John Hardaker

John Hardaker is a musician and writer who also posts regularly at his site https://wordsaboutmusic.wordpress.com/.

John Hardaker is a musician and writer who also posts regularly at his site https://wordsaboutmusic.wordpress.com/.

Album review: Wave Rider (Andrea Keller Quartet) by John Hardaker

Wave Rider CD cover

In his liner notes (notes worth the price of admission in themselves), NYC based pianist Barney McAll – no slouch in the ‘daring’ department himself – says, ‘(Keller) has been blending memories, sonic pictures, Bartók, Shorter and an immaculate classical technique to ensure her trajectory could never disappoint. Andrea is a serious inventor.’

Album review: ade ishs Trio (ade ishs Trio) by John Hardaker

ade ishs Trio cover | photo by M. Giry Prasetya (Vibes of Lights Photography, Perth, Australia)

Being a visual person, images often swim though my head while listening to music. This image appealed instantly as a perfect expression of the Trio’s music and especially of ishs’ playing – calm and settled on the surface, held in place by a spiritual gravity, its smooth face belieing the many cross currents interweaving and shaping the dark waters below.

Album review: Tiro (The Vampires) by John Hardaker

on ‘Brother Sykes’ – The band play around each other here, as if conversing, exchanging their grief – the feeling is one of a wake, funereal and puffed-out. It is a nod to the complete musicianship of Alex Boneham that the bass dominates here, expressing so much in answer to the gray-blues and watery mauves thrown at him by Rose and Garbett. All seems to happen underwater, beneath a heavy lid of mortality.

Gig review: Sean Coffin Sextet by John Hardaker

Sean Coffin

Sean Coffin’s tenor tone and approach fits the music perfectly. In his sound there are distinct echoes and cries from jazz history – the blues is prominent if abstracted – yet the same imagination that elevates his arrangements carries through to surprise us in his solos. Funky as fuck in ‘Booga Dunny’ (get it? ‘I’m a funny cat’, says SC), a soul-jazz boogaloo, he also plays a ballad such as ‘Quiet Thoughts’ with great depth – the coda cadenza was a composition in itself. His horn can bite but it can also kiss.