Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Jazz

Jazz
A Dove, A Lion, A Coast, A Pirate

Artist/s: Luke Howard Trio. Luke Howard, piano; Daniel Farrugia, drums; Jonathan Zion, double bass
Category: Jazz
Label: Which Way Music WWM018
Reviewed by

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…

Improvisation
Across the Top

Artist/s: Paul Cutlan, Brett Hirst, The NOISE
Category: Improvisation, Jazz
Label: Tall Poppies TP211
www.tallpoppies.net
Reviewed by

Across the Top is a convincing synthesis of European art music influences and jazz-informed improvisation. Paul Cutlan, one of Sydney’s leading improvising saxophonists, provides compositions that he performs with great sensitivity alongside bassist Brett Hirst and string quartet The NOISE…

Jazz
Adam Katz

Artist/s: Adam Katz, piano. With Keith Carlock, Julien Wilson, Steve Magnusson, Nic Lam, Christian Meyer, Ben Anderson, Brendan Tsui on various tracks
Category: Jazz
Label: Newmarket Music, NEW 3321.2
www.adamkatzmusic.com
Reviewed by

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,…

Improvisation
Alister Spence and Raymond MacDonald. Stepping Between the Shadows

Artist/s: Alister Spence, piano and prepared piano; Raymond MacDonald, alto and soprano saxophones
Category: Improvisation, Jazz
Label: Rufus Records, RF095
Reviewed by

Two musicians improvising together can be imagined as a Venn diagram, where the distinct ‘musicalities’ (think personalities expressed through music) of the individuals partially converge in moments of shared experience. This is not to suggest, however, that improvisers working in…

Jazz
Alister Spence Trio: Live

Artist/s: Alister Spence, piano, samples, music box; Lloyd Swanton, double bass; Toby Hall, drums, glockenspiel
Category: Jazz
Label: Self-release
www.alisterspence.com
Reviewed by

Since I began listening to the contemporary end of jazz, or what was the contemporary end then – in the early 1950s that was – I have heard many breakaways from forms and styles that had in themselves been breakaways.…

Jazz
Alluvium

Artist/s: Tiny Hearts. Eamon Dilworth, Dave Jackson, Steve Barry, Tom Botting, Paul Derricott, plus Elana Stone.
Category: Jazz
Label: Alluvium Records AR001
Reviewed by

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…

Jazz
Ambon, by Lloyd Swanton

Artist/s: Ensemble, comprising Lloyd Swanton – double bass, Paul Cutlan - bass clarinet, saxophones, recorder, James Eccles - playing Lloyd’s uncle’s viola for its first public performance since the 1930s, Sandy Evans - tenor and soprano saxophones, James Greening - trombone, cornet, pocket trumpet, tuba, Fabian Hevia - cajon, percussion, Chuck Morgan - ukulele, Jon Pease - guitar, Ron Reeves - kendang, percussion, Michel Rose - pedal steel guitar, Alex Silver - trombone, Hamish Stuart - drums
Category: Jazz
Label: 2 CDs, Bugle Records. 36-page booklet
Reviewed by

The question hanging over the Ambon interlude of WWII (for those who have actually heard of it) – is this: why send a cursory force to defend a small island against the Japanese when that island had little strategic value,…

Jazz
Amoroso

Artist/s: Grey Wing Trio. Luke Sweeting on piano, Ken Allars on trumpet, and Finn Ryan on drums
Category: Jazz
Label: Jazzhead HEAD 217
lukesweeting.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by

Sydney’s Grey Wing Trio present music that is seamlessly free-flowing, super-melodic, and harmonically engaging. Amoroso is, above all, infused with adventure, joy, and tenderness. With Luke Sweeting on piano, Ken Allars on trumpet, and Finn Ryan on drums, Grey Wing…

Jazz
Artefact

Artist/s: Jeremy Sawkins Organ Quartet. Jeremy Sawkins, guitars; Darren Heinrich, organ; Spike Mason, saxophones; Toby Hall, drums
Category: Jazz
Label: Commissioned for ABC Jazz Digital Radio
Reviewed by

The mystical span of the electric guitar; the funk and dance of the electric acoustic. It is no news that the modern electric guitar is capable of textural blitzes of feedback and a whole range of distortion effects. It is…

Big Band
Aubade & Nocturne: Music of Sally Greenaway

Artist/s: Sally Greenaway; Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra; Luminescence Chamber Choir; Trichotomy; others
Category: Big Band, Classical, Jazz, Music, New Music
Label: Self-release
www.sallygreenaway.com.au
Reviewed by

Young composers with the stamina and wherewithal to independently fund, record, and produce their own albums are rare. Sally Greenaway has managed it three times. Her first two records focused on the big band. This album, her first art music…

Jazz
Backblocks

Artist/s: Sam Bates, with Marc Hannaford, Philip Rex
Category: Jazz
Label: Newmarket NEW3334.2
Reviewed by

This offering is issued under the name of Sam Bates, the composer of all seven compositions recorded. It is, however, the result of very equal participation by the members of a trio consisting of Bates on drums, Marc Hannaford on…

A cappella
Ballads. The Idea of North

Artist/s: The Idea of North. Sally Cameron, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Andrew Piper
Category: A cappella, Jazz
Label: ABC Jazz 478 2695
Reviewed by

“In Naomi Crellin’s arrangements, the voices combine so well that, after hearing them, it is difficult to imagine the songs presented in any other way.”

