14 Little Creatures — Stephen Magnusson


(ABC Jazz/Universal)

LIKE bushwalking boots, album titles can come to fit perfectly over time. But the aptness of Magnusson’s collective name for these 14 solo guitar “little creatures” is immediately apparent. Released to play, they get up to all sorts of mischief, with delightful results.

Most pieces — 10 of them Magnusson compositions — are brief. His nylon-string guitar seems to have no limits: Cape Fear is a film score arranged for solo guitar, Black Hole Sun reworks a heavy rock Soundgarden song.

Bee is delicately reflective and, Magnusson writes, “depicts the fragility of our time here”. Streets of Forbes adds reverb in a thoughtful musing on the life of bushranger Ben Hall. Dark Havens is a brooding, intense, slow journey into the darkness Magnusson says he loves.

This quality solo contribution accompanies other recent fine albums by Scott Tinkler (trumpet) and Colin Hopkins (piano).

In short: Pull strings to catch these creature comforts


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