The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

Spiel Paul Grabowsky and Niko Schauble Jaz­zhead

Prove­nance Paul Grabowsky and Vince Jones ABC/UMA

Mel­bourne-based Paul Grabowsky de­fies lo­cal­i­sa­tion: he could be record­ing in New York, Europe, or Aus­tralia; he re­cently gave con­certs in Cairns, ap­peared at the Wan­garatta Jazz Fes­ti­val and toured na­tion­ally. One of two new re­leases is a duo record­ing with long-term drum­ming as­so­ciate Niko Schauble. The ab­sence of bass or gui­tar in rhyth­mic num­bers could put pres­sure on a pi­anist’s left hand, but Grabowsky coasts through 17 im­pro­vised pieces with match­less ease and cease­less in­ven­tion. Some tracks are al­most out of tempo and flow in a semi-clas­si­cal way as Schauble pro­vides soft ef­fects with brushes. Pieces with a pulse are pro­vided with either a run­ning sin­gle note bass line or rhyth­mic left-hand chords. Prove­nance has Grabowsky ac­com­pa­ny­ing long-es­tab­lished vo­cal­ist and trum­peter Vince Jones in a col­lec­tion of bal­lads, sev­eral of which have lyrics by the vo­cal­ist. Some of Jones’s many fans who might have sus­pected that the 61-year-old was ap­proach­ing his use-by date will be sur­prised at the vo­cal dex­ter­ity and ex­pres­sive abil­ity here. His de­liv­ery of the tricky melody in Stella by Starlight is pas­sion­ately elo­quent. The same ap­plies to the Jo­bim orig­i­nal If You Never Come to Me and Harry War­ren’s This is Al­ways. Of course Gar­bowsky’s sym­pa­thetic ac­com­pa­ni­ment is fault­less through­out.

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