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Improvisation Music Live
“Disruption! The Voice of the Drums”, and “Aubade”

Artist/s: Simon Barker (drums), Chloe Kim (drums); Earshift Orchestra: Jeremy Rose (leader / sax / bass clarinet), Jacques Emery (bass), Novak Manojlovic (keyboards), Ben Carey (modular synthesizer), Hilary Geddes (guitar), Tom Avgenicos (trumpet) 
Category: Improvisation, Jazz, Music Live
Location, Date: Concert at Lazybones Jazz Club, Marrickville, Sydney, Wednesday 16th December 2020.
Reviewed by

“Disruption, based on solo drum works by Chloe Kim and Simon Barker fleshed out by Jeremy Rose for eight-piece ensemble explores the power and use of the drums from disruptive protest music to more meditative healing roles.”

Arias Music Live
‘Eva’. Recital by Eva Kong, soprano and Alex Raineri, pianist

Artist/s: Eva Kong, soprano and Alex Raineri, pianist
Category: Arias, Art Songs, Classical, Music Live, Opera
Location, Date: Brisbane Music Festival, Saturday August 15, 2020, online from Brisbane.
Reviewed by

“This was an exemplary recital in both the planning and the execution, demonstrating a strong musical collaboration between Alex Raineri and Eva Kong and celebrating their wide musical interests.  A wonderful tribute to the resilience of the performing arts during difficult times.”

Contemporary Music Recording
‘Happiness Is …’ Leanne Tennant

Artist/s: Leanne Tennant (guitar and vocals), Travis Jenkins (guitar), Kram (drums / piano), Konstantin Kersting (bass / synth), Phil Roach (bass), Yanto Browning (guitar / piano), Ed Ruben (keys). Recorded and mixed by Konstantin Kersting and Yanto Browning.
Category: Contemporary, Funk, Pop
Label: Artist release
Reviewed by

“Right at the heart of this colourful reinvention is Everspin, recorded in one breathless take. It’s one of those songs that just sounds like audio sunshine.”

Jazz Music Recording
…For Sonja. By Tony Gould

Artist/s: Tony Gould (piano), Imogen Manins (cello), Adam Simmons (clarinet).
Category: Jazz
Label: Move Records MCD 517
Reviewed by

“Music that inspires reflection on our common humanity referencing Jewish traditional music with two originals by Tony Gould whose fervent sincerity is supported by genre crossing clarinet (Adam Simmons) and genre crossing cello (Imogen Manins). Consummately played.” 

Classical Music Recording
1000 Years of Classical Music: Grainger

Artist/s: Australian orchestras, choirs, soloists. 17 orchestral, choral or solo piano works.
Category: Classical
Label: ABC Classics 481 5579, from the series 1000 Years of Classical Music
Reviewed by

A well-chosen selection of works from this multifaceted composer, given performances imbued with a sympathetic understanding. The disc is highly recommended for all lovers of Grainger’s music and to those curious to know more.

Classical Music Recording
126 Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Composed by Julian Yu

Artist/s: Michael Kieran Harvey, piano
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Move Records MD 3404 [Double CD]
Reviewed by

“Julian Yu’s 126 Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for piano is a tour de force of compositional craft, brilliantly interpreted by pianist Michael Kieran Harvey.” Julian Yu has already had significant success with his variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little…

Biography Book
25 Years of Grace: An Anniversary Tribute to Jeff Buckley’s Classic Album

Author: Merri Cyr with Jeff Apter.
Category: Biography
Carlton, Victoria: Nero, an imprint of Schwartz Publishing, 2019. 240pp. Hard cover LP sized book, lavishly illustrated with Cyr’s photos, text by Australian author Apter and reflections by a number of contemporaries.
ISBN 97817606418794.
Reviewed by

I prefer to learn everything through music. If you want divinity, the music in every human being and their love for music is pretty much it. – Jeff Buckley

Jazz Music Recording
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…

Avant Pop Music Recording
A Fog Like Liars’ Loving. Leider ensemble

Artist/s: Leider. Rishin Singh (trombone & music & lyrics), Annie Gårlid (viola & voice), Derek Shirley (cello & percussion) and Stine Sterne (flute & voice)
Category: Avant Pop, Contemporary, New Music
Label: Beacon Sound. LP and digital.
Reviewed by

It is certainly a very beautiful album, and also very addictive. A Fog Like Liars Loving is a first collection of what I hope will be much more music from Rishin Singh and Leider.

Classical Music Recording
A Little French Cello

Artist/s: Zoe Knighton, cello, Amir Farid, piano
Category: Classical
Label: Move Records MD 3367
Reviewed by

This CD was immediately appealing given my love for all things turn of the century (19th to 20th) the wondrous contribution of the French to all aspects of that time’s aesthetic, my relatively nouveau affaire d’amour with the cello and…

Classical Music Recording
A Little Variation: Variation Form as Used by Australian Composers

Artist/s: Jeanell Carrigan, piano. Works by McKay, Webb, Hannan, Polglase, Davidson, Isaacs.
Category: Classical, New Music
Label: Australian Music Centre VAST032.2
Reviewed by

Jeanell Carrigan is a passionate pianist. She seems to be able to harness that passion and find works by primarily Australian composers that deserve a thorough, active listening. Without her, a lot of good music would lie mouldering in the…

Fiction Book
A Lonely Girl Is a Dangerous Thing. By Jessie Tu

Author: Jessie Tu
Category: Fiction
Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2020, 293pp
ISBN 978 1 76087 719 4 (pbk)
Reviewed by

“A powerful debut novel, one that explores what it’s like growing up in Australia with an Asian heritage; and how women are perceived when it comes to both professional ambition and sexual desire. It’s an investigation into how friendship works and how love is expressed in different families; and along the way, it dissects something of what it really means to be a child prodigy.”

A Toast to Melba

Artist/s: Lorina Gore (soprano), Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja
Category: Arias, Art Songs, Classical, Opera
Label: ABC 481 6297
Reviewed by

“Lorina Gore’s prodigious vocal gifts are on display throughout, stamping her as a great Australian coloratura of this generation.”

Classical Music Recording
A Winter’s Tale

Artist/s: Roger Benedict (viola), Simon Tedeschi (piano)
Category: Classical
Label: ABC Classics 481 6751
Reviewed by

“Benedict and Tedeschi prove powerful advocates for Schumann’s ‘fantastick’ style but Schubert gets lost in translation.”

Jazz Music Recording
Abstract Playgrounds

Artist/s: I Hold the Lion’s Paw. Reuben Lewis (leader/trumpet), Jordan Murray on (trombone), Geoff Hughes (electric guitar), David Brown (electric bass), Mark Shepherd (double bass), Tom Lee (double bass), Christian Windfeld (drums), Ronny Ferella (drums)
Category: Jazz, Music Recording
Label: Earshift Music (EAR020)
Reviewed by

It’s only March and Abstract Playgrounds is a possible contender for my album of the year.

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