The Necks at 25

a changing same?


  • Tony Mitchell University of Technology, Sydney



Australian jazz, improvised music, UK jazz criticism, US jazz criticism


This article argues that the Sydney-based jazz improvisers The Necks have pursued a successful career over 25 years despite the scathing review given them by prominent US jazz critic John Litweiler, and that contrary to Litweiler’s account, they in fact form part of a continuing tradition (a ‘changing same’) in jazz started by Miles Davis’s album Kind of Blue. The article consists mostly of a discussion between the author and group members Chris Abrahams and Lloyd Swanton.

Author Biography

Tony Mitchell, University of Technology, Sydney

Tony Mitchell is an honorary research associate at the University of Technology, Sydney. His most recent book is co-edited with Glenda Keam, Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand (Pearson Education, 2011).


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——2009. ‘Improvisation and Popular Music’. In Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia, ed. Shane Homan and Tony Mitchell, 37–60. Hobart: Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies.

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How to Cite

Mitchell, T. (2013). The Necks at 25: a changing same?. Perfect Beat, 14(1), 55–77.