Trust Rattle to find the gems. Well, I do. Utterly. For a quarter-century or so now a small team has been creating CD-artworks (yes, the format is dying, dead – but they breathe life through commitment to liner notes, design, the idea of creating the artefact) and yet this could only matter if there was music to match. And there is. Frequently. Jazz, classical, and New Zealand folk and art music, that’s the Rattle way. And so here with Antipodes, a band of talented jazzers (Callum Allardice, Luke Sweeting, Ken Allars, Max Alduca, Aidan Lowe and Jake Baxendale) from across Australia and New Zealand (as the name suggests) we have a set of stately compositions, piece that came from four of the members of the group; all originals.
Baxendale, Allardice, Sweeting and Alduca paint with broad brushstrokes, creating jazz that might begin minimally, but ends in a widescreen treatment – from breathy trumpets and saxes that come from the European free and minimalist traditions through to moments where it’s the piano that is stating the theme and guiding the way or where the guitar is providing the key textures.
Good Winter collects eight thoughtful compositions by six talented players.
Perhaps oddly, that’s almost all I’d want to say. Because this is music that you should discover – hear the way Allars’ trumpet soars over a nearly strident Sweeting piano line, Lowe crashing down on cymbals all around – the result like something Chick Corea and Steve Gadd’s bands might have had us hear. Check out Baxendale’s sweet and soothing saxophone statements, Allardice’s way with a guitar line – where he’s referencing the greats without ever sounding like he’s copying anyone.
This is music that lives and breathes and dreams. And provides a soundtrack for the listen to do much the same. Music to get lost in.
You almost hear it enveloping you. Certainly you can feel the warmth from these tunes, these players, these arrangements, this collection of compositions. It’s a world-class effort. Some of the finest fresh jazz ideas I’ve heard in some time.
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