Antipodes is a collective of New Zealand and Australian jazz musicians co-led by pianist Luke Sweeting (Freedman Jazz Fellowship finalist 2016) and saxophonist Jake Baxendale (NZ Best Jazz Composition nominee 2018). The group plays original compositions that emphasise melody, emotive soundscapes, and an open improvisational aesthetic.
Antipodes was formed after a chance meeting between Jake, Luke and drummer Aidan Lowe at a jam session in Berlin in 2013. Their musical connection became immediately apparent and they began writing and performing original compositions together. With Jake hailing from Wellington and Luke and Aidan both being native Canberrans, Antipodes seemed like an apt name for the far-flung trio.
Joined by guitarist Callum Allardice (two-time winner NZ Best Jazz Composition award) in 2014, they have toured NZ and Australia every year to rapt audiences. The music draws from diverse influences – modern New York jazz meets Swedish indie pop and European free improvised music – that reflects the vibrant Berlin music scene.
“Antipodes hits the mark on a number of levels. Firstly the writing is superb. The musicianship is also great but for me it is the communication of a shared vision that lifts them above the ordinary.” – John Fenton, Jazz Local 32
Apart from the three composers, the album features Aidan Lowe on drums, Ken Allars on trumpet and Max Alduca on bass, who also contributed a composition of his own. Between them the members of Antipodes have dozens of album credits, toured in NZ, Australia, Sweden, Germany, Poland and Denmark and performed with jazz luminaries such as Gilad Hekselman, George Benson, Ernie Watts, Steve Smith, Mike Nock and James Muller.