Jazz

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

Not My Lover Chris Cody Wave

Aus­tralian pi­anist-com­poser Chris Cody spent 25 years based in Paris, record­ing nine albums and play­ing ex­ten­sively through­out Europe, of­ten with out­stand­ing in­ter­na­tional mu­si­cians. In that time he com­posed mu­sic for films and tele­vi­sion and gar­nered many awards and ac­co­lades.

Cody re­turned to set­tle in Sydney last year and this quar­tet record­ing is his first release since then.

Al­though a con­firmed jazz per­former, Cody long has had an as­so­ci­a­tion with clas­si­cal mu­sic, play­ing solo and cham­ber mu­sic: he was a fi­nal­ist in the Roger Wood­ward Pi­ano Schol­ar­ships at 14, and stud­ied with com­poser Peter Sculthorpe and at Lon­don’s Trin­ity Col­lege.

It’s not dif­fi­cult to trace clas­si­cal in­flu­ences in the new col­lec­tion of 10 tracks, of which eight are orig­i­nals. For an avowed Fran­cophile, Cole Porter’s I Love Paris is prob­a­bly a ne­ces­sity, and Cody works over the over­worked stan­dard with flair and sen­si­tiv­ity in a trio con­text, with adept drum work from James Waples and Bren­dan Clarke on bass.

The ti­tle track is a moody bal­lad with Karl Laskowski on tenor — he’s on seven num­bers — be­gin­ning in a slow tempo and crank­ing up to a medium groove. Laskowski leans right into the piece with fast runs and strong stac­cato notes as Cody sup­plies the foun­da­tion, be­fore break­ing into a flow­ing solo.

Scat­ter is a post-bop theme where bluesy over­tones are ex­plored by tenor and pi­ano and abet­ted by Waples’s as­tute kit work.

This is an al­bum of tal­ented per­form­ers play­ing var­ied com­po­si­tions, adding an un­usual jazz pi­ano style that in­cor­po­rates in­ter­est­ing clas­si­cal ideas and flour­ishes.

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