Congratulations to Luke Howard and Janos Bruneel for winning 'Best Jazz Song of the Year' at the 2012 Bell Awards for 'Spir' from their album Open Road.
Congratulations to Christopher Hale for winning the 2012 MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Jazz. Full Details
As its name implies, ‘Solo’ is Leonard’s first release focusing on his own performance and writing.
“I recorded ‘Solo’ at the legendary Rainbow Studio’s in Oslo,” says Leonard. ’It was truly a privilege to work in this amazing space but also with an engineer who was part of some of the greatest recordings in musical history. What seemed like a potentially daunting experience turned out to be exactly the opposite. I felt totally supported by, and at ease with the great Jan Erik Kongshaug. It was a calm and creatively satisfying experience.”
The CD features four pieces composed by Leonard: 'Sarabande and Gigue' are the first two solo pieces composed by Leonard. They are based on baroque forms and are influenced by the Bach Lute Suites. 'Blues for Ralph' is an homage to one of his all-time musical heroes Ralph Towner, while 'Possibly, Maybe' was inspired by the anticipation and excitement of going to Norway to record the album, juxtaposed by the uncertainty of what was to come. Leonard has also recorded his favourite Ralph Towner piece, The Reluctant Bride: “For a classical guitarist, Towner’s work is a link to the world of improvisation.”
The remainder of the album is music from South America by Villa-Lobos, Barrios and Gnattali: “While maintaining a classical sensibility, South American music blends contemporary harmonies and rhythms in a way I find inspiring.”
Luke Howard Trio
Recorded at Oslo’s RainbowStudio with legendary engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, A Dove, A Lion, A Coast, A Pirate features works by both leader/pianist Luke Howard and bassist Jonathan Zion (Anton Delecca Quartet, Lior, Ian Moss). Joined by drummer Daniel Farrugia (Tin Pan Orange, Julia Stone, Magnolia), the trio’s minimalist aesthetic blends elements of improvised and popular music.
“The new disc is very reflective and introspective,” says Luke, “and the particular sound created by Jan Erik in this studio suits our music perfectly. The ambience of the piano is particularly beautiful and sparse”.
This recording has the unique qualities of clarity, warmth and refinement particular to so many of the classic European jazz releases on the ECM label of the past 40 years, many of which were recorded at RainbowStudio. These are the same qualities heard on Howard’s award-winning release Open Road (the track Spir won ‘Australian Jazz Song of the Year’ at the 2012 Bell Awards).
“The tunes were inspired by world events, infatuation and quiet places,” says Luke, “but they quickly take on a life and character of their own, beyond their starting point”. Luke and Jonathan’s compositions have the intangible quality of sounding immediately familiar. Their reflective and introspective nature belies a deeper harmonic structure.
Tony Gould & Peter Petrucci
The Journey Home is a landmark album in the relationship between friends who are also two of Australia's finest musicians - pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci.
Marking 25 years of musical collaboration, this stunning album of largely original compositions reflects the deep-seated admiration these two artists have for each other.
Of this, their third duo album, Peter says: "Due to the mutual respect and empathy to the process of music making and each other, Tony and I have gone on yet another journey in the pursuit of creating something new and unique for us as performers and for the listener. Instinct plays a big part in capturing the spirit of spontaneous music-making. The end result I feel is less predictable and more personal in that we connect more with the soul of the music itself."
"We think this project has special significance for the focus on new original compositions, a number of which have 'orchestral' accompaniment via keyboard. The combination of piano and guitar has a few precedents, most notably the duo of the great Bill Evans and Jim Hall," adds Tony. "Both understood the issues of two 'chorded' instruments playing together, but not getting in each other's way. The way to do that is not to play unless it is important to the music; a lesson most of us learn only after having been around a while and realised that mere notes should never get in the way of good improvised composition."
The Seasons, a twelve-movement composition written for solo piano by the iconic Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, has been arranged for two guitars by Slava and Leonard's father Edward Grigoryan. The new CD includes the complete The Seasons, with its movements characterising the twelve months of the year. These mini-melodic showpieces were written around the time Tchaikovsky was composing the ballet Swan Lake and were commissioned to be printed as monthly installments for readers of the music magazine Nouvellist in 1876.
Joe Chindamo & Zoe Black - 'Reimaginings'.
Australian born of French and American parents, Daniel Gassin has a unique cultural heritage, the influences of which can readily be heard in his sextet's debut album. The first thing that strikes the listener about this self-titled first release is the energy. Whilst it was recorded in the oft-sterile surrounds of a studio, it has the freshness and drive usually reserved for ‘live’ recordings. The ensemble playing is tight and powerful and gives voice to the compositional skills of the leader
This achingly beautiful performance is enhanced by the astounding quality of the recording - Howard's subtle and delicate touch is wrapped in the embrace of Bruneel's bass. Every minute nuance is evident.