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Keir Neuringer and Matthew Wright - Speak Cities
Jack Thorncraft - Let’s Think About Tomorrow
Harry Mitchell
Tom Vincent - Blues in America
Jackson Harrison Trio - Sintering
Tim Stevens - Media Vita
Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau
Daniel Weltlinger - Samoreau
Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau - Nearness


Aziza - Aziza
Elliot Galvin Trio - Punch
Paul Grabowsky, Wilfred Brothers and Monash Art Ensemble - Nyilipidgi
Divergence Jazz Orchestra - Fake it Until you Make it
Brad Mehldau Trio - Blues and Ballads
Kristin Berardi Band - Just as You Are
Brenton Foster - Two Cities
Andrea Keller and Tim Wilson - Consider This
Tony Gould and Mike Nock - The Monash Sessions
Jeremy Rose and The Earshift Orchestra - Iron in the Blood
Paul Williamson Quartet - Live at Uptown
Tim Garland - One
Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra - Fiddes vs Tinkler
Julius Schwing TrioB - Edge 2:isthmus
Alex and Nilusha - Afterglow
ATM15 - Human Music
Will Vinson - Perfectly Out of Place
Jason Rebello - Held
Tim Jones - Strangely Beautiful
Brad Mehldau - Blues and Ballads
Brad Mehldau - 10 Years Solo Live
The Robert Glasper Experiment - Miles Davis - Everything’s Beautiful
Simon Vincent's The Occasional Trio - Opening Lines
Casey Golden Trio - Miniature
ATM15 - Human Music
Carl Orr - Forbearance
Francesca Prihasti - Evolving
Phronesis - Parallax
Sonic Mayhem Orchestra - Live Mayhem
Florian Hoefner Group - Luminosity
Ingrid James and Alexis Tcholakian Trio - Trajectoire
Myra Melford and Ben Goldberg - Dialogue
Jeremy Sawkins' Organ Quartet - Artefact
Ben Winkelman Trio - The Knife
Dave Douglas and Monash Art Ensemble - Greenleaf Music
Ravi Coltrane
Hi(gh) Curious - Eugene Ball 4tet
Gerard Presencer and Danish Radio Big Band - Groove Travelers
Bungalow - Unseen Scenes
Robin Eubanks's Mass Line Big Band - More than Meets the Ear
Mike Nock and Laurence Pike - Beginning and End of Knowing


Jeremy Rose Quartet - Sand Lines
Chris Cody - Not My Lover
Stu Hunter - The Migration
David Ades - A Life in a Day
Kristin Berardi - Where or When
Jeff 'Tain' Watts - Blue Vol 1
Nick Freer - The Unsuspecting
Joshua Hatcher - Now and Then
Paul Grabowsky and Niko Schauble - Spiel
Paul Grabowsky and Vince Jones - Provenance
Tim Garland - Return to the Fire
Eternal - Chris McNulty
Frances Madden - If This Were a Dream
Orbiturtle - Sakura (Studio Songs
Cecile McLorin Salvant - For One to Love
Sydney Jazz Orchestra - Nothing Personal
James Whiting - Hard mince
Gary Daley - Sanctuary
Aaron Diehl - Space Time Continuum
Tim Willis and The End - Night and Day
Robert Burke - Power of the Idea
Joshua Redman - The Bad Plus
Tim Stevens - I’ll Tell You Later
Barney McAll - Mooroolbark
Angela Davis Quartet and Strings - Lady Luck
Geoff Kluke - Valley Road
John Raymond - Foreign Territory
Mike Nock and Roger Manins - Two-Out
Juliana Areias - Bossa Nova Baby
Allan Browne Quintet - Ithaca Bound
Francesca Prihasti - Night Trip
Myra Melford - Snowy Egret
Chris Potter Underground Orchestra - Imaginary Cities
Casey Golden Trio - Outliers
Jack DeJohnette - Made in Chicago
BluesFest 2015
Joe O’Connor Trio - Praxis
Matt McMahon - The Voyage of Mary and William
Vijay Iyer Trio - Break Stuff
Kenny Wheeler - Songs for Quintet
Tate Sheridan - Tate Sheridan
Nic Vardanega Quartet - Inverno
Penelope Sai - Some Kind of Dream
