SANDY EVANS & FRIENDS
rockpoolmirror (Tall Poppies TP244)
Each of this album’s 12 works is a sketch forming the basis for an improvised duet evoking one of Belinda Webster’s disquieting photographs shot in Shoalhaven Gorge. The music can be chilling, exultant, soothing, moving or mind-expanding, but it never just treads water. Evans’s soprano or tenor saxophones (the former sometimes sounding uncannily flute-like on the album’s dramatic opener, Rock Water Temple) are variously joined by Satsuki Odamura’s koto and bass koto, Steve Elphick’s double bass, Bobby Singh’s tabla and Adrian Sherriff’s bass trombone. Additionally Alon Ilsar offers three striking solo pieces using AirSticks (an electronic percussion instrument of his own devising), samples and drums. Sparked by Webster’s exceptional eye for the high art Nature crafts, this is a major contribution to the canon of Australian creative music.