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Album arrow Daniel Gassin Sextet

Daniel Gassin Sextet

Price (piece): AUD $25.00 (includes 10% tax)



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.   

The really great thing about this album, though, is that the tightness of the band does not come at the expense of each individual performer.  "I think this is part of the meeting in this music between French and American jazz styles", comments Daniel.  "In modern French jazz, improvisational possibilities can sometimes become mired in notated sections, which, however interesting, can have a tendency to be overly complex and therefore restrictive.  In this album I've tried to balance writing interesting notated sections with the competing imperative of retaining openness for the improviser and the music as a whole."  The sole Australian to reach the finals of the 2007 Bosendorfer Jazz Solo Piano Competition at the iconic Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Gassin confirms that some of the pieces on the album were directly inspired by time spent abroad.  "'Roundtrip' was written in Paris after a brief sojourn in the Netherlands, whereas 'McDaniel Avenue' and 'San Jose' draw from childhood experiences visiting my maternal grandparents in California."  Cultural influences aside, the most important thing about any music is that it says something.

The other members of the Daniel Gassin Sextet (according to Daniel):

Cam McAllister (trumpet/flugelhorn on tracks 5, 9 & 10) - A beautifully lyrical trumpet/flugelhorn player in the spirit of the tradition.  Arguably even better is his skill in arranging and composing (for example 'Roundtrip' which was arranged by Cam).  Of course, everyone has their faults - his backhand definitely needs work.

Pat Thiele (trumpet on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 & 8) - A harder-edged player - most noticeably influenced by modern Australian jazz trumpet heavyweight Scott Tinkler.  Aside from music, Pat also has a mastery of gourmet cooking, and expertise in (the drinking of) Shiraz, top-shelf scotch and Hendrick's gin.

Phil Noy (alto saxophone) - A real traditionalist with a beautiful sound (see for example his solo on 'Crossover').  A notably pure improviser (he only plays what he hears rather than resorting to 'licks') on an instrument which easily lends itself to overly scalic or pattern-type playing.  He also has a real passion for the sound of things (hi-fi, saxophones, cymbals) which really comes across in his approach on the bandstand and in the recording studio.

Anton Delecca (tenor saxophone/flute) - A killing tenor player who can really go to town on a set of chord changes when the music calls for it.  He has a great edgy sound on the album too (see for example his solo on 'Banff Song').  His need for regular mid-afternoon naps has earned him the nickname 'Nanton'."

Michael Story (double bass) - Kiwi bassist (nobody's perfect) with a rare combination of a beautiful sound but also a great groove and time feel.

Craig Simon (drums) - Good at almost everything he turns his hand to - especially the drums.  He has a fantastic intensity and drive to his playing.  Craig is also in the top five barristas in the country, so if you come to a Sextet gig, order a coffee during the break - he'll likely be working the machine, having already booted the bar staff off it.

Felipe Cornejo (bata drums on tracks 3 & 6) - The best "bata" percussionist in Melbourne. Definitely handier with percussion than with a Melways - once he found Daniel’s place for rehearsal, it was easy going from there.


Track Listing

New Song
Banff Song
McDaniel Avenue
What You Get is What You Get
San Jose

Listen to '78'