Tag Archives: Alex Masso




3.5 stars

THE Vampires’ debut album, South Coasting, was a horn-lover’s feast, with Jeremy Rose (alto sax) and Nick Garbett (trumpet) jousting and joining delightfully and guest Shannon Barnett (trombone) adding warmth and depth on five of 11 tracks.

Chellowdene has a lighter, brighter feel, with Barnett sitting in on only two of nine Rose and Garbett originals.

Alex Masso stays on drums, Alex Boneham replaces Mike Majkowski on double bass and Fabian Hevia provides percussion.

Latin, salsa and reggae influences help lift the spirits and rich horn harmonies are balm for the soul. Lovers of soulful lament can find it in Red Head and Balkan Dance.

The Vampires’ melodic horns are tasty, but let’s hear more meat from Barnett’s ‘bone.

Download: I Saw Blue Then White
CD launch: Sept 12, 9pm, Bennetts Lane (with assistance from Melbourne Jazz Cooperative)


Review published in Sunday Herald Sun on September 5, 2010

South Coasting — The Vampires



WHAT a pity these four young musicians, who’ve been together for three years in Sydney, do not make it often to Melbourne, where this debut album was recorded in 2007. (They did make it to the Melbourne International Jazz Festival.)

Shannon Barnett is a guest on five tracks, but the keys to this collection of originals are the interplays between main composers Nick Garbett (trumpet) and Jeremy Rose (alto saxophone) and, more subtly, the rhythm team of Mike Majkowski (double bass) and Alex Masso (drums).

The horns grab the limelight, intuitively in accord and, as often, fencing with each other in dances that excite, provoke and soothe.
The Beating Sun features extended solos and wailing harmonies, while gritty attacks make up the fiery Vampires Vamp Sesh ’06. South Coasting has a hint of reggae and Melting River builds from a beautiful melody.

This enjoyable debut delights in horn players adept in celebrating their instruments’ potential.

In short: Sink your teeth into these Vampires.