Fran Swinn guitar, Tamara Murphy double bass, Ben Hendry drums

Every Dog

3 stars

GUITARIST Fran Swinn knows about agility and fine balance, having composed for circus aerialist Rocky Stone at this year’s APRA Commission Concert for the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival.

Every Dog is less risky, but delivers indie rock-influenced jazz with poise and skill. Ably backed by Tamara Murphy (double bass) and Ben Hendry (drums), each of whom contributes an original piece, Swinn is deft, subtle and often elegantly simple, not being given to unnecessary flourish.

She tugs at and stretches the familiar melody of Paul Simon’s Cecilia, and in six of her compositions leaves plenty of space for strong, contained playing by Murphy and Hendry.

Yet the listener is always drawn to the guitar notes, whether lurking quietly on the side, picking out a simple melody or indulging in an occasional foray into the gravelly or guttural.

File between: James Muller, Toby Wren

Download: Für Oigen, 800 Shades of Grey


This review also published in the Play liftout of Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun on August 21, 2011.

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