Marc Hannaford - Can You See With Two Sets of Eyes
Rafael Karlen - The Sweetness of Things Half Remembered
Ben Gurton Quintet - Prelude to a Scene
Josh Kyle and Sam Keevers - Songs of Friends
Tim Garland - Songs to the North Sk
Slowly Rolling Camera - Into the Shadow
Verneri Pohjola - Bullhorn
RichardHavers - Uncompromising Expression


Allira Wilson - Rise and Fall
Mark Turner Quartet - Lathe of Heaven
Paul Grabowsky - Solo
BLOW - Presence
Frode Haltli - Vagabonde Blu
Magnusson, Oehlers, Vanderwal - Paper Tiger
Calum Builder and Tate Sheridan - In Hiding
Mark Turner Quartet - Lathe of Heaven
Shol - Shol
Mike Nock Octet - Suite Sima
The Bad Plus - Inevitable Western
Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival 2014
Alex and Nilusha - Tales to Tell
Robert Burke with Kenny Werner - Do True
Kavita Shah - Visions
Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden - Last Dance
Song Fwaa - Songs of No Guns For We Are Anomalous
Henri Peipman - 30. Detsember
Mathew Sheens - Untranslatable
Hammerhead - Mozaic
Penny King Quintet - Journey
Adrian Cunningham - Ain’t that Right! The Music of Neal Hefti
Tom Barton - Aspirations
Jex Saarelaht Trio - Liminal
The Hunters and Pointers - The Hunters and Pointers
Melissa Oliveira - In My Garden
Gwilym Simcock - Instrumation
Daniel Susnjar - Su Su Nje
Kim Lawson Quartet - Hey Day
The Nexus Project - First Light
Melbourne International Jazz Festival May 30–June 8, 2014
Java Quartet - Together
Paul Grabowsky Sextet - The Bitter Suite
Dizzy Gillespie - The Champ
Robert Davi - Davi Sings Sinatra
Eric Starr Group - Such is Life
BluesFest 2014
Sam Bates Trio - Backblocks
Ben Panucci Trio - Short Stories
James Greening - Greening From Ear to Ear, Tam O’Shanter Tales
Alex Stuart - Place to Be
Tilman Robinson - Network of Lines
Eamon Dilworth - Tiny Hearts
Bob Venier - Discovering You
Brendan Clarke - Stretch
Julian Curwin - The Mango Balloon Volume 3
Daniel Hunter - The Twentieth
Mike Rivett - Digital Seed
Quentin Angus – Perception
Alfredo Rodriguez - The Invasion Parade
Danilo Perez - Panama 500
Joe McEvilly with Movement 9 - Wings
Anton Delecca Quartet - The Healer
Sam Anning Trio - Sweethearts
Chet Baker - The Italian Sessions
Dexter Gordon - Blows Hot and Cool
Curtis Counce - Complete Studio Recordings
Peggy Lee - Mink Jazz
Lou Donaldson - Midnight Creeper
Ahmad Jamal - It’s Magic
Chris Poulsen Trio - David and Goliath
Anton Delecca Quartet - The Healer
Ross McHenry - Distant Oceans
Scott Hamilton and Dusko Goykovich - Tight But Loose
Elodie Sablier - Vertigo
Celine Rudolph - Metamorflores
Dusko Goykovich - 5ive Horns & Rhythm
Dusko Goykovich1 - Sambo Do Mar
Dusko Goykovich2 - Samba Tzigane
Red Prysock - The Best of Red Prysock
Scott Hamilton - Swedish Ballads
Pee Wee Ellis - Tenoration
Andrea Keller Quartet with Strings - Wave Rider
Divergence Jazz Orchestra - The Opening Statement
Paul Williamson - Connect Four


Janet Seidel and Friends - Far Away Places
Julien Wilson Quartet - This is Always; Swailing
Monash Art Ensemble (Australian Art Orchestra and Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music)
Simon Thacker's Svara Kanti - Rakshasa
Todd Hardy - Swings and Roundabouts
Captain Kirkwood - Theseus and The Minotaur
Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival 2013
Adam Katz - Adam Katz
Resurgence - Duende
States of Play - States of Play
Monash students & overseas artists. The Monash Sessions
