Jazz

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

Arte­Fact Jeremy Sawkins’ Or­gan Quar­tet In­de­pen­dent

Syd­ney-based gui­tarist Jeremy Sawkins formed an or­gan trio in 2004 with drum­mer Dave Good­man and or­gan­ist Dar­ren Hein­rich; the lat­ter ap­pears in this record­ing. Sawkins moved to Ire­land later that year, stay­ing in Dublin for two years to play with lead­ing mu­si­cians and teach­ing at the New­park Mu­sic Cen­tre. Re­turn­ing to Syd­ney in 2006, the gui­tarist re­united with or­gan­ist Hein­rich, and has since added sax­o­phon­ist Spike Ma­son and Toby Hall on drums for this all-Syd­ney group.

Open­ing with Ma­son’s Blues for Sera, the or­gan pro­vides a calm­ing at­mos­phere at first and grad­u­ally builds the blues for­mat be­hind the alto sax solo to in­tro­duce Sawkins’s solo be­fore Hein­rich’s Ham­mond climbs into a swing­ing, Lon­nie Smith-style pas­sage lead­ing to the re­state­ment con­clu­sion.

An un­ex­pected se­lec­tion is the tra­di­tional piece She Moved Through the Fair, be­gin­ning with an out-of-tempo or­gan and gui­tar sound-wash, soon joined by the sax, be­fore the gui­tar wan­ders ab­stract­edly. Funny Farm is a Sawkins post-bop orig­i­nal led by uni­son gui­tar and sax ahead of the gui­tar tak­ing off be­fore pro­vid­ing chordal stabs un­der the sax solo. Hein­rich’s com­po­si­tion Hello, Good­bye slows the tempo for a bal­lad-like num­ber with a laid­back sax ex­plo­ration.

This is a col­lec­tion of well-played mu­sic by com­pe­tent mu­si­cians that makes for pleas­ant enough lis­ten­ing, even though the over­all re­sult some­times seems to suf­fer from a lack of fo­cus.

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