The New Ca­bal

The New Ca­bal In­de­pen­dent ★★★★✩

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - jazz

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.

John McBeath

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