Improvisation
Begin

Artist/s: Alister Spence, Joe Williamson and Christopher Cantillo
Category: Improvisation, Jazz
Label: Alister Spence Music (ASM003)
alisterspence.com
Reviewed by

This is the first release from the new trio of Australian pianist Alister Spence, Canadian bassist Joe Williamson and Swedish drummer Christopher Cantillo. Meeting at the crossroads of jazz and free improvisation, the musical sympathy and connection between Spence, Williamson…

Jazz
beginning and end of knowing. Mike Nock, Laurence Pike

Artist/s: Mike Nock, piano; Laurence Pike, drums
Category: Jazz
Label: FWM Records
Reviewed by

This is a very valuable recording of a musical conversation between two superb artists, one older than I am by two months (like most of the great men we were born in 1940), the other (Pike) relatively young. The recording…

Electronic Music
Ben Gurton – Prelude to a Scene

Artist/s: Ben Gurton (trombone), Julian Gough (tenor saxophone), Brendan St Ledger (piano), Brendan Clarke (bass), Hamish Stuart (drums)
Category: Electronic Music, Jazz
Label: MIR Creation MIR0001
www.mircreation.com
Reviewed by

“The title of this CD provides a strong clue to the music played on it. Although not a ‘sound-track’, most of the compositions have associations with visual or dramatic images.”

Jazz
Big Sea

Artist/s: Arrow. Paul Derricott, drums; Hugh Barrett, piano; Dale Gorfinkel, vibes; Simon Ferenci, trumpet; Mike Majkowski, bass
Category: Jazz
Label: Jazzgroove JGR057
www.paulderricott.com
Reviewed by

We live in an age where diversity is the key to a successful and happy life as a jazz/contemporary musician. Consider then, the challenge for such musicians when the time comes to release a debut recording: How does a diverse…

Documentary
Bigly Yellow. 90-minute documentary film

Artist/s: Simon Kent, cornettist, trombonist, composer. Adrian Sherriff, keyboard/didgeridou; Peter Harper, sax; Ted Vining, drums; Roy Voodt, guitar; Stephen Magnusson, guitar. Film directed by Nigel Deans and Nubar Ghazarian
Category: Documentary, Film, Jazz, Music
Label: Produced by Nubar Ghazarian, Tankstand Films, and Nigel Deans, Flying Fish Films
www.tankstandfilms.com/bigly-yellow/
Reviewed by

This is film is a sounding of someone’s life, a plumb or plimsol line through a not notably stable figure, within but sometimes wandering from the Melbourne jazz scene. The camera has returned to him over a period of 15…

Brazil
Brasil Project by Paul Chenard

Artist/s: Artists Sydney: Paul Chenard (saxophones/producer), Tina Harris (bass), Brendan St Ledger (keyboards), Glen Wilson (drums), Marty Farrugia (trumpet/flugelhorn), Ray Cassar (trumpet), Mike Raper (trombone), Mauricio Moriera (drums), Jess Ciampa (percussion), Blair Greenberg (percussion). Artists Rio de Janeiro: Roge (vocals/guitar), Daniel Conceicao (drums), Andre Siqueiros )percussion), Matheus Alcantara (bass), Tuca Maia (vocals), Ronaldo Silva (percussion), Leonardo Viera (guitar), Marlon Seite (trombone)
Category: Brazil, Jazz, Music, World
Label: Self-release
https://www.matanzabrasilproject.com/
Reviewed by

“The finest musicians of Sydney and Rio de Janeiro were assembled to participate in the creative development and recording of this exciting project.”

Jazz
Brotherhood

Artist/s: Abbey, Foster, Falle
Category: Jazz
Label: Newmarket NEW3319.2
www.facebook.com/abbeyfosterfalle
Reviewed by

Jazz thrives on the sustained development of integrity and trust formed in the relationships between musicians within micro and macro music communities around the world over time. The music of such communities often beckons members of extremely diverse backgrounds and…

Experimental Music
Can You See with Two Sets of Eyes?

Artist/s: Marc Hannaford, piano, with Ellery Eskelin,Tom Rainey, Scott Tinkler
Category: Experimental Music, Jazz
Label: Self-release
http://www.marchannaford.com/buy
Reviewed by

If you have ever had the pleasure of conversing with Marc Hannaford, or of reading his regular blog ‘Dualism aside…’, you are likely to have been quick to establish for yourself that he is extremely serious about life and music.…

Jazz
City Speaks

Artist/s: Callum g’Froerer and quintet
Category: Jazz
Label: Listen/Hear Collective
www.listenhearcollective.com
Reviewed by

If the City Speaks, its dialect is cool, languid. Its time is the dark flow of the night. Often understated playing brings to life a unified set of harmonically rich compositions. Melbourne-based trumpet player Callum g’Froerer has assembled Andrew Brooks…

Choral Music
Clarion/Whisper

Artist/s: Gian Slater and Invenio: Gian Slater (composer and director), Miriam Crellin, Georgie Darvidis, Gemma Tully, Bronwyn Hicks, Natalie Carolan, Lisa Salvo, Loni Thompson, Audur Zoega, Louisa Rankin, Jeremy Hopkins, Jem Savage, Tilman Robinson, Ed Fairlie, Sam Young, Ben Harrison, and Ben Taylor.
Category: Choral Music, Jazz, Pop
Label: Invenio Music (inv001)
www.inveniosingers.com
Reviewed by

“Gian Slater and Invenio’s second album is a lighter, more lyrically-focused collection of eight compositions.”

Jazz
Cloud Appreciation Day

Artist/s: Matthew Sheens (piano), Gian Slater - Lauren Roth - Aubrey Johnson - Tomas Cruz - David Lang (voice), Alex Goodman (guitar); Alex Boneham and John Patitucci (bass), Tim Firth and Kenneth Salters (drums)
Category: Jazz
Label: Recorded in Sydney and New York. QFTF Berlin/Eisenbach.
Reviewed by

“In polyrhythmic praise of clouds: dynamic and stormy, subtle and scarcely there. Modern baroque in essence.”

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