Australian Jazz Album Round-Up

Jazz in Australia has a very long history; back to the 1920s when the country fell for the many visiting Americans. Today jazz is alive across the country, but with a distinct focus on the population centres of Sydney and Melbourne. Here the best-known venues are The Basement near the quay in Sydney and Bennetts Lane in Melbourne. Although making a living is difficult, there is a thriving network of labels, co-operatives and venues. Rufus, home of the late Bernie McGann, Jazzhead, Newmarket, Jazzgroove and New Zealand’s Rattle Records, to name but a few, are all releasing and promoting excellent, and often innovative, jazz. But most notably, there is vitality and a thirst for new directions, evident in the following albums.

– Michael Prescott,
Jazz Presenter 5MBS, Australia


Anton Delecca Quartet
The Healer
Jazzhead Head 192

Anton Delecca (ts), Luke Howard (p), Jonathon Zion (b), Daniel Farrugia (d) Rec. Date not stated

Anton Delecca has been a working musician for over 20 years and in that time has played with Odean Pope, Arthur Blythe, a host of popular and rock artists and has also been a member of many jazz groups. Despite a relatively long career, “The Healer” is only his third as leader.

Although the Luke Howard Trio (see below) provide the backing, this is Delecca’s album with the leader composing seven of the ten tracks featured here. Delecca possesses a mature expressive tone and on this album he deservedly gives himself plenty of space to explore and he uses this to show considerable improvisational skill.

The album kicks off with a Klezmer sounding “The Ark” and from there presents two standards, “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered” and “Love For Sale” and one from bassist Zion. The interest is not the standards but the new works. “Hectic” is up-tempo featuring an excellent Luke Howard solo and so proving that although best known for his spacious approach, he can also play faster and fuller, whilst on the ballad “Hokusai Says” Delecca delivers a sensitive, thoughtful solo.

The album would probably have been that much better if Delecca had the courage to forgo the standards. With tracks like “The Lake” there is simply no need to revive old well worn works.

Nonetheless, an impressive and enjoyable album.

Click here for more info and samples

Andrea Keller Quartet With Strings
Wave Rider
Jazzhead    Head 191 

Andrea Keller (p), Eugene Ball (t), Ian Whitehurst (ts), Joe Talia (d), Erkki Velthiem (v), Helen Ayres (v), Matt Lang (viola), Zoe Knighton (c). Rec. 6 & 7 December 2012

Let’s get one thing clear from the start, the description “with strings” is misleading, there’s absolutely nothing saccharine about Keller’s scoring. Here the strings, in the form of a classic string quartet, are an integral part of Keller’s compositions; they perform with and almost inside her quartet.

This takes talent and it is obvious that Keller has that in abundance. This is totally original music; by that read no one else composes anything like this. If you have heard Keller’s previous discs, this is no surprise, especially her previous album of solo piano; “Family Portraits” another superb album.

This is something else again, complex with themes weaving in and out and Keller’s often dark and foreboding piano evident throughout. Her talented quartet handles this difficult music with aplomb, Ball and Whitehurst are exceptional while Talia adds rich tonal colour. The absence of bass is not an issue, so expertly are Keller’s tunes composed and arranged.

There is great variety here, with 15 tracks varying from just 49 seconds (the title track) to over 10 minutes (the brooding “Patience”) but nowhere does the interest flag, a true indication of the album’s success.

Andrea Keller should be known throughout the jazz world, one can only hope that this album raises her international profile to where it should be.

Click here for more info and samples

LukeHowardTrioDoveALoinACoastLuke Howard Trio
A Dove, A Lion, A Coast, A Pirate
Which Way  WWM 018  ★★★

Luke Howard (p), Jonathon Zion (b), Daniel Farrugia (d). Rec May 2012

This album never really gets above mid-tempo. Normally that could be a negative, but not here, Luke Howard is so in command that anything thing else would disturb the whole fabric of this superb CD.

From the sublime opener, “Oslo” this music utilises space as a musical instrument with Zion and Farrugia, listening intently to their leader adding colour and depth throughout.

Recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studios with renown engineer Jan Erik Konkshug this disc does evoke, but definitely does not imitate, another well known visitor to that studio, Ketil Bjornstad. Zion’s three tunes blend in seamlessly to the other nine tunes, all penned by Howard.

What stands out here is the beautiful lyricism of Howard’s piano, a reflection of his excellent compositions and almost hummable tunes, the title track being a case in point.

As you would expect with Konkshug at the helm, the recording is so natural that at times one is tempted to look toward the speakers to confirm that the band really is in your living room.

This album works on all levels, the enthusiast will love the sheer musicality and invention whilst the casual listener will fall for the simple beauty of this music. This is an album that not only can withstand repeated listens, but calls the listener back again and again.

Click here for more info and samples

HannahJamesGroupEffigyHannah James Group
Effigy
Self Release

Hannah James (b), Ed Rodrigues (d), Casey Golden (p), Tim Clarkson (s) Dave Rodriguez (g)

Rec 20 July 2011

It can be difficult for young artists to get a break no matter how talented. Hannah James was lucky, as the winner of The Jann Rutherford Memorial Award for promising female jazz musicians, she was able to record this album at the ABC’s studios. Even so she still had to release the CD herself.

But, despite her youth, this is a mature group album with the leader, aside from a few thoughtful solos, for the most part taking a back seat to Golden, Clarkson and Rodriguez.

James has said that she has been influenced by the New York scene, referencing Aaron Parks and that is certainly a good reference point, especially on Casey Golden’s ”When The Talking Stops” evoking Parks’ 2008 album, “Invisible Cinema”

For her debut, James has assembled a crack band with guitarist Dave Rodriguez and Casey Golden on piano being particularly impressive. Rodriguez possesses fine technique, delivering intelligent and interesting solos. Hannah James also proves to be a fine composer, particularly the opener, “Morning Glory” and the title track.

This is a very strong debut and points to a bright future as a bassist, composer and leader. It will be interesting to follow her development as she further defines her own voice.

Info with sample www.hannahjames.com

JulienWilsonTrioSwailingJulien Wilson Trio
Swailing
lionsharerecords LSR 20142

Julien Wilson (ts, b cl, ss), Stephen Magnusson (g), Steve Grant (acc)

Swailing is a very Australian concept, a controlled burn of the bush aimed at promoting regrowth. In spite of the title, the music on this CD has a very European feel, at times reminiscent of an ECM recording, no doubt as a consequence of the unusual composition of the trio, no rhythm section but with an accordion.

But there are important differences mainly flowing from song selection. After a delicious Wilson penned opening track, with the marvellously titled “I Believe This Belongs To You” comes Hermeto Pascoal’s “Little Church”, most famously heard on Miles Davis’s “Live Evil”. A little later, Gabriel Faure’s “Meditation”, Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”, even Fats Waller’s “Jitterbug Waltz” and finally, Ornette Coleman’s “Chanting”, plus several originals.

The trio benefits from having performed together over many years (their first CD, “Live” dates from 2007) as they weave in and out with a beautiful precision that only experience can bring. All three members both solo and provide accompaniment, the resulting music ebbs and flows producing a gorgeous sound. The occasional overdub fills out the music, most notably Wilson’s bass clarinet.

Although mostly subdued, it is a strangely uplifting and enjoyable music. Grant is just fabulous throughout; Magnusson demonstrates that he is an all-round guitarist and in places squeezes out very un-guitar like sounds. All the while Wilson is sublime, at times his breathy tenor is reminiscent of Ben Webster.

What makes this all the impressive is that this was released together with a completely different album and band, the mainstream balled collection, “This Is Always”, also on lionsharerecords. On this album his Websterisms come to the fore.

Click here for more info and samples

 

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

If you do not change browser settings, you consent to continue. Learn more

I understand

Breaking News

Late Shows line-up for Jazzwise 20th Anniversary Festival at Ronnie Scott’s

Late Shows line-up for Jazzwise 20th Ann…

The final names have been confirmed for the momentous Jazzwise...

