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.