ZAC Hurren is a bright young saxophone star in the Sydney jazz firmament and his debut album comes with commendations from some stellar musicians: Bernie McGann, Dale Barlow, New York giant Joe Lovano and others. Their praise is not misplaced. Together with bassist Eugene Romanuik and award- winning drummer Felix Bloxsom, Hurren has produced an album of exceptional originals encompassing raw- edged trajectories in Johphrow — reminiscent of McGann — through to a drifting and strengthening ballad on soprano sax, Katie’s Song . Other tracks, such as Dector Harvotza , are straight- ahead rhythmic post- bop pieces on which Hurren’s solos fly with exploratory depth and strongly individual tone and expression. Bloxsom plays superbly throughout, combining percussive fire with intelligent underscoring. The final track, After , is a tour de force of unaccompanied tenor moving through a range of moods, ascending to faster passages, edgy wails and throaty growls before returning to the softly enunciated ethereal theme.
John McBeath Exordium Zac Hurren Trio Jazzhead/ MGM