Album release: Yonder (The catholics)

The catholics, Yonder
Release 22 March 2013 Bugle Records thru Fuse Distribution

From the media release

The catholics YonderAustralian jazz dream-team The catholics have been winning people over with their infectious blend of jazz and global dance rhythms for over twenty years now. Yonder, their eighth release, marks the band’s growth and maturity as a cohesive unit that continues to make the most of the extraordinary talents of the individuals involved. The album brings together influences from North Africa, Ethiopia, India and Jamaica, among other, harder-to-pin-down textures.

On Yonder, piano accordionist, Gary Daley makes his recorded debut with The catholics. Says bandleader Lloyd Swanton ‘We’ve been exploring the interplay of guitar and slide guitar for twenty years, but when (slide guitarist) Bruce Reid became unavailable, I decided to set out on a different course. Gary’s accordion brings a whole new tone to the band. He has a keyboard player’s sense of harmony, but can also function as another wind instrument. Plus it’s such an emotionally-loaded sound. I think people will hear a really fresh texture due to Gary’s presence.’

‘There’s a myriad influences and feels on this album,’ Swanton continues ‘It contains the first standard The catholics have ever recorded. As a mad fan of reggae, I’ve always loved that just about every popular tune ever written has been covered reggae-style by someone. But as far as I could discern, I Cover the Waterfront, a particular favourite of mine, is one exception. So this is my tribute to some of those great Trojan instrumentals of the 60s by artists like Don Drummond and Tommy McCook.’
‘Sandy Evans’ amazing Floating on an Emerald Green Sea is a little bit folky and a bit African, but there are all sorts of other elements in there as well. It’s one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion. Our percussionist Fabian Hevia has excelled himself again with Indigo. It’s short and sweet; no percussion or drums, and gets a distinctive tone from Fabian playing the Tres, the Cuban double-stringed guitar.’

‘With Permeate, we’re in Indian territory. Sandy Evans gave me a recording of an Indian wedding band which blew my mind. A mad tune entered my head; far more complex than anything I usually write. This is the first time I’ve written a tune for the band without myself on the bass. I wanted to keep the texture light and spacious. Everyone applied themselves with great dedication to making this difficult piece sound anything but, and I’m so delighted with how it turned out. Another hard-to-pin-down catholics hybrid is born!’

‘Mr Crocodile comes from Phillip Johnston, a highly-accomplished composer, bandleader and saxophonist from the US who now lives in Sydney. I first heard Mr Crocodile played by his group Big Trouble, and thought it was perfect for The catholics with its Jamaican Rocksteady beat evolving into a crazed Rhumba. Sleepout starts as an old time blues with a touch of gospel to it, but elevates up to an Afro Cuban plateau. I think both solos, by James Greening on trombone, and Jon Pease on guitar, are classics.’
‘Doin’ the Darwin Walk is the album’s epic. The whole thing grew from the bass line you hear in the Afrobeat groove section, the Tony Allan special. Hamish Stuart just nails that groove. God knows what inspired me to nudge the tune towards its psychedelic Ethiopian final section, but I love what the band does on it,’ says Lloyd Swanton ‘It’s a brilliant climax to the album, like some fearsome storm breaking over everyone’s heads.’

‘Arguably the pick of their catalogue’, Rythms Magazine

‘This is what I’d consider a near-perfect jazz album… so clever yet simple…you really just want Yonder to go on and on, like the baked country roads in their cover shot’,
Sydney Morning Herald


The catholics are:

Lloyd Swanton acoustic bass
Gary Daley piano accordion
Sandy Evans soprano and tenor saxophone
James Greening  trombone, pocket trumpet
Fabian Hevia percussion, tres
Jon Pease electric and acoustic guitar
Hamish Stuart drums.

Yonder is produced by Lloyd Swanton.