All posts by Tony Mitchell

Colophony

Jon Rose, Meinrad Kneer, Richard Barrett
Experimental Music, Improvisation
Creative Sources Records CS229
Reviewed by , October 1st, 2014

This is a European collaboration of free improvisers by Australian violinist Jon Rose, who also plays tenor violin, with Meinrad Kneer, a German double bass player based in Amsterdam, and UK composer/improviser Richard Barrett. Barrett divides his time between London and Berlin, and is also a member of the Australian International Elision Ensemble, noted for… continue reading »


Erub Era Kodo Mer. Traditional and Contemporary Music and Dance from Erub (Darnley Island), Torres Strait. (CD/DVD)

People of Erub, Torres Strait Islands, Australia
Indigenous Australian, World
Torres Strait Regional Authority TSRA 005
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

This CD/DVD set is a collection of traditional Christian hymns, contemporary songs, contemporary Christian kores (choruses), love songs and childrens’ songs performed by the Erub people in the Torres Strait Islands. It opens with seven hymns sung in harmony in a mixture of the Meriam Mir and Erub Mir dialects of eastern Torres Strait, Torres… continue reading »


Far Flung

Alister Spence Trio
Jazz
Rufus Records RF105
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2014

Launched at the Sound lounge in Sydney in October 2012, Far Flung is a double album which continues the adventurous explorations of pianist Spence’s 2009 Fit, which I reviewed in an earlier Music Forum.  There is the addition of a midi controller and ‘music box’ which generates samples of recordings of the trio, consisting of… continue reading »


Kopfüberwelle

Chris Abrahams, organ, Sabine Vogel, flute
Improvisation, Jazz
Absinth Records 024 limited edition
www.absinthrecords.com/
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Chris Abrahams is nothing if not versatile. Recently I was in Auckland, New Zealand, and happened to catch him in performance three times in a row. The first night was a sublime solo piano recital, which I wish had been recorded, consisting of two sets on a Yamaha in an art gallery in the depths… continue reading »


Lost in the Stars

Allan Browne Trio, with Marc Hannaford, Sam Pankhurst
Jazz
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

Not another Kurt Weill compilation, but ‘interpretations of the zodiac suites of Mary Lou Williams and Karlheinz Stockhausen’, this album features the prolific and ever-adventurous drummer Browne with a trimmed down ensemble of Marc Hannaford on piano and Sam Pankhurst on bass. The piano-bass-drums formula here sounds totally fresh and far-reaching, partly due to the… continue reading »


Memory Night

Chris Abrahams, piano
Improvisation, Jazz
Room 40 RM453
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

Chris Abrahams’ third solo recording on Brisbane-based Lawrence English’s Room 40 label is a radical departure from his previous piano-based releases on the label, Thrown and Play Scar, insofar as we are mid-way through the third of four tracks before we hear a piano with any clarity, and then it appears only briefly. Most of… continue reading »


Opal Dream

Howie Smith and Mike Nock
Jazz
Open Blue OBCD-1201
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Saxophonist Howie Smith, who is based in Cleveland, Ohio, established the first university jazz studies program at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1973 on a Fulbright grant, and was Director of Jazz Studies there for three years as well as a member of Jazz Co/op with Roger Frampton, Phil Treloar and bassist Jack Thorncraft. He has… continue reading »


Open by The Necks

Open

The Necks
Jazz
Fish of Milk FOM0016
www.thenecks.com
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

In their 25th year of operation, the Necks seem to have reached a peak. A highly successful European tour, in which they sold out three nights at the Café Oto, one of the major London venues for experimental music, and several other venues as well, were invited to play a set with leading British saxophonist… continue reading »


Serious Fun: The Life and Music of Mike Nock

Norman Meehan
Biography, Books
Wellington, NZ: Victoria University Press, 2010
ISBN 978-0-86473-636-9
www.victoria.ac.nz/vup
Reviewed by , September 3rd, 2014

Mike Nock has been a stalwart of the Sydney Improvised Music Association and was a star turn at its August celebration of its 30th anniversary. In the general spirit of reminiscence, he offered The Music Trust this biography, published in 2010, for review. It was published around the time of Mike’s 70th birthday celebrations so… continue reading »


Steady, Steady by Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan and Karl Neuenfeldt

Steady, Steady

Henry ‘Seaman’ Dan and Karl Neuenfeldt
Biography, Books, Ethnomusicology
Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2013. 170pp.Includes CD, Seaman Dan, Still on Deck : Personal Favourites, 2013, Steady, Steady Music
ISBN 9781922059208
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

Canadian-Australian academic Karl Neuenfeldt first met Torres Strait Islander singer Seaman Dan in 1999, the year Dan turned 70. Neuenfeldt, then a researcher at Central Queensland University, was on Thursday Island at the local radio station, 4MW (Meriba Wakai), conducting interviews with Torres Strait Island musicians. He asked Dan to sing a few songs, and… continue reading »


Swailing

Julien Wilson Trio
Jazz
Lionsharecords LSR20142
www.julienwilson.com, www.lionsharecords.com
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2014

 In his 2009 book Jazz: The Australian Accent, John Shand describes the Julien Wilson trio, one of only three Melbourne-based musicians and bands to feature in the book, as follows: ‘[l]ike the Necks and Band of Five Names, the trio has found its own egalitarianism; its own way to let Wilson’s tenor saxophone, Stephen Grant’s… continue reading »


Sweethearts by Sam Anning, Julien Wilson, Allan Browne Trio

Sweethearts

Sam Anning, Julien Wilson, Allan Browne Trio
Jazz
Listen!Hear Collective CD, digital
listenhearcollective.bandcamp.com/album/sweethearts
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

Reed player Julien Wilson, winner of the 2008 Australian Jazz Bell Award for Australian Jazz Artist of the Year and the 2006 Freedman Jazz Fellowship, has been an established figure on the Melbourne jazz scene for a couple of decades, and his numerous releases include two other CDs this year, This Is Always, a quartet… continue reading »


The Opening Statement

Post by , April 1st, 2014

This is the debut album of the Divergence Jazz Orchestra, an 18-piece outfit that plays music by Jenna Cave who also conducts, as well as by other Australian composers such as Judy Bailey, Steve Newcomb and William Motzing. The album was produced via crowdfunding, an increasingly popular method of fund raising which involves individual contributors,… continue reading »


Yonder by The catholics

Yonder

The catholics
Jazz
Bugle Records BUG009, CD, digital
www.buglerecords.com/cv.html
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

The catholics (with a small c) are one of numerous other bands Lloyd Swanton plays in, here as bandleader, and couldn’t be more different from the sustained minimalist austerity of the Necks (see Open review). Formed in 1991, two years after the Necks released Sex, their lineup has been fairly steady since then, with Sandy… continue reading »


About Tony Mitchell

Tony Mitchell teaches cultural studies at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is the editor of Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop outside the USA (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), co-editor of Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia (Australian Clearinghouse for Youth Studies, 2008), and co-editor with Glenda Keam of Home, Land and Sea: Situating Music in Aotearoa New Zealand. (2011).

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