The New Cabal
The New Cabal Independent ★★★★✩
THIS Adelaide quartet includes some of the city’s top-flight jazz performers on their debut album. Led by acoustic bassist Lyndon Gray, the group continues as a weekly attraction in what is now a four-year residency at Victorian parlour cocktail venue La Boheme. The material here ranges from a Mexican traditional piece to a song by indie-folk artist Elliott Smith and band originals, all in a cutting-edge post-bop style. The leader’s skilled bass work is evident throughout, whether soloing, substrata underpinning, adding a melodic voice or providing an intro. On Psycho Remake the bass intro with drum accompaniment from Kevin van der Zwaag and soft chords from Chris Martin’s keys sets a jumpy psychological mood for the entry of Chris Soole’s tenor sax. Later the bass flies into a solo against stopped staccato backing to lead into Soole’s speeding tenor, spiralling up to neurotic high-register intensities. The Mexican piece El LLorar (The Cry) has the piano setting an unusual galloping tempo for enlivened solos from bass and tenor, while Smith’s composition
Everything Means Nothing to Me features Soole on soprano sax threading the melody first through Martin’s flowing piano, then gradually subsiding for Gray’s exploratory bass. Bash Bam Crash
Whack Smash reflects its title with some impressively strong tenor work plus distorted keys backed by bam-crash drums. This contrasts with
Millody, a romantic ballad with sensitive pairing of tenor and deep piano chords. Soole’s tribute to US saxophonist Michael Brecker, Blues for Mike, is a slow-burning blues with Soole igniting the 12-bar format, featuring another bass-on-fire solo from Gray and Martin’s jabbing, tinkly keys.