I had always heard Mark Simmonds (from 1982), as a combination of Coltrane AND Pharaoh. It’s hard to comprehend how a person could channel so much textural energy while rendering such a high standard of musicality: melodic, harmonic and rhythmic. A medium at the opposite side of planet earth to the USA. Mark gave all and more than seemingly possible. He lived and died on the street’s of Sydney. It was an honour to have worked with him. Thanks to Will Guthrie for this memoriam in sound.
RADIO EMISSION - TRIBUTE TO MARK SIMMONDS
Australian saxophonist, leader of the Freeboppers
1955 - 2020
PLEASE SHARE THIS MUSIC FAR AND WIDE ...
Prominent in the Australian jazz scene throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s, Mark Simmonds also worked in many other musical settings such as soul, funk groups The Dynamic Hepnotics (1985–1986), Jackie Orszaczky's Jump Back Jack, and also contemporary music groups such as Phil Treloar's Feeling to Thought, PipeLine and The Umbrellas. In addition to these, the Australian Rock database lists Simmonds as a member of Drain, Corroboree, Chris Turner Band, Silver Studs, Keys Orchestra, Moonlight, Ol' 55, Bentley's Boogie Band, and Renee Geyer Band.
A post-Coltrane saxophonist with a huge sound, Simmonds led his own groups mostly under the name of The Freeboppers which held host to many of Australia’s most adventurous musicians. In December 1981, Mark Simmonds' Freeboppers played at the All Souls Feast Dance fundraising benefit at the Trades Union Club in Sydney, along with The Laughing Clowns, Dead Travel Fast, and performer and organizer, Jon Rose.
This emission was put together by Australian drummer Will Guthrie, who worked with Mark Simmonds in the late 90's.
These recordings were given to him over the years by the musicians involved.
MANY THANKS TO :
The musicians who played, the musicians who I interviewed, John Shand, Martin Jackson, Louise Blackwell, Libby Angel, Michael Sheridan, Steve Hunter
QUOTES from :
'Jazz - The Australian Accent’ - John Shand - UNSW Press
‘Mark Simmonds: No Slaves’ - Article by John Shand
‘Mark Simmonds: I want to be the best’ - Interview by Martin Jackson
‘Freedom Through Discipline: the use of rhythmic devices in the music of Mark Simmonds’ - PhD by Jason Morphett, Sydney University 2010
Will Guthrie is an Australian drummer / percussionist living in France. He works in many different settings of music: live
performance, improvisation and studio composition using various combinations of drums, percussion, objects, junk, amplification and electronics. will-guthrie.com...more