That’s My Jazz is a short (14 mins) documentary that details the story of pastry chef Milton Abel II. He is the son of renowned Kansas City jazz musician Milton Abel Sr who made a name in the local jazz circle. The documentary is a beautifully shot piece that tells the story from the perspective of Abel II- reminiscing about life growing up the son of a famous jazz musician and how it would ultimately shape his own life as a pastry chef.
The documentary was made by Breakwater Studios and aside from it being visually arresting, it is a very well put together story of the oft-complex relationship between fathers and sons. The crux of the story is the question Milton Abel II has asked himself- would he trade his successful career as a pastry chef to have stayed home to take care of his aging father?
As the film opens, he states
“If you were to put a button in front of me today where we would go back and I would say ‘no’ to the French Laundry and stay at home with my dad, live in a split-level apartment, take care of him, I would hit that button.”
Abel Sr. passed away some 12 years ago and the film asks the hard question of whether or not one should forgo the potential of a future for familial responsibility. One that Abel II clearly answers.
However, the film isn’t just about this moral dilemma, it is also about the connection one has with their craft. In this case, the similarity between the dedication it takes to be a renowned pastry chef and that of a legendary jazz musician. The film is soundtracked by jazz’s timeless sound, adding to the short film’s remarkable resonance. As the film concludes, we find that there is a circular grace to life- and that the choices we make going forward will at times find its way back to the beginning.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, Abel II says with simplicity, that in the end regardless of your work, your children care about one thing above all;
“They don’t care if dad is a great pastry chef. They just care that dad is a great dad.”
If you have 15 minutes, That’s My Jazz is well worth your time.
“Sweat Baby Sweat” with Swan
Australian beer, Australian rock n’ roll, what’s better?
Rock n’ roll, beer, and the fast life- what could possibly be better? Not much according to Swan anyway. Swan is the brainchild of Matt Swan (or “Swanny”), the Australian rock n’ roller who cut his teeth as one-half of UK rock heavyweights Royal Blood as well as Australian based band The Swamps. Now ripping through a new solo career, Swan has just released the video for his debut single, the roaring “Sweat Baby Sweat”. An ode to late-night dance parties and letting the good times roll.
We had a chat with Swanny about the blood pumping video, the new music, playing at Margot Robbie’s wedding (yes), and what we can expect from Swan.
What a blast of a debut song. How did the concept of the music video come together?
I wanted to create a high octane video to match the energy of “Sweat Baby Sweat” and at the same time incorporate some of my favorite things I like to do to clear my head… Motorbikes and Jumping out of planes! I’m good friends with the guys at Byron skydive and when I approached the team with my idea they jumped at it. It was such a great experience, the cool thing is none of them had even heard the song until just before the jump when they rehearsed it on the ground to that ripping solo.
Where did you guys film it?
We filmed it all around and above the Byron area and a huge chunk of movie magic stuff on the ground at Byron skydive.
Have you worked with Clint (Gough) before this video?
Well, interesting question… Clint was introduced to me late last year by a mutual friend and we caught up to discuss another film project that we have in the pipeline. As we were going through some footage and talking music I showed him the demo to “Sweat Baby Sweat”. He heard the “Sweat Baby Sweat” hook in another part of the song and said this is your chorus. The vibe was great we spent the night in my home studio restructuring the song together and went on to track the vocals in Brisbane a couple of weeks later. So that was the first time we met and worked together. We’ve since become good mates and are continuing to collaborate on my next lot of material.
I have to ask- that’s really you jumping out of the plane and skydiving?
Swans are born to fly… But unfortunately, on this day I was grounded. The plan was for me to go up and dive with the team but we were squeezing so much into our shoot schedule that I had to film my other scenes whilst the boys and my stunt double were in the air.
This is the first sample of your upcoming solo work- what can we expect musically for your solo debut album? Is there a date or timeframe for a release?
I’m focusing on completing my EP this year, its a high energy fusion of Rock, Punk, Grunge, and Blues. Lyrically I’m aiming to deliver a positive message that listeners can connect with and at the same time showcase some more aggressive tones on one track that addresses a bit of my music backstory. So new music definitely over the next few months and maybe we can chat again about an album next year.
Will you be taking a break from The Swamps to do Swan full time?
Not any time soon, The Swamps keep the rock n roll fire burning in me!
How did you guys end up playing Margot Robbie’s wedding? I bet the food was amazing.
A friend of mine knows their family and put us forward. However, here’s what happened… I received an email titled “Family Reunion gig?” so I replied not knowing that I was actually talking to Margot Robbie’s good friend. They asked me if we could meet up in Byron or the Gold Coast to talk about this reunion gig. Turned out she was located on the Gold Coast and was easier for her to meet up there. So I stupidly palmed the meeting off to Matt Armitage as he lives up there. Little did I know that if I attended the meeting I would have spent the afternoon on the Gold Coast drinking cocktails with Margot herself. Armitage must have done something right as we got the gig, the wedding was amazing and she gave me a big hug and kiss at the end of the night to thank us. Ain’t complaining about that at all!
You wrote “Sweat Baby Sweat” over a beer- what’s your beer of choice to write great rock n’ roll songs?
Young Henry’s for me. An all-round great beer, amazing taste and they are amazing supporters of Aussie music.
Swan’s debut single, “Sweat Baby Sweat”, is out now. More information can be found on the official Swan website.
Strung Out pull curtain on “Under The Western Sky” video
Strung Out tap David Lynch vibes on new video
In preparation for their new album, Strung Out have released a new song and video. Titled “Under a Western Sky”, the song is the second to be released ahead of their upcoming 9th studio album, Songs of Armor and Devotion. The video was directed by vocalist Jason Cruz who says the video was in tribute to filmmaker David Lynch and one of the central themes of the new album- America;
“Under the Western Sky’ was inspired by the films of David Lynch and my favorite subject: America. I have neither pride nor disdain for the environment I was raised and continue to create in. The things I see and feel are all just colors on a palette to be used any way I see fit.”
The new album is the follow-up to 2015’s Transmission.Alpha.Delta and is due for release August 9th via Fat Wreck. The album is also the first without long time drummer Jordan Burns, who departed the band in 2018. Burns was replaced by Runaway Kids drummer RJ Shankle.
Out of the two songs released thus far, “Under The Western Sky” has us most excited for the new record- all fire and melody; trademark Strung Out.
Strung Out have a North American tour lined up for September through November with The Casualties.