Read More.....
Exclusive live video from Norwegian soul-jazz newcomers Rohey

Exclusive live video from Norwegian soul…

Scandi-soul-jazz rising stars Rohey are set to release their debut...

Read More.....
Evan Parker Among Hull City Hall Ambassadors Of Basil Kirchin's Exotic Muse

Evan Parker Among Hull City Hall Ambassa…

  Many of those with their digits usually found firmly on...

Read More.....
Guitar giant and ‘Godfather of Fusion’ Larry Coryell dies aged 73

Guitar giant and ‘Godfather of Fusion’ L…

Renowned fusion guitarist Larry Coryell died on Sunday 19 February...

Read More.....
Rachel Cohen heads for Playtime in Edinburgh

Rachel Cohen heads for Playtime in Edinb…

London-based saxophonist Rachael Cohen is among the featured musicians in...

Read More.....
Brad Mehldau Trio, Fame and Peyroux for Bath Festival

Brad Mehldau Trio, Fame and Peyroux for …

Jazz continues to play a strong part in this year's...

Read More.....
Henry Spencer and Juncture lift-off at Pizza album launch

Henry Spencer and Juncture lift-off at P…

On an otherwise quiet Tuesday night in Central London, rising...

Read More.....
Georges Kaplan Presents... Card Sharp With EP Launch At New River Studios

Georges Kaplan Presents... Card Sharp Wi…

Disciples of Bohren & der Club of Gore and John...

Read More.....
Gregory Porter and Jamie Cullum light up Nocturne

Gregory Porter and Jamie Cullum light up…

The grand setting of Blenheim Palace, in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, is...

Read More.....
Art Ensemble Reassemble For October OTO Return

Art Ensemble Reassemble For October OTO …

Following their much-celebrated stop-off at London's Cafe OTO this month...

Read More.....
Al Jarreau (12/03/1940 – 12/02/2017)

Al Jarreau (12/03/1940 – 12/02/2017)

As something of a late bloomer in the record industry...

Read More.....
Avishai Cohen with the BBC Concert Orchestra mesmerise at Barbican

Avishai Cohen with the BBC Concert Orche…

The evening starts with the restraint and decorum proper to...

Read More.....
Phronesis with Engines Orchestra, Steve Gadd, Lionel Loueke and Gregory Porter complete Cheltenham Jazz Fest Programme

Phronesis with Engines Orchestra, Steve …

This year's Cheltenham Jazz Festival, which runs from 26 April...

Read More.....
Michael Wollny Trio, Gregory Porter and Comet Is Coming head to Love Supreme Jazz Festival 2017

Michael Wollny Trio, Gregory Porter and …

With jazz legends Herbie Hancock and George Benson already confirmed...

Read More.....
Bill Laurance turns up the heat on tour

Bill Laurance turns up the heat on tour

Keyboardist Bill Laurance, who rose to prominence with Grammy Award-winning...

Read More.....
The Art Ensemble Of Chicago captivate at Cafe OTO

The Art Ensemble Of Chicago captivate at…

Over the last decade or so, Cafe OTO has secured...

Read More.....
Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra hits the road

Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra hits the ro…

Leading UK saxophonist Julian Siegel is set to unveil his...

Read More.....
Tim Armacost swings out for album and European tour

Tim Armacost swings out for album and Eu…

Hard-blowing New York-based saxophonist Tim Armacost kicks off his European...

Read More.....
Wolf Eyes Spy One-Off With Watts And Weston

Wolf Eyes Spy One-Off With Watts And Wes…

Brighton Alternative Jazz Festival and Dictionary Pudding productions have made...

Read More.....
Former Lammas Tim Garland and Don Paterson line up again

Former Lammas Tim Garland and Don Paters…

Saxophonist Tim Garland will reunite with his former partner in...

Read More.....
 Editon Records night and Norma Winstone for Jazz In The Round

Editon Records night and Norma Winstone…

The monthly Jazz in the Round session, which has run...

Read More.....
Charles Lloyd and Eve Risser light up Tampere Jazz Happening Finland

Charles Lloyd and Eve Risser light up Ta…

  The unexpected early November snowfall created a festive backdrop for...

