Jazz Catz use lockdown to complete album

Ryan Sackanary and Boris Guderjahn from The Jazz Catz.

Lockdown for two-man band The Jazz Catz was devoted to the creation of a new album.

Timeless, follows the launch of their first album, Maiden Voyage, in May last year.

Band member Boris Guderjahn, of Muizenberg, says while lockdown cost musicians their gigs, it also gave a lot of them a sort of reset in creativity.

Ryan Sackanary, of Seawinds, is the other half of the band. The men compose music together, with Boris on saxophone and Ryan on keyboard.

“Everything we do is a team effort, from recording to mixing and mastering,” Boris says.

The band was founded by Boris.

Guest members and Ryan were all found through mutual friends with common interests in jazz. The previous bass player heard Ryan playing at a church gathering and thought he’d fit in perfectly.

For gigs, the band takes on more members, but for recording, it remains Boris and Ryan.

Boris says until they started work on their own album, they played all the stuff from Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other famous composers.

“Somewhere there is a moment where you feel the urge to create something on your own. With the first album, we had very little knowledge of the technicalities with regards to recording music, registration and distribution. So with the second album, we made sure to do research on everything necessary, and with the recording process it was pleasant because all the songs on the second album are all original pieces composed by us, so it left lots of room for creativity and freedom.

It was a very exciting and interesting experience for us when we started because we did not have a clear vision. It was a trip in the unknown actually. The Timeless album was a nine-month process. Fortunately most of the songs were recorded before the lockdown. We finished the album just after lockdown.”

They say lockdown gave them plenty of time to practise and play.

“It only affected us negatively with the thought of not knowing when we would be able to get back to work,” Boris says.

So what has producing this album taught them?

“We’ve learned that the process of making a CD is not as easy as it seems. It’s one thing to listen to a CD but making it is a lot of work,” Boris says.

“We had to become our own promoters, marketers, graphic designers, mixing and mastering engineers and everything else that comes with making a CD.”

They describe their album Timeless as an expression of deep emotion and soul.

All songs are original pieces composed by The Jazz Catz.

“It explores different genres and was inspired by all forms of music; as a crossover from contemporary to classical elements. Our aim was to make music which gives the listener good feelings, relaxing and just good vibes in these uncertain times,” Boris says.

“We strongly feel that music can inspire and touch you in a positive way. Ludwig van Beethoven stated: ‘Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.’”

One of the tracks, Seawinds, is a dedication to Ryan’s neighbourhood.

He says that with its melancholic sound, the track has a double meaning. It is meant, on one hand, to convey the feel and sounds of Seawinds and, on the other, to carry this feeling to the community, to inspire and uplift them.

Timeless is available on all digital platforms, but the CD is available through the “TheJazzCatz” Facebook page. Call Ryan at 067 9997 672 for more information.