The History of Jupiter ……….so far
Jupiter formed in 1976 in Sydney Australia
Ron Mazurkiewicz and Philip Edwards had played together for many years in a well respected band called Elmtree. The band had been through many incarnations and was heading towards a more Jazzier Fusion focus and so needed the talents of a great guitarist which led them to Dieter Kleeman who was playing with local band “Forever”.
It certainly was a meeting of the spirits for these 3 musicians who quickly realised that they were well suited to be playing together. Next they needed that special bass player…………..
By placing an advertisement in the paper they thought there would be a line a mile long of talented bass players eager to join this new outfit…..
The one and only Bass player who answered the advert was Phil Laycock, which in hindsight was a great relief to the other members as he was perfect for the job of completing the new line up now called Jupiter.
It didn’t take long to have a wide ranging repertoire of tunes drawn from their musical influences. This included the likes of Chick Corea, John Mclaughlin, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, to name a few. Eventually the list would include some memorable original tunes like Full Moon, Camellia and much more.
Gradually, after being isolated for months in a small house on the outskirts of rural western Sydney the band ventured out to hit the traps with their new and innovative style of music.
Jupiter didn’t fit into the normal jazz scene, they were to rocky, they didn’t fit into the rock scene as they were to jazzy. They had to forge ahead by astounding people at places like French’s Wine bar in Oxford Street, and the Pinball Wiz at Circular quay.
Once at one gig out of town they were told they would not get the full fee promised as their singer had not turned up…… these early days of Jazz/Fusion instrumental music were tough but the band continued to develop a strong loyal following of people who needed more than the usual 3 chords, without the tradition of some Jazz gigs.
The band contributed to the sound track of a surfing film called ‘Drift Away” and played live at the old Regent theatre in George St Sydney. One of the last bands to play there.
The ABC radio station “JJ” as it was then called were having a series of live performances and were inundated with requests for Jupiter to play a “Live to Air” concert. This occurred in late 1976 and was a wonderful night for all concerned this helped the band to develop a wider audience.
The band recorded reel after reel at Atlantic studios in Sydney’s Earlwood with a goal of releasing an album. Unfortunately trying to get backing to release this material proved all to hard and eventually the band broke up with members going in vastly different directions.
Jupiter have just had a 34 year reunion. Although Ron Mazurkiewicz and Philip Edwards have jammed regularly over the last 10 years or so, its only been the occasional session that Dieter has been able to play with them. Phil Laycock has been busy and had not been seen for some time. So it was April 2010 that the lads were able to get together in the same studio at the same time.
It was at Atlantic studios in Earlwood that Jupiter spent so much time recording and generally fooling around, so it was wonderful they should have their reunion in the same studio.
Phil Laycock arrived, and within 5 minutes had his bass out and was encouraging the rest to get started, well what a night, the very special feeling that a band such as Jupiter created had not been lost, just faded a bit. Gradually the tunes came back and a fantastic night was had.
The evening was recorded and filmed for a future project.
It was a massive surprise when Phil Laycock reminded us all that we were filmed at Frenchs wine bar in Oxford St around 1977, it was even more surprising when he told us that he had the video tape.
The tape was quickly passed to Philip Edwards, who is now involved with video production, and immediately he had to find someone with a machine that could play a “Helical Scan 1 inch video reel to reel tape”. Eventually finding someone with a old machine, the tape was baked to remove 30 years of moisture and turned into a digital file.
Jupiter are now watching themselves play a gig recorded over 30 years ago, and it has been a fantastic find.
Gradually this will be part of a documentary of the band that we are putting together and soon will be available for all to see.
Thanks to all those people that still remember the band and the effect we had on them…. all good we hope
The journey continues….
- Ron Mazurkiewicz – Keyboards
- Phil Laycock – Bass
- Philip Edwards – Drums
- Dieter Kleeman – Guitar