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Home arrow Podcast arrow Jack Howard on horns and songs
Jack Howard on horns and songs PDF Print E-mail
Release Date:
29 November 2006
Jack Howard Interview
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Jack HowardAn indepth interview by Salty with Australia's Jack Howard. Jack is the horn man, keyboard and vocalist from seminal Oz band Hunters and Collectors now creating some great vibe with his new band The Long Lost Brothers. Jack talks about his work with the Hunters, his collaboration with The Living End, Pete Murray and other great contempory bands. Jack also talks about recording, writing and being an successful independent musician. Recorded in Melbourne November 2006.

Web and online shop:
Hunters and Collectors:

“ real songs, real music, fantastic playing ”
- Sunday Herald Sun

“ highly impressive songwriting ”
- EG

“ an unexpected treasure ”
- Barfly

“ tells it like it is warts and all ”
- Inpress


Jack Howard has been a part of the Melbourne music scene for many years, notably as a part of the horn section in the fantastic Hunters and Collectors, and now as the leader of his own band. His latest effort shows he's stepping out in his own right. With backing from Nicky Del Rey on guitars, Barry Stockley on bass and Sharky Ramos on drums, Howard seems to be relishing the role of front man and has become an accomplished lead singer. But where he's made the most progress is as a songwriter, including a bracket of three numbers – Let's Fall In Love, When Will I Be Over It and, in particicular, the instrumental El Magnifico – that are highly impressive. Where the material takes off is when Howard fires up his trumpet, along with trombonist Aidan MacArtney, for a sound that has elements of Latin lounge, a la Herb Alpert and his Tijuana Brass, plus a dash of spaghetti western soundtrack. He wisely doesn't try to replicate that hard-driving H & C sound – this is easy listening for rockers. *** (3 stars)
Friday, 26 November 2004, Jeff Glorfeld


The clues gather. Tick one. It's Australian. The brassy opener, Losin' My Mind, is a slice of that delicious funked-up style served so well by Continental Robert and Joe Camilleri in their various guises. Tick two. The mariachi horns on the delightful Pendulum hint of something. Tick three. Fallen Angel confirms that it is that Jack Howard, the one whose trumpet was such a key part of Hunters and Collectors down the years. Now that is known, comparisons with late, great Hunnas begin to prey on my mind. How does Howard's voice stack up against that of Mark Seymour? And what of his songwriting? The answer to both questions is more than adequately. There are songs here that would sit well on the best of the Hunters' albums, the territory being AOR, while he sings more than tells the story, as is the Seymour way. In short: real music, real songs and fantastic playing. **** (four stars)
Sunday, 21 November 2004, Lee Howard


Jack Howard has certainly not been idle since his former band, Hunters And Collectors, called it a day. Let's Fall In Love is his third album in the last four years and it showcases the distinctive vocals and trumpet playing that have become his trademark as a singer/songwriter and solo artist. The album is probably as far removed from the pub rock anthems of H & C as you can get, yet the sound of Howard's trumpet somehow evokes the memories and emotions of those days gone by. Let's Fall In Love is quite a reflective album, largely written in the first person and is full of laid-back grooves that run through a gamut of emotions as the title suggests. The moody Pendulum and Deliver Me, the slinky and slightly seedy title track and Lotus Blossom and the up-beat pop rock of Fallen Angel and On & On give the album musical diversity whilst still maintaining a core sound. That core sound is solidly built around Howard's interaction with his band The Long Lost Brothers featuring Nicky Del Rey on guitar, Aidan MacArtney on trombone, Sharky Ramos on drums and bass player Barry Stockley who also recorded, mixed and co-produced the album with Jack. The sound of the band really comes into its own on the musically intense instrumental El Magnifico and the addition of Tim Neal's hammond, that weaves in and out throughout the album, heightens the melodic nature of the songs to great effect. A hypnotically groove-based version of Sea Of Love feature long instrumentals that allow the band to jam out and Howard's fine melodic choices really put his stamp well and truly on this familiar tune. Let's Fall In Love tells it like it is warts and all. It shows the seamy side of love as well as the joyful side without being overly shmaltzy or sentimental.
Sunday, 07 November 2004, Maryanne Window


