All posts by Chris Cody

A Dove, A Lion, A Coast, A Pirate

Luke Howard Trio. Luke Howard, piano; Daniel Farrugia, drums; Jonathan Zion, double bass
Jazz
Which Way Music WWM018
Reviewed by , August 1st, 2015

This album is one of several recent Australian jazz albums to have been recorded at Rainbow Studio in Oslo that raises the question: why are Australian musicians going to Norway? The two countries have some similarities – both are middle size economies with a sparsely populated hinterland, enormous natural resources, an educated, fairly wealthy and… continue reading »


Adam Katz

Adam Katz, piano. With Keith Carlock, Julien Wilson, Steve Magnusson, Nic Lam, Christian Meyer, Ben Anderson, Brendan Tsui on various tracks
Jazz
Newmarket Music, NEW 3321.2
www.adamkatzmusic.com
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2015

This cheerful album is well recorded with good clear sound at the reputable Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, and features a good line-up of Melbourne based musicians with Adam Katz, piano, Keith Carlock, drums, Julien Wilson, and Ben Anderson, sax, Steve Magnusson, Nic Lam, and Christian Meyer, guitar, Ben Anderson, sax, and Brendan Tsui, bass…. continue reading »


Alluvium

Tiny Hearts. Eamon Dilworth, Dave Jackson, Steve Barry, Tom Botting, Paul Derricott, plus Elana Stone.
Jazz
Alluvium Records AR001
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

Presented as “a collection of stories written individually and re-imagined together”, this album by Tiny Hearts is true to its promise with some fine writing and good individual and collective improvisation. The group’s music does indeed sound like the sum of individual parts or as they put it, “segments of personality drifting along a stream… continue reading »


Every Eight Seconds

Matthew Sheens, piano, with octet
Jazz
Self-release
www.matthewsheens.com
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2015

It’s not very often one discovers a young pianist who impresses you with his technique, compositions, arrangements and ambition. Adelaide’s US-based Matthew Sheens satisfies in all these areas. His music is very well arranged, with well thought out and structured compositions usually comprising many different sections, layers of melody, counterpoint, and interweaving rhythms. There are… continue reading »


George Garzone, The Monash Sessions

Garzone, sax, with a number of student and faculty ensembles. Monash University Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music
Big Band, Jazz, Music
Jazzhead, HEAD166
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2014

Boston saxophonist and jazz educator George Garzone has visited Australia many times and when here would rehearse and workshop with Monash University music students. This in turn has led to a residency and mentorship at Monash University in 2011, a concert at Melbourne jazz club Bennetts Lane and finally this recording. There are four sessions:… continue reading »


Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out

Kristin Berardi, vocals, James Sherlock, guitar
Jazz
Self-release
www.kristinberardi.com and www.jamessherlock.com
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

The challenge for singer/guitar duos is to maintain sufficient rhythmic and textural interest in what is a pared back and vulnerable setting. Without bass and drums, it is hard for any guitarist to provide the whole package of accompanying with chords, providing a walking bass where needed, making melodic comments between vocal phrases and taking… continue reading »


Hermeto Pascoal. The Monash Sessions.

Hermeto Pascoal, Doug de Vries, James Macauley, Julien Wilson, Jordan Murray and musicians from the Monash University jazz program
Jazz
Jazzhead HEAD 165
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2015

This album is the first of the Monash Sessions, a series of recordings from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University, Victoria, Australia. In March 2012 world famous Brazilian musician Hermeto Pascoal, after a residency with his band, participated in workshops, rehearsals and the recording of this CD with Australian jazz musicians… continue reading »


Monash Art Ensemble

Monash Art Ensemble and the Australian Art Orchestra
Big Band, Improvisation, Jazz, Music
JazzHead, Head171
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

The Monash Art Ensemble is the fruit of the collaboration between members of the Australian Art Orchestra and the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, playing the music of Paul Grabowsky. The composer’s liner notes describe the bringing together of two worlds of improvisation and notation. There are two works on the recording: Variations (d’un… continue reading »


