Melbourne-based jazz violinist and orchestral composer, Tamil Rogeon, has returned to jazz with his first LP in three years. It will be released on February 5th, 2021, on Greg Boramans’ new imprint – Soul Bank Music (part of the !K7 Music Group) – and is entitled Son of Nyx.
Son of Nyx is one of the very few viola-led jazz LPs of recent times – a swirling six-track prism of exploratory modal jazz, Afro-latin percussion and string-led composition, featuring some of the most exciting musicians working in Melbourne today. WTM’s favourite of the singles is House No Wheels.
The musicans include: Bamboos keyboardist, Daniel Mougerman; 30/70 and Gondwana Orchestra vocalist, Allysha Joy; post-bop drummer, Danny Fischer; and was co-produced by long-time Rogeon collaborator and revered DJ, keyboardist and house producer, Harvey Sutherland, in his studio in Melbourne. Latest single Momus is also great.
Having chosen the violin over drums at an early age, Rogeon developed at college and in Melbourne jazz circles – championed by Gilles Peterson, who released the genre-blending, nine-track compilation and Melbourne scene-snapshot, Sunny Side Up on his Brownswood Recordings imprint, last year. After discovering the innovations of jazz violinists – Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Jean-Luc Ponty and Stuff Smith – Rogeon spent a period retracing his steps through jazz, fusion, boogaloo, Bitches Brew era Miles and acid jazz. He moved to New York to study bebop in its birthplace, playing at jams, busking in subway stations and entertaining his love of Bird and Miles. Eventually, Rogeon moved back to Melbourne (via London), where he formed the jazz-influenced, orchestral electronic group, The RAah Project, with singer and MC, Ryan Ritchie. Their debut thirteen-track LP Score (2009) boasted an impressive 22-piece horn and 17-piece string section.
A second album of equally cinematic, orchestral soundscapes followed in 2015, before Rogeon departed to Rio De Janeiro, to record the album 24 Hours In Lapa (2017) – a 12-part suite built on Brazilian rhythms, featuring the 30-piece Orchestra Victoria, centring around the tragic story of a young expat killed by an off-duty police officer in Lapa, in 2007. Rogeon has also composed TV and film scores, toured extensively and conducted the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Australian Youth Orchestra (AYO), and the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM).
Now with Son of Nyx, Rogeon has returned to where it all started for him: “After studying jazz for ten years and then leaving it for various crossover projects, it seemed an important thing to do. I felt it was the right time in my life to put out a record like this.”