Possibilities, the debut album by Contemporary Honours graduate Josh Kyle, is humbly titled. At merely 24 years of age, the Melbourne-based Australian artist is not only a singer with possibilities; he has already proven himself as an inventive and professional vocalist and lyricist.
After completing his studies at the Australian Institute of Music (AIM), Josh began his singing career by playing regularly at some of Sydney’s best-known jazz city scenes including Woollahra Hotel, Hyatt, Opera Bar, The Basement, and Sound Lounge. He also performed in a number of different corporate ensembles like the Sydney Jazz Collective, The Fuzz cover band as well as The Sages of Soul. AIM has played a key role in fostering Josh’s success, “AIM was great and still is great. They are supportive of your learning and they do everything they can to help you get to the next level. My band in Sydney features three lecturers from AIM: Sean Coffin, Greg Coffin, and Nic Cecire- they have the best in the biz!”
Josh’s talent did not go amiss as he was quickly spotted for his innovative sound and creativity. He was the only male selected as one of six vocalists across the country, to compete in the Generations in Jazz Vocal Scholarship in May 2008.
His talent then hit the UK where he performed at renowned venues such as 606 Club, Ronnie Scott’s, Spice of Life, and has played a part in the 2011 London International Jazz Festival alongside London’s best musicians, Tom Cawley, Jim Mullen and Ralph Salmins. “The best part about my experience [in the UK] was being totally unknown and being able to introduce myself as a professional and someone who was serious about their music. Nothing to lose and all to prove- it’s quite a good position to be in.”
Josh’s UK success lead to a musical collaboration with Geoff Gasgoyne, the producer and bassist who had performed and arranged for Jamie Callum for many years. Together, Josh and Geoff created the album Possibilities, which debuted at the London International Jazz Festival to great acclaim. It showcases his outstanding vocals as well as Geoff’s contemporary arrangements and production. “It’s amazing to work with someone like Geoff, and touring with Jamie Cullum for seven years. It was pretty lucky to get him to give up his time to work with me. He was really keen to workshop ideas he had with someone so it was perfect timing.”
Possibilities harbours the onset of a strong, refreshing talent. The album is made up of eleven entrancing tracks, comprising of groove-based compositions and jazz ballads. Its overall sound is inspired by the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Carmen McRae, Kurt Elling, Esperanza Spalding and the grooves of other great soul musicians. Josh is a welcome addition to the roll call of jazz vocalists, with an ear for the captivating but underrated classic as well as an aptitude for original lyrics.
Josh has now relocated to Melbourne where he will be releasing Possibilities and preparing a major tour to launch it in Australia. Expect to see “a different take on jazz vocals- and a lot of new lyrics to instrumental tunes and really interesting arrangements with influences from drum and bass, soul and hard hitting jazz.” He will be performing at Venue 505 in Surry Hills on the 8th June (tickets available at the door) as well as the Darling Harbour Jazz Festival on the 11th June (free event).