Compass Quartet - Oneirology
Keith Jarrett Trio - Somewhere
Hannaford Tinkler and Barker - Faceless Dullard
Steve Newcomb Orchestra - Caterpillar Chronicles
The Vampires - Tiro
The New Cabal
Jonathan Zwartz - The Remembering & Forgetting of the Air
Angela Davis - The Art of The Melody
Yitzhak Yedid - Suite in Four Movements
Paper Plane
Leigh Carriage - Mandarin Skyline
Melbourne International Jazz Festival May 31-June 9 2013
Monique DiMattina - Nola's Ark
Tom Vincent Quartet - Just Enough
Tomasz Stankos New York Quartet - Wistawa
Neil Cowley Trio - The Face of Mount Molehill
Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran - Hagar’s Song
Cecile McLorin Salvant - Woman Child
The catholics - Yonder
Origami - Karaoke
Origami - The Usefulness of Art
Mike Nock and Howie Smith - Opal Dream
BLOW - Empathy
Kjetil Moster - Moster! Edvard Lygre Møster
Edouard Bronson - Intimate
Alex Stuart - Around
Jess Greens Bright Sparks - Tinkly Tinkly
Charmaine Jones and Mike Bevan - Still
Trichotomy - Fact Finding Mission
Phronesis - Walking Dark
Steve Barry - Steve Barry
Alister Spence Trio - Far Flung
Chris Potter - The Siren
Matthew Sheens - Every Eight Seconds
Marialy Pacheco - Spaces Within
Joseph Tawadros - Chameleons of the White Shadow
Ted Vining Trio - Live at PBS FM 1981
Nostalgia 77 - The Sleepwalking Society
Wayne Shorter - Without A Net
Dave Jackson Quartet - Cosmontology
Bobo Stenson Trio - Indicum
Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival 2012
Daramad - Daramad
Penelope Sai - Siana
John Surman - The Rainbow Band Sessions
Murphy's Law - Big Creatures and Little Creatures
Slumgum - The Sky his Own


Gregg Arthur - Unforgettable – A Portrait of Nat ‘King’ Cole
Conly, Harding, Jones, Taylor - Grass Roots
Mace Francis New York Nonet - Land Speed Record
Magnet - Magnet
Willow Neilson - Lightbulb Life
Wangaratta Jazz & Blues Festival
Moskus - Salmesykkel
Marc Johnson and Eliane Elias - Swept Away
The Andy Sugg Group - The Berlin Session
Abel Cross Quintet - Neo Bop
Diana Krall - Glad Rag Doll
Divergence Jazz Orchestra- Live at the Bald Faced Stag 29/7/12
Seaman Dan - Sunnyside
Sean Wayland - Slave to the Machine (Volumes 1 & 2)
Logic Live (Double DVD/CD)
Mike Nock and Laurenz Pike - Kindred
James Carter - After All
Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci - The Journey Home
Matthias Schriefl - Six, Alps & Jazz
Simcock, Garland, Sirkis - Lighthouse
Jacam Manricks - Cloud Nine
Sarah McKenzie - Close Your Eyes
Bernie McGann - Wending
Craig Scott Quintet - Timeline
Marialy Pacheco 11th August 2012 – Coffs Harbour
Phil Treloar - Of Other Narratives - tracings in the ground of. Collective Autonomy / Volume 3 - Primal Communication
Mike Stern - All Over the Place
Neneh Cherry and The Thing - The Cherry Thing
John Abercrombie Quartet - Within a Song
Josh Kyle - Possibilities
John McAlls Black Money - Alter Ego
Peter J Martin - Waltz for the Wicked
Lily Dior - Let's Talk About It
Wayne Krantz - Howie 61
Motion - The Drowned World
Renaud Garcia-Fons - Solo – The Marcevol Concert
Tim Stevens - Life's Undertow
Guy Strazz Quartet - Eastern Blues
Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2012
Daimon Brunton Quintet - Wha Sa Live
Tim Willis and The End - Keep Your Chin Up
Tim Clarkson - Evolution of Beauty
Vijay Iyer Trio - Accelerando
Esbjorn Svensson Trio - 301
Phronesis - Walking Dark
Melody Gardot - The Absence
