The title of the album, LA OR BUSK, derived from a play on words while Catherine busked in Kings Cross to get to Los Angeles.
"My trip to LA in 1996 was very important for me and this album," Catherine says.
"I met jazz legend Bob Haggart at the Los Angeles Classic Jazz Festival. He gave me permission to accompany his original composition's of 'I'm Free' and 'My Inspiration' with my lyrics".
In 1938 Haggarts's original musical composition 'I'm Free' was recorded. In 1940 Johnny Burke wrote lyrics to Haggart's 'I'm Free' and changed the name to 'What's New'. Catherine has written lyrics to the 1938 original musical composition 'I'm Free'.
To read more about the history of I'm Free ( What's
Other composers who feature on 'LA OR BUSK' include Australian jazz greats Bernie McGann, Keith Hounslow and Grahame Conlon as well as Catherine's sister Rosaleen O'Brien.
Bernie McGann composer of 'Lady's Choice', 'Spirit Song' and 'Last Straw', is a veteran of the Australian jazz scene.
As a composer and saxophonist he has many credits to his name including a guest appearance at the 1997 Chicago Jazz Festival and being awarded the 1998 Don Banks Fellowship
He has also been part of influential jazz bands including Last Straw, Ten Part Invention and the self titled Bernie McGann Trio.
Keith Hounslow, co-composer of 'Kiama Sunrise', has been in the Australian jazz scene since the 1940's.
As composer, pocket trumpet and flugelhorn player he has had a successful career throughout Australia with several albums to his credit and his own quintet, the Keith Hounslow Jazzmakers.
Grahame Conlon, co-composer of 'Kiama Sunrise', is one of Sydney's favourite mainstream guitarists. He has performed and co-composed with the Keith Hounslow Jazzmakers for 10 years.
When writing her lyrics Catherine tried to make the composers' visions and integral part of the song.
"I wanted to convey the beauty of the music and bring it to a wider range of audience." Catherine says.
According to Catherine, the composition and recording of 'Kings Cross Blues' was more of an afterthought.
"It's a story of survival," she says
Accompanying her on the album is the well known Australian guitarist/composer Doug de Vries.
He has toured the US, Europe and India with varied combinations including the Australian Jazz Orchestra as well as performing with Paul Grabovsky and Vince Jones. Recently he was commissioned to compose and work with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
Pianist/composer Rosaleen O'Brien also features on 'LA OR BUSK'. She began piano at the tender age of three and has never looked back. She is classically trained and acted as Musical Director of Sydney Cabaret Acts for several years.
Catherine O'Brien grew up in the country developing a love of nature and music. Her lyrics are reflective of this combined with her imagination and experience.
To read the LA OR BUSK extract from the Catherine O'Brien story click here.
© Copyright 2001-2009 Catherine