Read More.....
Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chris Potter and The Necks power up Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2017

Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chris Potter and Th…

There are some exciting additions to the 2017 Cheltenham Jazz...

Read More.....
Raw Tonk Mini-Fest Heralds Full Feral Line-Up

Raw Tonk Mini-Fest Heralds Full Feral Li…

London-based rabble-rousers Raw Tonk unleash a blast of rancorous jazz-noise...

Read More.....
Chris Potter heads up north for Inner City Ensemble dates

Chris Potter heads up north for Inner Ci…

US sax don Chris Potter is set to head up...

Read More.....
Jazz FM Awards 2017 get down Under The Bridge

Jazz FM Awards 2017 get down Under The B…

The fourth edition of the Jazz FM Awards are set...

Read More.....
Madwort Amass Sax For Album Launch Summits

Madwort Amass Sax For Album Launch Summi…

  Bellowing horn-driven Baedekers, Madwort Saxophone Quartet, launch their forthcoming long-player...

Read More.....
Hot Potatoes: Pavillon Get Under The Skin At Posk

Hot Potatoes: Pavillon Get Under The Ski…

At London's Cafe Posk last year pianist Ivo Neame gifted...

Read More.....
Omar Puente, Arun Ghosh and Yazz Ahmed added to Jazzwise 20th Anniversary Fest

Omar Puente, Arun Ghosh and Yazz Ahmed a…

Further names have been added to the Jazzwise 20th Anniversary...

Read More.....
Ex-Mars Marvel Boils With His Blood Quartet

Ex-Mars Marvel Boils With His Blood Quar…

Former New York No Wave-hero Mark Cunningham's brings his plasma-powered...

Read More.....
Led Bib's Anti-Blitz Vid Heralds Album And UK Tour

Led Bib's Anti-Blitz Vid Heralds Album A…

Reenergised UK quintet Led Bib (coming cover stars of Jazzwise's...

Read More.....
Trichotomy head into the Known-Unknown on UK Tour

Trichotomy head into the Known-Unknown o…

EST-influenced Australian three-piece Trichotomy return to the UK with their...

Read More.....
Nat Hentoff – 1925-2017

Nat Hentoff – 1925-2017

Nat Hentoff seemed like a constant in US jazz commentary...

Read More.....
Appliance of Science: LUME Lab Opens Doors At IKLECTIK

Appliance of Science: LUME Lab Opens Doo…

  Enlightened adventurers of note and tone LUME have recently announced...

Read More.....
Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith inspire at Wigmore Hall

Vijay Iyer and Wadada Leo Smith inspire …

Listening to Wadada Leo Smith and Vijay Iyer in conversation...

Read More.....
Dais & Amused: London Lands New Summer Fest

Dais & Amused: London Lands New Summ…

Details have reached us of an enticingly eclectic new jazz...

Read More.....

Qobuz-ad

Jazzwise MPU 300-400-2

Subcribe To Jazzwise

Advertisement

Call 0800 137201 to subscribe or click here to email the subscriptions team

Get in touch

Jazzwise Magazine,
St. Judes Church,
Dulwich Road, 
Herne Hill,
London, SE24 0PD.

0208 677 0012

Latest Tweets

Late Shows line-up for Jazzwise 20th Anniversary Festival at Ronnie Scott’s https://t.co/HgBEBwLjMF https://t.co/YPlvUxv7hh
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@JohnRMulvey @Glitterbeat_Rec hey John, do you have a PR Contact for that label?
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
RT @vortexjazz: INTAKT FESTIVAL 2017 coming April. The programme https://t.co/VGgmJ31OEK @Intaktrecords @LondonJazz @jazzwise @jazzlondonli…
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
Office grooves: Adam Rudoph's Moving Pictures' Glare Of The Tiger - keep 'em peeled https://t.co/VxMFWngOc3 @MODTechnologies @hubtonePR
Follow Us - @Jazzwise
@RecCollMag @NAPALM_DEATH @CarcassBand three great albums
Follow Us - @Jazzwise

Newsletter

Sign up to the Jazzwise monthly E-Newsletter