Galapagos Duck – St James (1976)

OriginalFrontCover1Galapagos Duck began in the late 60’s while the members were engaged in a winter season at the New South Wales skiing resort ‘The Kosciusko Chalet’ Charlottes Pass. After returning to Sydney band continued to work and became well known in the Australian Jazz and music scene during the 70’s when it was the house band at the emerging Jazz night club ‘The Basement’ near Circular Quay.

Since these humble beginnings the ‘Duck’ it has been suggested, has become the best known jazz band in Australia and a household name throughout the Country.

The band has worked and continues to work in Concert Halls, Night Clubs, at Jazz Festivals, in the Recording Studio, and on Radio and Television.

Although the membership has changed, of necessity, the direction of the band has always remained the same and that is to create a performance experience that while jazz oriented is able to be appreciated and enjoyed by everybody.

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Based in Sydney Australia the Galapagos Duck was an integral part of the foundation and success of the Jazz Club The Basement.

The band performed in the club continuously for 16 years during which the Basement became known as one of the greatest Jazz Clubs in Australia and the World. The ‘Duck’ also toured extensively all throughout Australia visiting the Capital cities on many occasions and performing frequently in country areas including the remote areas of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Aside from festivals there have been extremely successful performances in England, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. Having always drawn members from the very best of Australian musicians the Band has shown its versatility through work with Dance.

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There have been many appearances on Television including the Bi-Centennial TV spectacular and appearances on ‘Hey Hey Its Saturday’. The Band has also been involved in Film – writing and performing the soundtrack for ‘The Removalist’ and appearing in the Australian Films ‘Rebel’ and ‘Emerald City’. (taken from their website)

And here´s their third album:

The album was produced by Horst Liepolt for his 44 Records label – Liepolt seems to have been behind most of the city’s jazz releases, festivals and venues in the 60s and 70s.

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It features the ubiquitous rhodes and wah-wah woodwinds of the period and has a good loose, live feel on most tracks, with little overdubbing. Strange mix of tracks as an overall album, though – sometimes it’s riffing on contemporary forms, then suddenly lurches back to trad New Orleans, particularly when Burrows is on clarinet. Reading between the lines, this was a band that had to please many audiences to maintain a working lifestyle in a city that was just starting to develop a jazz scene that went beyond the apeing of classic forms – so there’s still a bit of crowd-pleasing going on here. Nevertheless, enough good stuff here to make it worthwhile, and I like McNamara’s work on keyboards in particular. Hope you enjoy it! (


Don Burrows (clarinet, saxophone, flute)
Tom Hare (trumpet, drums, saxaphones, flugelhorn)
Marty Mooney (saxophone, flute, clarinet)
Paul McNamara (piano)
Chris Qua (bass, violin, flugelhorn)
Willie Qua (drums, flute)

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01. House Of The Rising Sun/St James Infirmary (Tradional) 10.11
02. Flutin’ (Burrows/Hare/Mooney/McNamara/C.Qua/W.Qua) 1.59
03. Ivory Moss (Hare/C.Qua/Mooney) 4.47
04. For Elizabeth (Burrows/Hare/Mooney/McNamara/C.Qua/W.Qua) 0.44
05. Hey Timbales (Mooney/Hare/C.Qua) 2.58
06. That Particular Model (McNamara) 3.34
07. What Am I Doing Here (McNamara) 3.47
08. Teo (McNamara) 3.57
09. Mr Bojangles (Walker) 2.14
10. Squeelers And Grunters (Burrows/Hare/Mooney/McNamara/C.Qua/W.Qua) 1.59