Tony Gorman - Tony Gorman's Monday Club
Barney McAll - Graft
Skii Harvey - Bound by History
Sandy Evans and Friends with Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani and Sruthi Laya - Cosmic Waves
Buck Clayton - The Complete Legendary Jam Sessions: Master Takes
Dick Hyman Trio - You're My Everything
Trombone Shorty - For True
Jens Thomas - Speed of Grace
Ben Hauptmann - Yum Yum Tree RecordsCC
David Murray Octets - The Complete Remastered Recordings on Black Saint
Galaxstare - A Time, Times and Half a Time
David Ades & Friends - A Glorious Uncertainty
Tal Cohen Quartet - Yellow Sticker
Alfredo Rodriguez - Sounds of Space
Alex Pertout and Nilusha Dassenaike - Moments in Time


Benjamin Sanz Quintet - Mutation Majeure
Houston Person - So Nice
Compass - Ode to an Auto Rickshaw
The Vampires - Garfish
Charmaine Jones and Mike Bevan - A Small Hotel
Slide Albatross
Marc Hannaford - Ordinary Madness (Quintet) and Sarcophile (Trio)
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Their Last Time Out
Nicki Parrott - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Keith Jarrett - Rio
Nick Haywood Quartet - 1234
Kellylee Evans - Nina
Ella Fitzgerald - S'Wonderful: Ella in Japan
Liam Burrows With John Morrison's Swing City - All of Me
Michael Feinstein - The Good Life: The Sinatra Project, Volume Two
Gadjo Guitars - L'Amour En Douce
Bridie King - Blue Ivories
Andy Sheppard, Michel Benita and Sebastian Rochford - Trio Libero
Maggie Britton - Ditto – Songs for Alexander
Christian McBride - Conversations with Christian
Phil Treloar - Of Other Narratives
Jeff Riley - Jazz Suite
Quentin Angus Quintet - Retrieval Structure
Robert Burke, Tony Gould, Tony Floyd and Nick Haywood - Live at Bennett's Lane
Mike Nock Trio Plus - Hear and Know
Peter Knight - Fish Boast of Fishing
Marialy Pacheco - Songs that I Love
Bucky and John Pizzarelli - Generations
Emma Grace Stephenson - Jazz Workshop AustraliaCC
Warren Vache and Bill Charlap - 2gether
Ella Fitzgerald - Live at Mister Kelly's
Cedar Walton - Voices Deep Within
Samurai Spirit - Ganbare Nippon
Warren Wolf - WW
Ella Fitzgerald - Best of the BBC Vaults
Rebecca Kilgore with Harry Allen Quartet - Live at Feinstein's: Celebrating Lady Day and Prez
Nick Hempton - The Business
James Whiting - Burbank
Keith Jarrett - Rio
Compass Quartet - Ode to an Auto Rickshaw
Darius Jones Trio - Big Gurl [Smell My Dream]
Memory of Elements - MoE
Laura Fygi - The Best is Yet to Come
"Buck" Pizzarelli and the West Texas Tumbleweeds - Back in the Saddle Again
Dave Ades & Friends @ Venue 505 (9/11/2011)
Wangaratta Festival of Jazz 2011
Sean Jones - No Need for Words
Peter Knight and Dung Nguyen - Residual
Takadimi - New Common Sense
Ingrid James & The Global Collective - Pangaea
Origami Trio - The Blues of Joy
The Andrew Dickeson Quintet - Weaver of Dreams
The Paul McNamara Trio - IndependentCC
Karrin Allyson - Round Midnight
Nicki Parrott and Ken Peplowski - Like a Lover
Rossano Sportiello Trio - Lucky to be Me
Stan Getz - The Clef and Norgran Studio Albums
Sherrie Maricle and The DIVA Jazz Orchestra - Johnny Mandel: The Man & His Music
Leonie Cohen Trio - Sideshow Pony
Cedric Hanriot - French Stories
Laura Kahle - Circular
Lee McAllistair - Spellbound
Adrian Cunningham - Walkabout
Sandy Evans Sextet - When the Sky Cries Rainbows
Mace Francis Orchestra - Chinese Whispers IV
Katie Noonan Elixir - First Seed Ripening
Matt Keegan Trio - Meets David Ades
Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio - El Pais de las Maravillas
Dan Barnett - Somewhere, Some Place, Some Time
Scott Hamilton and Rossano Sportiello - Midnight at Nola's Penthouse
Bill Charlap - I'm Old Fashioned
Duke Ellington - The Great Concerts: London & New York 1963-64
Melbourne International Jazz Festival 2011
Howard Alden - I Remember Django
Elly Hoyt - Pinnacle
Sarah McKenzie - Don't Tempt Me
Jeremy Pelt - The Talented Mr Pelt
My Goodness McGuiness - Insular Peninsula
Pascal Schumacher Quartet - Bang My Can
Browne, Hannaford, Anning - Shreveport Stomp
Cameron Earl Quartet - Run Run
Daniel Gassin Sextet - Which Way
Fran Swinn Trio - Every Dog
Joachim Kuhn, Majid Bekkas and Ramon Lopez - Chalaba
Portico Quartet - Knee-deep in the North Sea
Matt Baker - Underground
Luke Howard and Janos Bruneel - Open Road
The End - The End
Jason Moran and The Bandwagon - Ten
Briana Cowlishaw - When Fiction Comes to Life
Art Tatum - Solo Masterpieces
Allan Vache - Look To The Sky
Jacam Manricks - Trigonometry
Quinsin Nachoff - Forward Motion (FoMo)
Song Fwaa - Ligeti's Goat
Jane Monheit - Home
Bill Allred Featuring John Allred - The New York Sessions
Duke Ellington - From His Treasure Chest 1965-72
David Klein Quintet - My Marilyn
3ofMillions - Abstruction
BluesFest 2011
Amphibious - Alive & Breathing
Jane Irving - Beams
Tim Stevens Trio - Scare Quotes
James Osborne Jazz Collective - Playtime
Renaud Garcia-Fons - Mediterranees
Mark Isaacs's Resurgence Band - Aurora
Nicki Parrott - Black Coffee
"Buck" Pizzarelli and the West Texas Tumbleweeds - Diggin' Up Bones
Lew Soloff and Steve Richman - Sketches of Spain

2002-2010 ARCHIVES


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To Search for reviews - Key CTRL+F and artist or album name
Keir Neuringer and Matthew Wright - Speak Cities (Extra Normal Records XN005)
If you allow it, sounds like these can expand your horizon, open possibilities and stimulate the senses. Keir Neuringer is a Philadelphia based saxophonist, improviser and composer. Matthew Wright is a composer and post-DJ, whose work stems from turntablism and electronica. Recorded in 2013, Wright spent the following two years assembling 6 tracks from the session, resulting in a conceptual theme around the interaction one has with the city. Above the Clouds invokes the eerie isolation of space inside a skyscraper using the heady drones of the saxophone against the dizzy repetitious energy of data transfer and digital communication. Cityspeak restores the funk with ground level energy, like a fast forward film clip of an avenue filled with screeching cars versus the orderly conforming pedestrians. Nightmusic is very personal interaction with the city, in fact you can hear apprehension with each breath you take in a lonely alleyway that gradually turns dangerous then industrious. The saxophone is distant while the sounds of the city resonate against the hard surfaced city gorge. Superhigh Informationway is a melodic re-imagination of the sound of metadata and digital file transfer akin to the 21st century ‘connected’ city. Wright’s mega sound-byte manipulations are punctuated by Neuringer’s sparsely repetitious but monotonic interjections. Wright gradually adds further layers to the digital melee before Neuringer re-enters and the download speed diminishes. This work is highly thought provoking but certainly worth the challenge.