Jack Howard's third offering in four years is an unexpected treasure; an album you could definitely fall in love with. Howard was an integral part of Hunters and Collectors for many years – as trumpeter, backing vocalist and songwriter – and he's also recorded and toured with those other much loved Oz rock bands, Midnight Oil, the Living End, Died Pretty and The Models. On the evidence of Let's fall In Love, his new band, The Long Lost Brothers, might also make an indelible impression on the 'great unwashed'. Howard and his Melbourne mates punch out some of the classiest and catchiest roots rock heard from an Aussie band in recent years. The album seamlessly mixes genres without ever becoming generic. There's plenty of passion in the playing and a groove that grips from the driving opener, Losin' My Mind, with its great opening line: "I string my soul like an old guitar". Apart from the high quality of Howard's songs and the strength of his voice, the artist's trumpet, in tandem with trombone, produces an irresistible brass section that invests three or four songs with a Mariachi feel; others a hint of Chicago or Blood Sweat and Tears soul. The stinging guitar of Lost Brother Nicky Del Rey, and Hammond organ washes of guest Tim Neal are other admirable features. Recording on an array of vintage microphones and sound processors has imbued Let's Fall In Love with a warm, live sound. Listening to the album, you just know Jack Howard & The Long Lost Brothers would be a crowd pleaser at Sydney's Basement or Melbourne's Espy.
Friday, 29 October 2004, Tony Hillier


Despite only Jack Howard being billed as the artist on this Laughing Outlaw release, the album is far from being a solo record. Strong contributions are made by members of Howard's band, known as the Long Lost Brothers, and most notably by Nicky Del Rey who adds guitar and backing vocals to all the tracks here. Howard was vocalist and trumpet player with Australia's Hunters and Collectors until they called it a day in 1998. He has since recorded or played with Midnight Oil (their Rob Hurst supplies the liner notes for this album) the Living End and the Models to name but a few. He released his first solo album titled 'Lo Stresso Tempo' in 2000. This new album features 3 of what many claim to be the best tracks from that previous album, ‘Mr. Twilight', ‘Home' and ‘Frankenstein', to bring a total of 15 songs to this, Howard's first Laughing Outlaw release. Anyone who cites Miles Davis and Tom Waits as their biggest influences is surely worth a listen and Howard doesn't disappoint. The first surprise is that the album is not over-heavy on the brass sounds that Howard is best known for. The second surprise for those hearing Howard for the first time is how strong and passionate his vocals are. ‘Fear Of Flying' perhaps shows the powerful vocals off best and although Howard's brass playing is also to the front here on the chorus and instrumental break the song is really driven along by Del Rey's guitar playing with a riff which once heard is impossible to get out of your head. The sound of brass is generally a sound that one loves or hates, especially when it is used as the main sound. Much like the jazz genre itself, in fact. If horns though are not your thing, one shouldn't be put off lending an ear to these songs. One of the standout tracks, 'Restlessness', for example, has blues influenced vocals from Howard, a rhythm section who obviously know their way around a song and play with feeling, and also what can only be described as some stunning guitar work from Mr. Del Rey again. Add to this Howard's distinctive brass and vocals and the word cool springs to mind. As it also does on the following track, 'Sail Upon Her Smile'. Opening with acoustic guitar before Howard adds some dreamy trumpet, it is an excellent piece of late night listening music guaranteed to calm even the most stressed mind. When Del Rey starts playing some nice, fat guitar it is the icing on the cake. This brings me back to my earlier comments about this being a solo Jack Howard album. Howard has surrounded himself here with a group of outstanding musicians and the album would be a lot less appealing if it wasn't for the contribution of these players. Apart from Del Rey, the keyboard playing by Ollie McGill is breathtaking and the bass playing by Barry Stockley on the title track is superb. Mention should also be made of the magnificent vocals by Callie Gray on this latter track. So what we have here is a bunch of musicians (and I've only mentioned a few, but they all play from the heart) obviously experienced in their choice of instrument coming together to play the songs of an extremely talented songwriter and musician and sounding like they enjoy it. With it's blues and jazz leanings and Howard's impressive lyrics (listen to ‘She's Gone' for confirmation, a tale of a 23 year old girl presumed dead but actually starting a new life for herself) this is essential late night listening. A real find.
Tuesday, 26 October 2004, Malcolm Carter

Jack Howard and Salty Dog
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