JAZZ

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

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

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