Sex and the sonic smorgasbord

The Necks—extending the ‘jazz’ piano trio format


  • Jane Galbraith Freelance music scholar, Sydney



The Necks, ‘jazz’ piano trio, minimalism


This article looks at how The Necks extend the parameters of the ‘jazz’ piano trio, and what distinguishes them from most other Australian jazz groups. Their fusion of jazz, minimalism, ambient, ‘new music’ and world influences has established a cult following both in Australia and internationally. In some ways their work is an enigma, as its parameters are simultaneously open and restricted. Despite having established certain conventions such as one-hour live sets, subverting any overt ‘virtuoso’ style in favour of a less formalized and more meditative approach, the fascination in their music lies in how they manage to create individual, discrete, original sound works, characterized by a clearly focused, improvised narrative. In this article, I explore how the international achievements of The Necks over a 25 year-plus career have established them as one of the most important and distinctive Australian jazz groups.


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How to Cite

Galbraith, J. (2015). Sex and the sonic smorgasbord: The Necks—extending the ‘jazz’ piano trio format. Jazz Research Journal, 8(1-2), 277-295.