Jack Howard – Lost Horizon
Jack’s stunningly recorded and presented fourth full length studio album.
Released In: [Australia / NZ].
Release Date: 6 November 2009.
Australian Chart Position: [Did Not Enter].
Availability: Moderately common. Available new in CD and digital form.
Highly recommended track.
Version: Independent Australian CD album.
Album length: 36 minutes, 21 seconds.
ReplayGain loudness: -7.21dB (2009).
- Crescent Moon
- If I Were A Bird
- Lost Horizon
- Let the Bird Fly
- Doesn’t Have to Hurt
- Such a Charming Man
- The Morning Sun
Jack Howard has been a ubiquitous presence on the Melbourne music scene over the last few years. This year, he’s been musical director and arranger of Call Girl The Musical, belted it out with Hunters and Collectors at Sound Relief to 80,000 punters, pulled off a roof-raising cameo at Tex Perkins’ Johnny Cash Show, penned and performed the Carlton Football Club’s “They Know We’re Coming” anthem; and he plays The Last Post at his local RSL every ANZAC Day.
However, the tale of his latest project, Jack Howard & The Nightbirds, lies in the remarkable young musicians that have played on “Lost Horizon”.
Jo Schornikow plays the grand piano with passion and power and now lives in New York and plays with one of that city’s best indie bands, The Shivers.
Kieran Jones (double bass) has moved to Kent in the U.K. and is now house bass player/songwriter for UK hit Factory Xenomania – in fact, he co-wrote Girls Aloud’s “The Promise” which won the Britpop Award for song of the year; and he played bass on Gabriella Cilmi’s “Sweet About Me”.
Jeremy Hopkins (drums) is in demand around Melbourne equally as drummer, singer or actor. He’s played with everyone from Bob Downe to Sarah Blasko and starred in his own show at The Butterfly Club.
And so to “Lost Horizon” – beautifully recorded by Peter Foley at Wesley College and produced at Jack’s studio, The Bungalow, in downtown Elwood, the songs are richly orchestrated around Jo’s piano and Jack’s vocal. They range from the cinematic Nightbird to the exhuberant Crescent Moon (which features a cracking guitar solo from Gerard Assi) and the Bacharach-ian “Such A Charming Man”.
Just nine songs and 37 minutes long, Lost Horizon been treated with loving care by Jack & The Nightbirds and it will stick in your head long after the music has faded.
Jack can be found at email@example.com and www.jack-howard.com or http://www.myspace.com/jackhowardmusic.
Lost Horizon was recorded at Wesley College with the help of the indubitable Peter Foley. We tracked the band there and then I took the songs back to my place and tinkered with them until I was done. I sent the songs to Universal Mastering Studios in America to be mastered.
Kieran Jones played double bass, Jeremy Hopkins played the drums and Jo Schornikow played the grand piano and sang backing vocals. As you will hear, these three musicians bring an amazing heart and soul to the songs. I sang and played trumpet and the other miscellaneous instruments. In addition, Gerard Assi played guitar, Heather Michael sand backing vocals (on Let The Bird Fly and Such A Charming Man), Dalya Metter played alto sax; and David and Mikaela Mowat played trombone and French horn on Let The Bird Fly.
I did the cover drawing (brilliant, I know) and Dave Mowat helped put the artwork together.
The songs were gathered together from old notebooks, from down the back of the couch, from random demo tapes – “If I Were a Bird” I originally recorded with Nichaud Fitzgibbon when we briefly had a band together in 1998; “Let The Bird Fly” I rediscovered in my first notebook of lyrics; a version of “Nightbird” was on my first ep, Lo Stresso Tempo; “The Morning Sun” we actually had a crack at with Hunters and Collectors as a kind of interlude on our final CD, Juggernaut (sadly, it didn’t get a guernsey); “Such A Charming Man” is a variation on an old song of mine, Secrets and White Lies… and so on.
The defining factor was that the songs suited the piano. I write on piano in a basic fashion but in Jo, along with Kieran and Jeremy, I found a beautifully sympathetic voice to bring the tunes to life. Thanks, guys.
The CD, as usual, is dedicated to my songs, Spencer and Flynn.
Many thanks to Wesley College.
All songs by Jack Howard