Latest CD: Cuttin' Capers

*** Winner of the 2008 Australian Jazz Bell Award for the Best Australian Classic Jazz Album ***

Sweet Lowdowns have released their second LP entitled Cuttin' Capers, the album ranges from Ellington classics and pop songs from the 20s and 30s to Latin and Blues numbers as well as original tunes.

Tracks on the CD are:
1. Shoe Shine Boy
2. Sweet Lotus Blossom
3. What Goes Up Must Come Down
4. Okapa Special
5. I Surrender Dear
6. Black Beauty (Firewater)
7. No Regrets
8. Falling Away
9. Little Man You've Had A Busy Day
10. Back In Your Own Backyard
11. Amapola (Pretty Little Poppy)
12. Ill Wind (You're Blowing Me No Good)
13. Lullaby Of The Leaves
14. I've Got A Crush On You
15. Earworm Wiggle
16. East Of The Sun (And West To The Moon)
17. Soup And Scones
18. In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

I called Graeme at Preston Records regarding that 'old time sound' I'd heard captured at his studio, and the possibility of recording there with the band. After a bit of banter about approaches, we booked a session to see what would happen. I must confess, our notions of 'old' differed somewhat, and what came from the initial session was roughly 40% higher on the 'crust -o-meter' than I'd imagined. So we up-sized the production from three mikes to five (one for each instrument) and most of the material here is from two days' hammering away at over twenty songs in that setup. The equipment itself is something to behold, ancient gear to make the audiophile salivate, with valves, tape and gadgets built in an altogether foreign time, where things were made to last.

The same, I believe, can be said of the music, and it is the synchronicity of medium and style that offers the 'sweet' sound that you hear on the record. Among Ellington classics and pop songs from the 20s and 30s, we've included some of our favoured latin pieces and, of course, the blues. The influences are varied and cover the likes of Mildred Bailey and Billie Holiday and such great instrumentalists as Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Edmond Hall, Eddie Lang, Django Reinhardt and Oscar Moore.

The sound of the group has leant itself well to our own compositions too; from my moody, gypsy influenced Earworm Wiggle , to the cheeky, quasi-bop Okapa Special and Soup n Scones , and Michael's darkly emotive Falling Away .

When recorded, music exists equally alongside its method of capture. Likewise, the approach and expectations of the musicians are dictated by these means and methods. We have attempted to embody the spirit and aesthetic in which the music was written. It is raw, live and spontaneous, and hopefully sounds good!

- Liam O'Connell

Cuttin' Capers is available to buy either at our gigs or you can order it at your favourite music retailer - distributed through Newmarket Music, cat no NEW3241.2.


Happy Feet

The Sweet Lowdowns released our debut CD in January 2005: Happy Feet!

Tracks on the CD are:
1. Sweet and Lowdown
2. Happy Feet
3. Please Be Kind
4. Minor Swing
5. Someday Sweetheart
6. I'll Close My Eyes
7. Charleston
8. Make Me A Pallet
9. Dark Eyes
10. I've Got The World On A String
11. It's Like Reaching For The Moon
12. Sweet Sue
13. It's Been So Long

Happy Feet is currently available for sale at:

Mainly Jazz Records, 94 St Kilda Rd, St Kilda
Victorian Jazz Archive, "Koomba Park", Mountain Hwy, Wantirna, VIC
South Australian Jazz Archive, 19 Ray Avenue, Morphett Vale, SA

We also sell Happy Feet at all our gigs, or alternatively, the CD is available via mail - just contact us at the details on our Contact page.