Peter Wockner
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Jack Thorncraft - Let’s Think About Tomorrow (Independent)
If Thorncraft had chosen to rest on his laurels, his legend would have been sufficient to cement his place in the pantheon of Australian jazz legends having been an integral bassist in bands such as the Jazz Co-Op, The Last Straw and Mark Simmonds. Indeed, he has worked with many more. But in the 1980’s Thorncraft chose the far north coast lifestyle to retreat but also to hone his vocal skills. He never stopped playing bass and as a long awaited follow up to his 1998 Aria nominated album Sing Some Play Some he has now released another album where his vocals are at the forefront. There is an honesty and sentimentality in the voice that seems to have defied age and grown more appealing. It occupies a timbre territory somewhere between Bob Dorough and Giacomo Gates but sometimes with hints of Willie Nelson. Of the sixteen choice but under-utilised standards such as Dorsey’s I’m Glad There is You or Berlin’s The Best Thing For You, he includes seven of his own compositions that are every bit as attractive as the standards and blend seamlessly into this context. A case in point would be Goodbye My Friend which hints at R & B with the organ of Steve Russell and the Dave Sanders backbeat. Other talent appearing includes John Hoffman flugel, Jim Kelly guitar and James Cox percussion
Peter Wockner
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Harry Mitchell (harrymitchell.net)
There are two revelations here for me; Harry Mitchell the jazz pianist and Harry Mitchell the composer. But neither should come as any surprise, as the Perth based pianist has been playing since the age of 8 and jazz since the age of 13. Not that age alone is the barometer for excellence, but with his self titled debut containing six originals and one standard with sidemen such as Jamie Oehlers and Daniel Susnjar, he seems to be playing and composing with advanced maturity way beyond his 22 years. Each piece has an utterly contemporary narrative defined by the talents of each band member and built on the tradition of post hard bop. The group also includes young talents of guitarist Jeremy Thomson and Karl Florisson double bass. Gabba the Hut, a play on the recognisable Star Wars character Jabba the Hutt, is a latin inspired piece starting with intense ensemble work before Oehlers enters on the head in unison with Thomson’s guitar. Then Oehlers and Susnjar break out and trade their own mighty blows before the piano and bass re-enter and Mitchell takes a solo using an amalgam of languages from Hancock to Perez to Rubalcaba. The piece finishes with a series of block chord and drum punctuations before intensifying into a cutting session that one senses could have continued indefinitely not for the fade out; high drama with a sense of fulfilling satisfaction
Peter Wockner
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Tom Vincent - Blues in America (Independent release - tomvincent.com.au)
Tom Vincent is a jazz pianist, arranger and composer based in Hobart and is one of Australia’s most innovative improvising musicians. Among his career highlights is touring with saxophonist Branford Marsalis as support act and now on his eighth album to date he has finally recorded with him. Along with members from his trio expanded into a quartet, Alf Jackson on drums and Leigh Barker on double bass, he has added ex-patriot now New York bassist Matt Clohesy on two tracks and the legendary saxophonist Marsalis on three. Recorded in two locations in America the album is pure musical harmony delivering much more than just a characteristic piano trio album. The ensemble swings heartily from a blues-based axis that serves as a durable foundation for Vincent’s harmonic and rhythmic forays. The title track featuring Marsalis’s deftly played, technically superb soprano saxophone, is the only original composition by Vincent. It sits comfortably alongside the expertly selected all time classics A Beautiful Friendship, Autumn in New York, Sweet Georgia Brown and a stellar version of Indiana that would put a smile on the face of the great Earl Hines. The recording of Blues in America is a significant achievement for a pianist that has set a high bar in musical achievement long ago and one who is at the top of his game
Barry O’Sullivan
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Jackson Harrison Trio - Sintering (Hatology 723)
Following on from the critical acclaim received here, in Europe and the USA of his first album, Land Tides, National Jazz Award winner and Sydney based pianist /composer Jackson Harrison has released a lyrical album of original compositions named after the process of coalescing a powder into a solid by heating it without liquefaction. There's nothing powdery about Jackson’s compositional skills and pianism on this recording rather a strength and cohesion standing out as the backbone with the linking of composed pieces and collective improvisations. There are some electrifyingly high energy moments where the album becomes delightfully effervescent like on the track Preludial and on others, Charcoal Choral, River Dolphin and Day For Night, where the music is deceptively simple and out of this charming, relaxed atmosphere Harrison emerges with a lyrical soliloquy that's complex, melodic and fluid. The sophisticated three-way conversation of Harrison’s Trio is mesmerising. Ben Waples' bass work, both Arco and Pizzicato, is outstanding as is his percussionist brother James’s subtle touch guiding the group through its more involved passages. This is one piano trio that effortlessly establishes a signature sound by virtue of the very strong musical personalities involved
Barry O’Sullivan
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Tim Stevens - Media Vita (Rufus Records RF128)
As Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez recently reminded us, playing solo piano is a conversation with yourself. At 46, Tim Stevens is indeed media vita or in the midst of his life and career releasing his fourth solo piano album of which he says is “probably the most immediately accessible”. Stevens is one of the few Australian pianists who has genuinely forged a distinctively original solo style. Underpinned by his classical foundations, Stevens continues to challenge the listener with his harmonic approach. In 2016 Stevens went about writing a tune on a daily basis and the result is his 2016 distilled into 56 captivating minutes. The happy face/sad face illustrations on the album cover by his toddler son Oliver is a tender reflection of the 12 tunes used as vivid emotionally charged improvisational vehicles. Pseudepigrapha written on the 11th April, uses his left hand to create Cuban-like rhythms and chord progressions that provide bountiful opportunities for his right hand to react against using jaunty yet graceful leaping and plunging figures. 2016 was a good year
Peter Wockner
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Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau - Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau (Nonesuch Records 2017)
Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau come from different worlds but the same species. Thile is a progressive-bluegrass pacesetter, Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years.The mandolin and piano pairing makes for a beautifully eclectic experience on this hour-long set, spread over two CDs .These Nonesuch Records label mates are two of the most acclaimed current generation musicians in America. Both have separately played in Australia in 2016 – Chris with Punch Brothers in August, and Brad in a duo concert with Joshua Redman as recently as October. At the end of 2015, they played a two-night stand at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom before going into the studio to record this mix of covers and original songs. The meeting of the two masters of their respective realms is a spine-tingling triumph – a honky, gutsy, jaunty, darkly witty new musical fusion that is suitably strange yet strangely familiar. The eleven songs dig down into the roots of American music, touching the common ancestry of jazz and country. Alongside some excellent originals including the co-written The Old Shade Tree and the classically inspired Noise Machine are the edgy readings of songs by Bob Dylan, Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright and the lilting wistful evocative reworking of Joni Mitchell’s Marcie. This is a musical partnership that will definitely endure
Barry O’Sullivan
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Daniel Weltlinger - Samoreau. A Tribute to the fans of Django Reinhardt.(DMG-Rectify Records 8179.2)
Sydney born, Berlin based violinist and composer Daniel Weltlinger concludes his trilogy of recordings with his latest release of Samoreau. The album follows his critically acclaimed Souvenirs (2011),and Koblenz (2014) and completes his trilogy dedicated the legendary gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt, who in the 1930’s pioneered the musical style Manouche which still resonates with audiences around the world today. Weltlinger shines on his violin on the eleven originals and is joined by Django’s grand nephew, acclaimed guitarist Lulo Reinhardt as well as four of Lulo’s nephews who are also guitarists. Winfried Schuld plays accordion on two tracks and piano on one with superb finesse adding to the guitarists essential Eastern European flourish with plenty of Gypsy swing. The album is named after the town near where the annual Festival Django Reinhardt is celebrated each year at Samois-sur-Seine, France. The festival began as a one night concert in 1968 and expanded to a week-long event in 1983.Weltlinger first attended the event in 2004 and formed a close bond with many of the people from across Europe that attend the Festival. Some of the outstanding tracks are Waterlilies, a direct allusion to the Django composition Nympheas, Samois, a tribute to the legendary festival town and Ghosts, which alludes to wars and conflicts both past and present. Another track La Femme Sophistiquee features Lulo and Weltlinger at their finest and showcases them as masters of their craft and instruments painted with the shades of the all time greats, Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt
Barry O’Sullivan
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Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau - Nearness (Nonesuch Records 7559-79456-0 )
Released to coincide with their world tour of 2016 and their performances at various venues in Australia, this perfect musical pairing of two of the most prominent and highly respected improvising virtuoso performers in Jazz today, is in fact their first duo recording. Brad Mehldau first came to prominence as a member Joshua Redman's quartet in the 1990s before becoming a bandleader himself. The pair reunited in 2010 when Redman was featured on Mehldau's album Highway Rider. In 2013, Mehldau was featured as a performer and producer on Redman's recording Walking Shadows.Nearness features live performances captured during a previous 2011 European tour, comprising of three original tracks and three familiar jazz standards. There is a meticulousness to the continuous process of abstraction that Mehldau applies to a tune with a certain density of information. This can be followed by a stripped down emotionally direct interpretation of a ballad that comes from nowhere and knocks the wind out of you with its simplicity and clarity. Highlights of the recording are a sixteen minute rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s The Nearness of You which displays Mehldau’s harmonic skills with a particularly skilful unaccompanied break from Redman on tenor sax. Another highlight is their interpretation of the Mehldau composition Old West with Redman’s dexterity and lyricism on soprano saxophone a sheer joy to listen to. On all of the tracks there are musically intelligent conversations between two stellar artists with Redman chasing the tune while Mehldau deconstructs the harmony and rhythm. As performers their virtuosity is unparalleled and highly recommended listening.
Barry O’Sullivan
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