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

The Vam­pires Meet Li­onel Loueke The Vam­pires Earshift Mu­sic This fifth al­bum from Syd­ney quar­tet the Vam­pires adds ex­tra­or­di­nary gui­tarist Li­onel Loueke for a col­lec­tion of 10 orig­i­nals. The tracks are book­ended by pieces from sax­o­phon­ist Jeremy Rose’s End­ings and Beginnings parts 1 and 2, im­pro­vised sketches fea­tur­ing a sub­dued acous­tic gui­tar in­tro. Three of the al­bum’s tracks are by trum­peter Nick Gar­bett, the other seven are by Rose. Hard Love fea­tures Rose’s bass clar­inet with a bluesy melody that echoes tra­di­tional Ja­maican Nyabinghi mu­sic. An­other Rose com­po­si­tion, Free­dom Song, is ded­i­cated to the refugees on Manus Is­land and Nauru, Aus­tralia’s off­shore de­ten­tion cen­tres, and em­ploys Loueke’s word­less vo­cals as well as Rose’s en­liven­ing alto solo. Gar­bett’s piece Ben­da­long, named af­ter the town on the south coast of NSW, has a re­laxed reg­gae feel, while Torta Salata (salty cake) is a soul-drenched tune by Gar­bett in­spired by his love of Italy and Ital­ian cook­ing. The ti­tle of Suck a Seed by Rose comes from a doc­u­men­tary on trum­peter Clark Terry where he ad­vises: ‘If at first you don’t suc­ceed, suck a seed!’ Penned by Rose, Ubud Bub­ble arose from his ex­pe­ri­ences of Ubud, Bali, where he heard the sounds of game­lan re­hearsals in the streets, and con­jures a sense of magic and mys­tery. Re­cent events in Rose’s life in­spired Brand New, where Gar­bett’s sky-climb­ing trum­pet is driven along by Danny Fis­cher’s drum kit and Alex Masso’s bon­gos. This first-time col­lab­o­ra­tion works very well with Loueke’s gui­tar fit­ting into the Vam­pires’ ar­range­ments in great style.

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