Sta­tion­ary FGHR Which Way Mu­sic/ Fuse

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

THIS album is rem­i­nis­cent of the smooth jazz record­ings from the late 1970s by gui­tarist Earl Klugh with pi­anist Bob James. The mu­sic is highly ac­ces­si­ble, well played, un­com­pli­cated and orig­i­nal, save for one track, a soft fu­sion re­arrange­ment of All For Be­liev­ing by Missy Hig­gins. The quar­tet’s name is an ab­bre­vi­a­tion of its Melbourne mem­bers’ sur­names — Dar­ryn Far­ru­gia, drums; Leonard Grig­o­ryan, gui­tar; Luke Howard, pi­ano; Ben Robert­son, dou­ble bass — and they are com­pe­tent play­ers all. Some tracks also in­clude word­less vo­cals in choral style by Emma Gil­martin, adding to an al­ready glossy sur­face. Sta­tion­ary opens with soul- drenched pi­ano me­an­der­ing into out- of- tempo pas­sages and a re­peated sin­gle- note bass ac­com­pa­ni­ment be­fore Far­ru­gia’s drum kit ar­rives, fol­lowed by Gil­martin’s ex­trater­res­trial cho­rus. Folk­song is just that, with a melody sound­ing like the old Scot­tish folk song Loch Lomond. Tex­tu­ral rather than im­pro­vi­sa­tional, th­ese songs favour group in­ter­play over in­di­vid­ual ex­pres­sion, but there is a dan­ger of mu­si­cal ef­fects re­plac­ing deeper in­ter­pre­ta­tion.

John McBeath

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