There’s nothing cooler than a hot blast of melodic jazz and Melbourne band The Rookies are doing us the honour of premiering their new single ‘Dry Bones’: a sizzling piece of jazzy goodness with a serious subtext. This is their first release since 2019 – a far distant land and another world away.
There is no chin-stroking furrowed-brow preciousness about this track nor The Rookies in general – ‘Dry Bones’ is a thoroughly enjoyable melodic whirly gig with a vibrant and bold high step. The riffs are mountainous, the horns etching a pulsating beat and the driving, insistent rhythms creating punctuation marks throughout. A flute adds a filigree of gold.
A reflective middle break injects a little late night lounge louche air – a saxophone break shimmies and twirls with a mesmerising come hither flow before launching back into the main refrain, ending in a marching percussive sudden sharp full stop.
The track has a message and serious intent. The band says:
‘Dry Bones’ is a call to look around at our communities and society at large and begin to
identify where we may have gone wrong. How can we chart a new course that better honours
the inherent dignity and sanctity of human and non-human life? The track turns on the idea of
seeing clearly the flaws in a troubled society with eyes unclouded by fear. Only by facing the
tragedy and injustice around us can we begin to craft a brighter, more inclusive future together.
This eloquence weeps through every note – the ebb and flow of the music reflecting the vicissitudes of life with an optimistic resolve.
It’s energising and euphoric stuff – reminding me of the brilliant Directions In Groove (D.i.G) from the eighties who managed to break through barriers separating the jazz crowd from the indie crowd with their accessible brand of simmering jazz.
The music visualiser accompanying the track is stunning, if not a little ominous, reflecting the burning countryside of outback Australia:
‘Dry Bones is out on Thursday, 24 November 2022 and available to pre-save here.
The tasty track is an aperitif for the band’s upcoming album ‘Feed The Fire’, slated for release on Friday, 24 March 2023.
The Rookies are Tom Sly on trumpets, band leader Greg Sher on Alto Saxophone, Joel Trigg on the piano, double bass from Oscar Neyland and Chris Cameron on drums and percussion. Nice.
The full roster on the recording and video are:
Greg Sher – alto saxophone
Tom Sly – trumpet
Joel Trigg – Fender Rhodes
Oscar Neyland – double bass
Chris Cameron – drums & percussion
Special guest Erica Tucceri – flute
Engineered & mixed by Guus Hoevenaars at Newmarket Studios
Mastered by Lachlan Carrick at Moose Mastering
Artwork & photography by Hanah Wexler and Greg Sher
Animation by Kai Higham of Hyperbeam