Mike Nelson (piano) and Eric C. Ajaye (bass)

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"Time Within" came together in 2000 when Eric C. Ajaye and Mike Nelson commenced teaching in the jazz department at the Canberra School of Music. They have since performed at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre as part of the Summer Jazz concert series. This concert was filmed and recorded for eventual DVD production, project name "The Art Of The Duo", funded by the Australian National University. Time Within has also performed for the Canberra International Chamber Music Festival .

The duo was featured in the 2002 "Jazz In The Band Room" concert series featured on the nationally broadcast ABC "New Music" program recorded live at the Canberra School of Music. As part of the faculty ensemble Eric and Mike have performed several times in Melbourne at Bennett's Lane jazz club and in Sydney at the Side On Cafe for SIMA as well as the Australian Jazz Festival in Canberra.

Originally from Los Angles, USA, Eric Ajaye toured with Freddie Hubbard and worked as sideman to Bennie Maupin as well as with other well known artists including Nancy Wilson and Taj Mahal.

Mike Nelson has performed with many jazz internationals including Milt Jackson, Mark Murphy, Red Rodney, Lee Konitz, Phil Wilson and Ritchie Cole. His quartet represented Australia at the 1988 Indian Jazz Yatra and in 1990 he was awarded the major Creative Development Fellowship from the WA Dept for the Arts. Like Eric, Mike is a member of the jazz faculty at the Australian National University.

In July, 2003 Time Within performed in concert for the Perth Jazz Society at the Hyde Park Hotel, Perth.

"JAZZMEN SHOW THEIR SOUL IN DELICIOUS PERFORMANCE" - 'Time Within', Canberra International Chamber Music Festival
"The current festival has been full of interesting surprises and this concert was no exception with the jazz duo Time Within. Canberra based Mike Nelson (piano) and Eric Ajaye (bass) performed four jazz improvisations starting with an arrangement of 'You Must Believe In Spring' followed by three pieces composed by the duo combining jazz and soul - 'Quetta', 'Song Without Words' and 'Quiet Girl'. I have only one word for Time Within - delicious"
[Helen Musa, Arts Editor, Canberra Times]
"EXPLORING EMOTION ENCHANTING" - 'Time Within', Tuggeranong Arts Centre Summer Jazz concert series.
"Most would acknowledge that emotions are fragile so that a program based on emotion is a brave venture.
This made the exploration by Time Within, pianist Mike Nelson and bassist Eric Ajaye .... enchanting.
Even during the first two numbers, Billy Childs 'Quiet Girl' and Nelson's 'Dagney's Dream' it was evident that something different was being offered. Then in introducing his 'End Of A Wave', Ajaye explained how he and Nelson, members of the jazz studies faculty of the School of Music, were exploring duo playing in every aspect they could imagine.
The appeal of their ideas is evident in that they have an ANU grant to explore the 'Art of the Duo', part of which included filming of the concert through a fortunately unobtrusive battery of four cameras.
Later, in thanking the members of the smallish audience he made the point that often Canberra musicians were not as readily recognised as out of towners. They had demonstrated emphatically the efficacy of his comment.
This they did through the controlled subtlety of their playing, their interplay and the beauty of their compositions ....
Ajaye's explanation allowed a greater understanding of the added dimensions of many of their presentations. Particularly appealing were Nelson's 'Waltz For Janice' for his vocalist wife Jenny and 'Red Heart', memories of his home state of Western Australia inspired by a Namatjira print seen in a London winter, and 'Wait And See' dedicated to those serving in Iraq, ....
Then there was Ajaye's emotional dedication of his 'Quetta' "to my mom", for whom it was named and which was quietly applauded.
This recital proved that love, in all its manifestations, is certainly not unAustralian for honest musicians or involved audiences."
[Michael Foster, Jazz writer, Canberra Times]

"PERFECT TIMING FOR THIS JAZZ DUET" - 'Time Within', Red Belly Black Jazz concert series, Big Band Room, Peter Karmel Building, Canberra School of Music. Wednesday July 15, 2003.
"Eric Ajaye's explanation of the reasoning behind TIME WITHIN enhanced the enjoyment of this, the fourth in the six-concert series promoted by Geoff Page.
The concept is that, without a drummer, the musicians have to rely on the timing that their musical senses determine.
It proved impeccable.
The explanation also created a better understanding of how they exchanged roles, by one filling the spaces left by the other.
Most often is was Ajaye whose mastery of the bass allowed him to create musical artworks within Nelson's spacious readings of the chosen works.
In this mode the bass whipered and boomed, sang and declaimed, and sometimes doubled in percussion.
Then, in its turn, it offered support and room to move as Nelson improvised and developed expansive concepts of time, harmonics and melody.
Non-original works were McCoy Tyner's LA VIDA FELIZ, third in the first set, Michel Legrand's YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING, and Billy Child's QUIET GIRL, which opened and closed the second set and was favoured by the duo which treated it with loving respect.
The concert opened with Nelson's DAGNEY'S DREAM.
The set included Ajaye's emotional tribute to his mother, QUETTA, and Nelson's to his wife, WALTZ FOR JANICE, joyful, delicately delineated protraits with no schmooze.
In the second bracket they offered Nelson's SONG WITHOUT WORDS, supposed to have lyrics "but I couldn't think of any" and Ajaye's REALISATIONS.
This was adventurous and taxing but confidently and powerfully realised by musicians conjoined in their creative selves.
[Michael Foster, Jazz writer, Canberra Times]

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©Mike Nelson 2001