The Voyage of Mary and William is Matt McMahon’s first recording of solo piano improvisation. In his illuminating liner notes to the CD, he describes the piano – a machine of wood, ivory and wire he remains obviously still smitten by – as ‘this wondrous invention’. The same descriptor could be applied to The Voyage of Mary and William. It is all invention and, yes, it is pretty bloody wondrous.
Outliers (Scrampion Records SCRAMP002) Casey Golden Trio Review by John Hardaker Outliers will be launched on Thursday 5 February 2015 at Venue 505, Sydney In many ways, the piano trio is to Jazz what drawing is to Art. It is the basic frame upon which much of the bigger colourful stuff is hung. It is …
…beautifully composed, played, conceived, and recorded … but all that fades away when the magic comes out. And it is the magic here that stops time, puts you in that special place of sunlit pleasure (or moonlit dreaming) and fills you up like food, or wine. Or love.
The Life Electric is of its time but is also of the tradition of jazz. PW Farrell has caught the balance of both deftly – not an easy thing to do: too many have failed by tipping too far one way or another.
And what a band – all Hunter cohorts from many a gig, all entirely familiar with his body of work and with these particular works; and all entirely in tune with the spirit that drives this remarkable music: Andrew Gander on drums, Matt McMahon on keys and Matt Keegan on tenor and soprano.
Few players – though brilliant on paper – could make something this good out of such freedom. Chops alone can’t do it – in fact chops often work in the opposite way. It is the subsuming of the ego and the meshing of consciousnesses that will get the players, and we the fortunate audience, there. And, here, The Hunters & Pointers do it every time.
What you can also hear is Daniel Susnjar’s easy dexterity and his knack of playing right inside the music.
Trombonist James Greening has always been one of our most joyful and joyous players. His very choice of instrument is joyful – the whinnying, hallelujah-ing of the trombone and the jovial flatulence of the sousaphone just bring a grin to your soul.
Swailing is as free as This is Always is restricted; it is as open as the quartet recording is closed. Swailing is the magpie, picking from electric Miles, Massenet and Fats; This is Always is the osprey, its eye fixed on the one prize.
And both are deliriously beautiful for all of these qualities and more.
‘…The Acronym Orchestra and many of their contemporaries joyfully celebrate and integrate and build upon the musical language of, and beyond, the jazz tradition – blues, gospel, jump, New Orleans, and even further back to Africa and the Middle East and both West and Eastern Europe.’