Sweet Lowdowns is ostensibly a swing quartet hailing from Melbourne, Australia; having met in Canberra in the late 20th Century. It consists of Sandra Talty (vocals, drums), Michael McQuaid (reeds), Liam O'Connell (guitar) and Richard Mander (string bass).
Perhaps imagine Lester Young, and Billie Holiday traveling to Paris and jamming with a stripped down hot club-style rhythm section. Or Mildred Bailey sitting in with Edmond Hall; Charlie Christian on acoustic guitar. This may give an idea of the influences, but the music is truly the result of the harmonious balance of the personalities that comprise it.
The band's name refers to the Gershwin tune and the Woody Allen film of the same name, "Sweet and Lowdown".
The musicians have played jazz with a number of prominent Australian jazz musicians, including Len Barnard, Graeme Bell, Bob Barnard, Geoff Power, Graeme Coyle, John Morrison, Steve Grant and the late Tom Baker, to name just a few - and are now honoured to regularly join such great performers on festival bills around the nation.
In 2004 they released their first album ‘Happy Feet' independently; then in late 2007, they finally released their long awaited second CD Cuttin' Capers, which was named Winner of the 2008 Australian Jazz Bell Award for the Best Australian Classic Jazz Album!