"This live recording is a wonderful example of the
creative musical energy of Australian musicians and
especially the younger generation who, while
respecting the tradition of the older jazz players,
are pushing into the future.
This is a jazz recording in the true sense of the
word, with a set of works warmly entrenched in the
idiom. The music of Coltrane, Tyner, Mingus,
Henderson, Rivers and of course Cole Porter, is well
known, as are the many performances of these
standards. In the hands of players who have not honed
their skills, listened intensively and then thought,
seriously about what to play, a CD such as this would
in my view, not be successful.
This recording however, has all the ingredients of
high quality jazz: an excellent selection of pieces, a
first rate collection of players, and performances
which will leave the listener with the impression that
both the hearts and minds of the players are at work
in the creative process.
One of the most satisfying features is a sense that
although there is great facility amongst the
musicians, there are no excesses here, just pure music
making. This is not as common as we might think in the
jazz idiom where it is sometimes irresistible for
those with great technique to let the ego get in the
way of the music. Not so here.
Listen to Paul Van Ross' rich tone and uncommonly
lyrical approach to lines, and Mark Lockett's cymbal
and brush sound, which gives the music a lovely
buoyancy and spirit. They are highly complimentary to
Especially noticeable too, is the playing of Tom Lee.
Here is a double bassist with a full, legato sound, a
result of knowing how not to force the tone out of the
instrument. (We have all heard the other kind, who try
to pull the strings off the bass in order to get the
big effect and produce merely a series of thuds!) Tom
provides a beautiful, 'orchestral' base to this group
and is partly the cause, I suspect, of the lyricism
that goes on above him.
The two keyboard players, Howard and Gassin, are
exceptional in their ability to accompany without
getting in the way, and of course produce some
excellent solos as well as contributing to a cohesive
rhythm section. This is real art.
To return to the pieces, it is refreshing to see
Australian works alongside the big American names. But
by now, thankfully, the broader jazz world knows the
name McGann and if this recording is heard overseas,
the names Van Ross, Lockett, and the others, will be
there as well, as they should be.
Within the genre, the fine playing on this recording
suggests a timelessness which comes only with quality
Listening to these players confirms once again that
music making in Australia is not only of high quality
but has a character which while saluting the past and
the creativity of elsewhere, has its own unique,
wonderful sound. Certainly in the country we take from
everywhere, but in the end what comes out is an
openness of spirit heard nowhere else in the world.
You will likely revisit this recording often"
released December 10, 2004
Paul Van Ross - Tenor Saxophone
Luke Howard - Piano
Daniel Gassin - Fender Rhodes
Tom Lee - Double Bass
Mark Lockett - Drums
Recorded at 'Spleen Lounge Bar', Melbourne, December, 2004.
Recording Engineer: James Clark
Mixing & Mastering: NMIT Studio, Fairfield
Photography: Veronica Hodgkinson
Design: Fysh Rutherford, Andrew Panozzo at 'Twenty20'
Liner Notes: Tony Gould
all rights reserved