13: Peter Scherr
If you talked to Peter Scherr within the first ten years of his professional music career, the bassist and composer would have told you about his job playing for symphony orchestras. Before that he played in rock band, and, having spent a couple of years in Nashville he is, of course, also into country. And today? Well, at the very loosest level, we can probably get away with calling it jazz – but he’d be uncomfortable with that. “There’s a lot of different styles of music that are interesting to me,” says Sherr, “and I’ve had a lot of professional experience playing radically different types of music”. What he is sure of is that he is into the experimentalism, and the cutting edge inventiveness that defines avant-garde music.
These qualities were on vivid display in ‘Jazz Folk’, a show he put on with Australian friends Matt McMahon and Simon Barker at Backstage Live earlier this year, for which the trio performed jaw-dropping, improv-led jazz re-workings of rock and folk classics by Elliott Smith, Joni Mitchell, and Nick Drake. He’s also just played at NOTCH with sound artist Dickson Dee, and at the end of the month he’ll accompany remarkable (and, frankly, spooky) throat-singer Sainkho Namtchylak, who hails from Tuva, a small autonomous Russian republic just north of Mongolia.