Tim Rollinson is a guitarist and composer who is best known as a founder member of Dig (Directions in Groove). He has also played with a range of other artists such as Vince Jones, The Black-Eyed Susans, eon beats project, Louis Tillett, the young northside big band, Phil Slater, The 10 Guitar Project, jurassic bark, the greasy chicken orchestra and the gospel choir 'cafe of the gate of salvation'.
Tim has written and released Four albums: ‘Cause + Effect’ (1998), ‘You Tunes’ (2010), 'nitty gritty' (2016) and 'old new blues' (2019).
his playing career has been described as an ‘eclectic trajectory’, including jazz, indie rock, funk, soul and free improvisation.
In 2011 Tim was voted 12th best in a readers poll held by ‘Australian Guitarist’ magazine.
Tim also has a studio based jazz-electronica project called
the modern congress with albums: 'the hidden soul of harmony' (2005)
'the protagonist' (2010)
‘With his experience in rock and in the more avant reaches of jazz (as well as the mainstream) Rollinson has many distortion and colouristic effects at his disposal. He can play hard and gritty as well as lyrically’
'Drawing on material from the impressive You Tunes album, they moved between brooding ambience, fairly straight-ahead jazz, extended journeys and howling climaxes...one of the best guitar sounds in Australian jazz'
John Shand Sydney Morning Herald
‘Guitarist Tim Rollinson proves himself to be a thorough modernist, taking bits and pieces from the styles of Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Jerry Garcia, and a lot of others, then synthesizing them into an expansive and easy-going approach that’s pretty much a pleasure to listen to.’
Stuart Kremsky Cadence Magazine (USA)
Tim started playing classical and flamenco guitar at the age of 11, but his interest in rock and jazz soon led him to switch to the electric guitar.
Tim played in high school rock bands as well as The Young Northside Big Band - a teenage swing and contemporary jazz big band which released two albums on Horst Liepolt's '44' label and played at the 1979 Monterey Jazz Festival (USA).
Tim studied at the NSW Conservatorium (Jazz Diploma) in 1980/81, forming a musical association with drummer Tony Buck which led to Tim's first quartet (Suburban Guerillas) playing original compositions. At this time he was also playing regularly with the legendary vocalist Joe Lane. Tim was also involved with the Keys Music Association (KMA) and doing gigs with players such as Dave Ades, Simon Rowe, Louis Burdett, Jamie Fielding, Jason Morphett, including a residency at the Pilsener Inn (Round Midnight) as well as the Paradise Jazz Cellar in Kings Cross.
Concurrently, Tim also performed with and wrote for a number of rock and eclectic cabaret groups, including Captains of Industry, Falling Bodies, Kiss Me Stupid, Pressed Meat and the Smallgoods, The Unconscious Collective and Paris Green, which led to appearences with Louis Tillett's band The Ego Trippers from Hell and a year with The Blackeyed Susans, appearing on the album Welcome Stranger.
In the early 1990's Tim co-founded the "acid jazz" band Dig (also known as Directions In Groove). Dig is, and was, an improvising band using dance rhythms. Dig started with a hybrid of funk. soul, jazz and hip-hop and later incorporated trip-hop and drum'n'bass. Dig's first EP was a surprise hit, becoming the largest selling independent australian EP. The first album Deeper debuted at number 6 on the national charts. Through the 1990's, Dig toured Australia and overseas extensively and appeared at many festivals including: Big Day Out, North Sea Jazz, Montreux Jazz, Phoenix Festival (UK), Thai International Jazz, Byron Blues and Roots, St Kilda Jazz, Gold Coast International.
During this time Tim also played with Tim Hopkins, Lily Dior, and spent 10 months touring with Vince Jones. Along with Jonathan Zwartz, Hamish Stuart and Michael Bartolemei, Tim played each monday night (1997-99) at Bondi Beach Surf Lifesaving club as The Starfish Club. Each week the band played with a special guest. This concept was transferred to radio as a monthly live broadcast on Jim McLeod's Jazztrack (ABC FM), reprising some favourite guests such as Renee Geyer and Tina Harrod. Tim collaborated with Zwartz, Stuart and Barney McAll on the track Grant Green on their album Zeek's Beek. Tim wrote, recorded and released his first album 'Cause + Effect' in 1997. Joining Tim on the album are Toby Hall on drums, Lloyd Swanton on bass, Barney McAll on piano and organ with guest appearances from Phil Slater on trumpet and Terepai Richmond (Dig) on snare drums.
Tim moved to New York City in Jan 2000 for 18 months. He played with saxophone player Tim Otto as part of Otto's down town jazz trio and also his club date band: The Bluetones. Tim also performed with David Watson (ex NZ avant-gardist) and Sean Wayland among others. Tim studied with guitarists Peter Bernstein and Steve Cardenas.
Since being back in Sydney, Tim has played with Dig (Directions In Groove), The 10 Guitar Project, Cafe of the Gate of Salvation Choir, Virna Sanzone, Sydney All-Stars Big Band, Dale Barlow, Phil Slater, Gerard Masters, The Greasy Chicken Orchestra. Tim has been involved in a reunion of The Young Northside Big Band as a tribute to John Speight at the Manly Jazz Festival and a Vince Jones retrospective at the 2009 Stonnington Jazz Festival.
Tim released two albums by Jazz/Electronica project The Modern Congress :'The Hidden Soul Of Harmony' (2005) and 'The Protagonist' (2012). Tim's trio with Jonathan Zwartz and Hamish Stuart has recently released an album 'You Tunes' on Rufus Records. Dig (Directions in Groove) has released two albums: 'Clearlight' 2011 (ABC Records) and 'Live at Milton Theatre and the Basement' (2004).