Under French Quarter Festival 2006 i New Orleans, fik jeg mulighed for at spille et job med en musiker jeg har beundret gennem mange år, nemlig Geoff Bull fra Australien. Efter min mening er han en af de allerbedste trompetister der stadig spiller det jeg forstår som ægte New Orleans.

Geoff Bull vil meget gerne komme til Skandinavien og spille med New Orleans Delight i 2007, og vi er meget tæt på at være enige om de økonomiske forudsætninger.

Er der nogen der er interesseret, så ring eller mail allerede nu 46 32 22 60 eller [email protected]

Geoff Bull

Geoffrey Randolph Bull was born in Sydney on 26th May 1942. He has had no “formal” musical education, but it seems that something must have been passed down to him from his Ancestor, Ole Bull the famous Norwegian Violin virtuoso of the early 1800's. He played a Bb bugle (incorrectly he says) in his high school cadet corps for a short while but was mainly interested in Rhythm and Blues music during his early teenage years. In 1956 Geoff's older brother took him to a concert performance in Sydney by Louis Armstrong and his Allstars. The impact of that concert began Geoff's life long involvement with Traditional New Orleans Jazz.

During the late 50's, he discovered the more traditional sounds of people like Joe 'King' Oliver, and Louis Armstrong's Hot Five. Shortly after, Geoff heard “Jazz at Vespers” and was immediately captivated by the music of the New Orleans Revival. Through other friends he was introduced to the American Music recordings of Bunk Johnson and cites Bunk as one of his most important influences but his music does not show any overt Johnson mannerisms. The Johnson influences are mainly in the tone, timing rhythm and phrasing.

By early 1960 Geoff had a trumpet and regularly visited the Royal George Hotel in Sydney, to sit in with the band and develop his traditional jazz skills. At the end of 1960 he was in Melbourne and sat in with the “Melbourne New Orleans” jazz band, the premier Australian band of the time. Early in 1961 Geoff was invited to join that band. He stayed with them for a year before leaving Melbourne on his first trip to Europe. There he met and sat in with like-minded musicians, including Barry Martyn and Sammy Rimington.

Returning to Sydney in 1962 Geoff formed the “Olympia” jazz band. At first jobs were hard to get but eventually they landed the “house band” gig for the Sydney Jazz Club. In 1963 the “Olympia” commenced a residency at the “Orient Hotel” in the Rocks area of Sydney, which continued 3 nights a week until the early 1970's.

Geoff went to New Orleans for the first time in 1966 and sat in with George Lewis (one of his early influences), Jim Robinson, Alec Bigard, Sweet Emma Barrett, Willie Humphrey “Kid” Thomas Valentine and Louis Nelson. He also played in the “Eureka Brass Band” alongside “Kid Sheik” Cola and Peter Bocage. 1966 also saw Geoff return to England. During that year he recorded with Alton Purnell, Barry Martyn and Cap'n John Handy.

Since then, Geoff has spent almost as much time overseas as in Australia. He is a “regular” on the European jazz festival circuit, spends a lot of time playing in the USA, has played and recorded in Japan and is well known throughout the traditional jazz “world”. He has recorded with so many of the New Orleans veteran musicians that the list would be too long to include. Geoff has also organised tours of Australia for a number American jazz legends - Alton Purnell, Louis Nelson, Chester Zardis, Topsy Chapman, Butch Thompson and Sammy Price to name a few.

Geoff has been one of the few professional jazz musicians in Australia over the last 40 years. His “Olympia” jazz band has been a constant professional organisation with a relatively stable line up of musicians. Geoff also ran a New Orleans style restaurant “Sweet Emma's” in Sydney from 1984 to 1987, combining his two passions, Creole food and New Orleans jazz.

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