Peter Sculthorpe – A Retrospective Collection of Some Favourite Sculthorpe Works

Various artists
Classical, New Music
Move MD 3378
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2015

This CD contains some favourite works of Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe who sadly left us in August 2014. Australia’s best-known composer, his music is renowned for drawing inspiration from the outback, the landscapes of Kakadu, indigenous music and language, and also from Asian music styles, in particular those of Indonesia and Japan. The well-selected pieces… continue reading »


Tender Earth

Simon Tedeschi, piano. Works by Kevin Hunt, Mark Isaacs, Evan Lohning, Mike Nock, Bill Risby
Jazz
ABC Classics 481 0960.
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2015

Simon Tedeschi observes in the liner notes that all the Australian composers selected for this recording are “jazzers”, whom he considers to be ahead of the curve conceptually here in Australia. “Jazz, an art music for many decades, has produced some of our country’s finest musical auteurs”. It’s an interesting claim, quite possibly true, but… continue reading »


The Beethoven Obsession. The story of Gerard Willems recording of all Beethoven’s piano works on the Stuart piano

Brendan Ward
Biography, Books, Musicology
Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2013, 269pp.
ISBN 9781742233956 (pbk)
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Ward recounts the fascinating story of three men, and their project to record the complete Beethoven piano works on the unique Australian made Stuart piano. These three men are Brendan Ward a former TV cameraman from Kingaroy QLD, Wayne Stuart the piano designer and pianist, and Sydney Conservatorium academic Gerard Willems, the Dutch immigrant who… continue reading »


The Beethoven-Willems Collection. 36 piano sonatas, 5 piano concertos, Diabelli Variations, presented in chronological order. Stuart and Sons piano

Gerard Willems, piano, Sinfonia Australis cond. Antony Walker
Classical
14 CD plus 1 DVD box set. ABC Classics 481 0464
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Gerard Willems’ has recorded all of Beethoven’s piano works on the Stuart and Sons piano. The recordings have been re-mastered and reordered for this 2014 re-release. They include all the Piano Sonatas, not omitting the Electoral Sonatas and Fantasia Sonata, five Piano Concertos with the Sinfonia Australis conducted by Antony Walker, the Diabelli Variations, C… continue reading »


The Messiaen Nexus

Elisabeth Sellars, violin, Kenji Fujimura, piano.
Classical, New Music
Move MD3369
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2014

The CD earns its name as Olivier Messiaen provides two pieces on the CD and was teacher of most of the other composers and a student of Paul Dukas. The performers Elizabeth Sellars and Kenji Fujimura are both faculty members at the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University. The violin was prominent early… continue reading »


Unseen Scenes

Bungalow. Mike Rivett’s Japanese band. Rivett, tenor sax, electronics; Kichi Sata, piano; Hiroshi Ikejiri, bass; Ko Omura, drums, tabla.
Jazz
Studio Songs, YZSO 10057
http://www11.ocn.ne.jp/~songs/Studio_Songs_Web_Site/Welcome.html
Reviewed by , March 3rd, 2016

This Japanese-Australian quartet has a modern yet lyrical approach to their original stylized compositions leading to a balanced and very enjoyable album. Bungalow comprises Mike Rivett, sax, Kichi Sato, piano, Hiroshi Ikejiri, bass, and Ko Omura, drums, and their previous album Digital Seed was released in 2013. Mike Rivett, an Australian from Cairns, has lived… continue reading »


About Chris Cody

Pianist and composer Chris Cody has performed and recorded internationally for the last 25 years while based in Paris. He has headlined at many international festivals including Paris Quartiers d’Eté, London, Rome, Brussels Jazz Marathon, Marciac, Nantes, and Algiers. Nine CDs of his music have been released on international labels and he has collaborated on over 30 other albums. He has had many important commissions and has composed the music for eight films, and several TV and Radio documentaries.

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