All posts by Gavin Franklin


Sam Bates, with Marc Hannaford, Philip Rex
Newmarket NEW3334.2
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2014

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 piano and Philip Rex on double bass. Explanatory text on the CD case is sparse… continue reading »

Connect Four

Duets: Paul Williamson, trumpet with each of', Paul Grabowsky, Tony Gould, Andrea Keller, Marc Hannaford, pianists
Jazzhead HEAD190
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2014

Over several centuries, the trumpet has developed a reputation as one of the most “macho” instruments in the orchestra. If brashness and aggression are called for, the trumpet is never too far from the frontline. In certain jazz circles, a trumpeter’s ability to play high and fast is considered exciting and impressive. For these kinds… continue reading »

Hetty Kate: Dim All the Lights. Vintage Love Songs of Peggy Lee, June Christy and Julie London

Hettie Kate, voice, with Sam Keevers, piano; Ben Robertson, bass; James Sherlock, guitar; Danny Farrugia, drums.
ABC Jazz 378 2335
Reviewed by , June 1st, 2015

This CD features nine classics from the Great American Songbook, sung by a young woman from Melbourne whose voice possesses a purity of tone that is perfect for the chosen material. Combining this timbral quality with a sense of phrasing destined to extract sub-textual meaning from the lyrics, and a control of pitch that is… continue reading »

Just Enough

Tom Vincent Morphic Resonance Project
Lumbini House
Reviewed by , May 1st, 2014

 Morphic is usually a word element (suffix) added to an adjective such as in ‘anthropomorphic’. As well, the term morph has assumed the function of a verb in contemporary usage, particularly to indicate some kind of radical change. I mention these well-known facts in order to convey a part of my thinking when I was… continue reading »

Kristin Berardi: Where or When

Kristin Berardi, vocals, with Steve Newcomb piano, James Sherlock guitar, Julien Wilson tenor saxophone, Sam Anning bass.
ABC Jazz 475 9263
Reviewed by , December 1st, 2015

All four members of this ensemble have earned a great many individual accolades for their work in Australian jazz. They are undoubtedly recognized as fine performers in their respective fields. The opening title track, Where or When is a highlight. A brief guitar introduction leads into the head statement with Berardi’s well-modulated voice accompanied by… continue reading »

Live at Bennett’s Lane

Casey Golden Trio
Scrampion Records 2015
Reviewed by , September 1st, 2015

The ethos of this ensemble is established from the opening drumming introduction to the tune entitled The 16th Hour. The composition proper is a rhythmic study of considerable collective complexity as threes overlay fours. The whole seems to be resolved by the collective understanding of the trio. Resolving differences is a feature of this album…. continue reading »

Live at PBSFM 1981

Ted Vining Trio
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2015

The Ted Vining Trio, consisting of Vining on drums, Bob Sedergreen piano and Barry Buckley on bass, was three-quarters of the quartet that made me excited about ‘free’ jazz in 1977. I heard about the Brian Brown Quartet while I was attending a music education conference in Canberra. Brown was in the midst of a… continue reading »

Springs, for all the Winters

Nat Bartsch Trio
Rufus Records RF110
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

When this CD was released in 2010, the Nat Bartsch Trio (NBT) consisted of the pianist (Bartsch), Josh Holt was the bassist and Leigh Fisher played drums. The music was very tastefully improvised. Taste and subtlety are paramount throughout, however at no stage does the music descend into ‘noodling’. There is an ever-present sense that… continue reading »

Suite SIMA

Mike Nock Octet
FWM Records004
Reviewed by , January 1st, 2015

Sydney Improvised Music Association has fostered contemporary Australian jazz in that city for thirty years. Every member of the Mike Nock Octet has benefited from and taken part in the association’s activities. Although the individual horn players are each given an opportunity to contribute an improvisation, this is no ‘blowing album’. Each composition features a… continue reading »

The Mango Balloon, Volume 3

Post by , August 1st, 2014

What a creative mind is that of guitarist-composer Julian Curwin. A stripped–back version of the group entitled The Tango Saloon, The Mango Balloon plays Curwin’s haunting pieces with disarming directness. The music is unpretentious, consisting of appealing melodies drifting over uncluttered accompaniments that are carefully crafted for each composition. There is no waste; economy of… continue reading »

To Sail, To Sing

Nat Bartsch Trio
Self-release NBT001
Reviewed by , February 1st, 2015

‘What about the serenity?!’ Darryl Kerrigan’s enthusiasm for tranquility came to mind while I was listening to this disc. Pianist/leader Nat Bartsch drops notes of melody into the silence like drops of water onto the calm surface of a pond. Even when the rhythm turns rocky, as in the track called Let’s Go Little Dude,… continue reading »


Mike Nock, piano; Roger Manins, tenor saxophone
FWM Records 005
Reviewed by , March 3rd, 2016

Two of the finest jazzmen from the ‘Shaky Isles’ play jazz interpretations of popular tunes from the first half of the twentieth century. It is work whose beauty rivals that of the Tony Bennett/Bill Charlap award-winner from last year. This is an album made from recordings undertaken following an informal session of ‘jamming’ between two… continue reading »

Weaver of Dreams

The Andrew Dickeson Quintet
Rufus Records RF097
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

The drummer of this quintet is well known around the Sydney and wider jazz world, but this is his first release as a bandleader. He has assembled a group of very well-credentialed contemporary musicians including Roger Manins (tenor sax), Eamon McNelis (trumpet), Steve Barry (piano) and Alex Boneham (bass). The recording was done, with an… continue reading »


House of POW and Fatrain Music
Reviewed by , November 1st, 2014

This is music without category, yet undeniably music. I would love to hear this material performed live. Its deliberate literary references place it in the category of performance poetry equally with music – these are poems without words. But why concern ourselves with classification? Is it played well? Does it engender thoughts in the mind… continue reading »

Yellow Sticker by Tal Cohen

Yellow Sticker

Tal Cohen
Self release
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

The quartet on this recording consists of Tal Cohen (piano), Jamie Oehlers (tenor saxophone), Pete Jeavons (double bass) and Chris Tarr (drums). Since its release in 2011 it has received acclaim from reputable sources in the jazz community. Cohen has also distinguished himself as a young pianist whose services are much sought after. His set… continue reading »

About Gavin Franklin

Gavin Franklin is a jazz pianist and educator who is currently a teacher in the Generations In Jazz Academy at Mt Gambier, S.A. He has written a treatise on the recorded improvisations of the American trumpeter, Woody Shaw.

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