His sound is dark and it has a grain and an edge, except when he plays in a soft burble or croon. It can bark and crack with a brittle edge, yet all of it is done with tone, with timbre. His lines are full of invention, expressed in melody and in abstract shapes.
These quite young musicians are students of this music. They love it. They do take it seriously, but authenticity is attained by appearing not to take it seriously.
This album is both intellectual and exciting, earthy and ethereal. The sheer quality of the playing is overwhelming. I sincerely hope that Melbourne continues to embrace the tradition that has evolved around Browne and his disparate associates.
“Even at their softest, smokiest, most meditational or sensual this band keeps the form strong.”
John Shand’s feature on Bryce Rohde, ‘He is a pivotal figure in Australian jazz.’
No sooner had I filed the review of the Bernie McGann album Wending on this site than McGann’s closest musical associate John Pochée phoned me with the news that our great and dear friend had gone.
One of McGann’s great virtues is his ability to project feeling and indeed raw powerful emotion – and to stimulate the visual imagination – whether he is playing simple or complex lines.
Before we run out of space it must be emphasised that this is unusually beautiful music. But even in the most euphoric music you can, in a certain mood, feel a touch of melancholy. Surely it is just the realisation that no golden age lasts forever, nor any life…
It can all shimmer and ripple like an ambient cloud, underpinned by a deep oscillation from Zwartz’s bowed bass under trills and pings from Dewhurst’s guitar, before bursting forward with irresistible momentum.
‘The whole work was beautifully measured, finally showering us with brilliant sound and sensation. This was a triumph to be stored in memory…’