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.
Multi-instrumentalist Paul Cutlan has always had a spiritual halo around his 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.
In fact, on the band’s debut, Theseus and the Minotaur, Kirkwood has taken on a hell of an idea: the Greek legend of Theseus and his battle to the death with King Minos’ monstrous cannibal creature, the Minotaur. The band tell the story over five linked pieces, with narration by Ketan Joshi.
Sydney tenor giant James Ryan – as well as being a startling instrumentalist – is a truly gifted and, in a world where the word has been buffed clean of all its edge, a truly creative composer and arranger. He recently arranged a selection of Ray Charles tunes for his powerhouse big band, The Sonic Mayhem Orchestra, a collection of Sydney’s best and brightest and that rare bird: a large ensemble bristling with astonishing soloists that play as an ensemble, as one.
Gest8 perform Tony Gorman’s piece ‘The Emperor’s Old Clothes’, at the SIMA Sound Lounge in Sydney in 2008. Featuring Sandy Evans on soprano saxophone, Phil Slater on trumpet, Carl Dewhurst on guitar, Steve Elphick on bass, Paul Cutlan on bass clarinet, Satsuki Odamura on koto, and Greg White on computers and electronics.
Photo © Cyberhalides Jazz Review by Arne Sjostedt | Like going on a sailing journey into the night – there were ports to see and opportunities to view the stars, both from the calm vantage of open clear water, and smack bang in the middle of a hailstorm of ideas…