Founded by trumpeter/composer Laura Kahle and pianist/arranger Steve Newcomb, the 10-piece West End Composers Collective began in 2003 as a monthly gathering of Brisbane’s creative improvising musicians, composers and arrangers to workshop original works. The ensemble has since released two recordings featuring original material and performed throughout Australia.
Driving Hat is their second album and features the music of Rafael Karlen. Utilizing the unique skills of the Collectives' ten members, Rafael embraces each musicians individual strengths to deliver a collaboration of unified sound around his rich harmonies and melodic lines. Driving Hat solidifies the ensembles aim to produce an outstanding contemporary jazz album of original Australian compositions. The title track, Driving Hat was a finalist in the 2009 Jazz Bell Award for Best Australian Jazz Song of the Year