Stretch Brendan Clarke Independent
CONSIDERING Sydney-based Brendan Clarke’s history of more than 15 years as a foremost bassist on the Australian jazz scene, appearing on over 40 albums, it’s a surprise that this is his debut release as a leader. Clarke graduated in Jazz Studies at the ANU Canberra in 1996 and that same year played at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California. Since then he’s played with such luminaries as Chris Potter, Maria Schneider, Dale Barlow, Roger Manins, Warwick Alder, Sandy Evans, Bernie McGann and many others. He has studied in New York, toured Japan, China, and Europe, played in Norway with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra in which he’s been a long-term member.
This new album features Clarke’s sublime sense of swing heading a quartet with Dave Jackson on alto, Carl Dewhurst on guitar and drummer Andrew Gander. An album standout is the superb pairing of the acoustic bass with Dewhurst’s reciprocal guitar in rhythmical patterns, noticeable immediately on the opener
Busline. There are three standards in the collection: one, Lazy Afternoon, dedicated to the late jazz vocalist Joe Lane, begins with Clarke’s relaxed melodic statement, and moves into Dewhurst’s serene guitar solo. Another standard I’m getting Sentimental
Over You also opens in a bass lead with soft guitar chords as Clarke moves into solo mode while maintaining his fine sense of pulse. There are echoes of Cannonball Adderley in Jackson’s uptempo alto on Clarke’s original Ride, and Gander’s drumming is showcased.