Overall I really enjoyed this album. Soloists such as Archer, Fagan, Wilson, Byth and Parsons all stood out to me in a big way which both compliments their own playing but also Murray’s excellent writing to highlight these players personal character.
Sarah McDonald approaches her material with a tomboyish attitude, phrasing the classic jazz and obscure torch songs that comprise her set list with a punk sensitivity and a kind of modern-day angst delivered by this beautiful, soulful chili-infused chocolate voice of hers.
LIVE MAYHEM is more than a document of the toughness and smart writing of James Ryan’s Sonic Mayhem Orchestra. Like all truly worthwhile live albums it stands on its own as a valid document of this unique ensemble.
This collection of songs retains some true grit and jazz light and shade, yet steers clear of the miasmic mists that afflict the jazz vocal recordings at the other end of the spectrum.
One of the aspects I have always enjoyed in Wilson’s music is his impressionistic side – even though a player who resonates with the deep history of the art form, he never baulks at going where the music takes him, whether an un-jazz place or not.
” This year’s Festival program was put together smartly by Jazzgroove to get all the flavours of jazz rubbing up against each other and to pleasantly jolt by contrast.”
Phil Treloar takes it from there, his playing a way to clarify things, put them in order and into perspective.
It is a delight to hear Jeremy Rose back in the arms of (almost) straight-ahead Jazz – an added delight is to hear him rocking so sweet and heavy in those arms.
“Theirs is one of the rare examples of a tight-knit group of people that have achieved a remarkable level of intense communication, creating a compact sound of extreme density – which is highlighted even more, when they let themselves loose”.
In a programme that allowed her to showcase the potential of the New Palm Court Orchestra through an eclectic blend of styles, Gemma Turvey offered the audience a unique musical and emotional experience.