Blow­ing hot from the sun­shine state

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music -

THIS col­lec­tion of com­po­si­tions by Rafael Karlen fea­tures 11 lead­ing jazz per­form­ers from the highly ac­tive Bris­bane scene, in­clud­ing the com­poser on tenor sax and flute. Two vo­cal­ists ap­pear on a track each and are alone worth the price for fans of vo­cals: Han­nah Mack­lin con­tribut­ing her voice- as- in­stru­ment in the ti­tle track and the bright­est new star on the Aus­tralian jazz vo­cal scene, Me­gan Wash­ing­ton, singing her lyrics in the ethe­real Wa­ter and Time . The al­bum varies in style and mood from bal­lad pieces to rhyth­mic post- bop themes, well ar­ranged, if not en­tirely orig­i­nal, and played with flair. Cof­fee Dance , ded­i­cated to Bris­bane sax­o­phon­ist Tony Hobbs, opens with a se­ries of solo bari­tone sax notes from Graeme Nor­ris, de­vel­op­ing into a slow en­sem­ble riff taken up by Ge­or­gia We­ber on dou­ble bass, and even­tu­ally mov­ing into Mikael Strand’s hu­mour- in­ject­ing, faux- trad trom­bone solo. Curve starts with Steve Newcomb’s gauzy, out- of- tempo pi­ano be­fore the oth­ers ar­rive with a rhyth­mic bop theme, scored with a nod to Miles Davis’s fa­mous ar­ranger Gil Evans. Joe Marchisella con­trib­utes a smart drum solo. Shan­non Mar­shall’s trum­pet pro­vides a high- en­ergy open­ing to Eat Bet­ter, Sleep More . Ab­stract Gloom fea­tures murky sec­tion work with el­e­gant voic­ings and thought­ful so­los from trum­pet and Mark Spencer’s alto sax. Some of the best solo work comes from James Sher­lock on gui­tar, notably in his high­ve­loc­ity per­for­mance on Five For Now. This col­lec­tion is a good ex­am­ple of the high level of com­po­si­tion and per­for­mance, com­ing in this in­stance from Bris­bane, but equally avail­able, al­though not widely recog­nised, out­side the Syd­ney- Mel­bourne axis.

John McBeath

Driv­ing Hat Bris­bane West End Com­posers Col­lec­tive Pin­na­cles Mu­sic

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