Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Jazz

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.”

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.” 

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…

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)
www.reubenlewis.com
Reviewed by

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

Jazz Music Recording
Across A Field As Vast As One

Artist/s: Sam Anning. Mat Jodrell (trumpet/flugelhorn), Carl Mackey (alto & tenor saxophones), Julien Wilson (tenor saxophone & bass clarinet), Andrea Keller (piano), Sam Anning (double bass & guitar), Danny Fischer (drums)
Category: Jazz
Label: Earshift Music EAR022
samanningmusic.com, earshift.com. https://samanning.bandcamp.com/releases
Reviewed by

“In Across A Field As Vast As One, Sam Anning has partnered with some of Australia’s finest instrumentalists to present a superbly balanced contemporary jazz recording.”

Improvisation Music Recording
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 Music Recording
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,…

Folk Music Recording
Afternoon Tea at Six. Eishan Ensemble

Artist/s: Eishan Ensemble. Hamed Sadeghi (tar), Pedram Layegh (guitar), Michael Avgenicos (alto and tenor saxophones), Adem Yilmaz (percussion), Elsen Price (double bass), Sonya Holowell (voice), Adnan Barake (oud)
Category: Folk, Jazz, Persian, World
Label: Art as Catharsis Records
https://www.eishanensemble.com/
Reviewed by

“Under Sadeghi’s stewardship, Eishan Ensemble has created a new, vigorous musical hybrid in which both the ensemble and its members are enabled to shine. I hope that this is not their last recording.”

Jazz Music Recording
Aim. Michael Jordan

Artist/s: Michael Jordan (drums and compositions), Julien Wilson (woodwinds), Barney McAll (piano) and guest string quartet
Category: Jazz
Label: Artist release
https://michaeljordan.bandcamp.com/releases
Reviewed by

“Aim carries a strong, understated confidence and a compelling space and warmth. We hear sympathetic melodic interplay between three very fine improvising musicians with a guest string quartet appearance for even more colour.”

Improvisation Music Recording
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 Music Recording
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 Music Recording
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 Music Recording
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 Music Recording
American Counterpoint

Artist/s: Matthew Sheens (piano), Adam Barnett-Hart (violin), Joel Link (violin), Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt (viola), Brook Speltz (cello), John Patitucci (bass), Kenneth Salters (drums). Music composed and produced by Matthew Sheens, recorded in New York.
Category: Jazz
Label: QFTF 066 released 2018
www.matthewsheens.com
Reviewed by

“American Counterpoint is an album of music in four parts for string quartet and jazz trio that explores textural possibilities through composition and improvisation.”

Jazz Music Recording
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 Music Recording
Animarum

Artist/s: Jonathan Zwartz. Jonathan Zwartz (double bass), Barney McAll (piano), Julien Wilson (saxophone), Phil Slater (trumpet), James Greening (trombone), Richard Maegraith (saxophone/bass clarinet), Steve Magnusson (guitars), Hamish Stuart (drums), Fabian Hevia (percussion).   
Category: Jazz
Label: Self-release (JZ003)
Reviewed by

“Gently Swept Away.”

Big Band Music Recording
Another Journey. Music for Symphony and Jazz Orchestras by Judy Bailey. Live recordings.

Artist/s: Orchestras of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, recorded over the years 1995 to 2015. Large unlisted assemblies of musicians.
Category: Big Band, Jazz, Music Recording
Label: 2 CDs. Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney.
Reviewed by

“This fine double recording is in effect a retrospective of veteran jazz pianist Judy Bailey’s compositions for symphony orchestra and jazz orchestra. Ms Bailey leads splendid performances recorded over 20 years from 1995.”

Big Band Music Recording
Another Journey: Music for Symphony and Jazz Orchestras by Judy Bailey. Live recordings.

Artist/s: Various orchestras and jazz bands, recorded over the years 1995 to 2015. Large unlisted assemblies of musicians.
Category: Big Band, Jazz, Music Recording
Label: 2 CDs. Independent
http://www.judybailey.com.au
Reviewed by

“So much intelligent thought has gone into this music over many years, and I strongly believe that these compositions are a real work of the imagination. Another Journey feels to me like the crowning achievement of a lifetime in jazz.”

Jazz Music Recording
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…

Jazz Music Recording
Astrolabe

Artist/s: Chris Cody (composition and piano), Tom Avgenicos (trumpet), Paul Cutlan (saxophone/ clarinets/ flute), James Greening (trombone/ didgeridoo/ conch), Susie Bishop (violin), Emily-Rose Sarkova (accordion), Lloyd Swanton (bass), Fabien Hevia (drums/ percussion/ ship’s bell)
Category: Jazz
Label: Artist release, CD and digital
chriscody.bandcamp.com/album/astrolabe. www.chriscody.com
Reviewed by

“Evocative, mature and captivating, Astrolabe is Chris Cody’s wonderfully rendered impression of the events, mindset and imagery around the voyage of La Perouse.”

Jazz Music Live
Astrolabe – Suite for La Pérouse

Artist/s: Chris Cody Octet. Chris Cody (piano),  Tom Avgenicos (trumpet), Matt Ottignon (flute/saxophone), James Greening (trombone), Vanessa Tametta (violin), Emily-Rose Sarkova (accordion) , Lloyd Swanton (bass), Fabian Hevia (drums)
Category: Jazz, Music Live
Location, Date: Seymour Centre, Sydney, 25 August, 2018,
Reviewed by

“Beautifully meditative, sublime… enthralling musical voyage.”

Big Band Music Recording
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 Recording, 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…

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