hard to keep music like jazz fresh, vibrant, and new, especially after a total giant like Trane. But Lieb (and others) did it, and that makes them and their music very special in the scene.
We hear you have recently returned from playing in Europe, where in Europe did you go and what did you enjoy most about playing there?
I just played in NYC and then in Europe. I was invited to play at the World Saxophone Congress, this time in Croatia. A mate from NYC and I played some originals inspired by Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. It was an amazing event and my first time in Croatia – beautiful place, beautiful people, killing musicians!
Which Track from your album ‘Tenorness’ are you most looking forward to performing on stage?
Of all the busy, rhythmical stuff, I actually really like “Little Sparrow” a lot. It’s got a kind of an understated, folksy vibe to it and it shows off the sax (and the rest of the band) really well but in a softer mood.
And finally, tell us a little bit about your upcoming performances that we don’t know yet…
This upcoming Doo-Bop gig—my first ever, by the way—is the beginning of an East Coast tour for me, playing music from “Tenorness” and the album I recorded in NYC just before it, “Wednesdays at M’s”. The tour takes in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide. Check www.andysugg.com for the schedule.