Tag Archives: Anthony Baker



Ready to tour: Origami (Image supplied)


Origami is touring this month to support the release of two new CDs, Karaoke and The Usefulness of Art.

The line-up: Adam Simmons alto sax and bass clarinet, Howard Cairns double bass, Hugh Harvey drums (Anthony Baker played drums on the albums)

This tour and these two albums are a must not to miss, not only because of the music, but also to view the wonder of the hand-folded album covers that have become the hallmark of this trio. These are bound to be collector’s items — if you can get one.

Anyone who has heard Origami’s earlier album The Blues of Joy will know that the band is capable of enfolding the listener in music that is accessible as well as beautiful, while at other times daring to unfold our preconceptions and take us down pathways that are not as familiar.

I am sorry to have to miss the Melbourne launch of The Usefulness of Art, but I highly recommend this collection of compositions, which gives voice to Simmons’ feelings at a time when the arts are not always considered too important in our society. In particular, this album is apposite given the recent cut to funding of the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative.

I had the privilege of sitting in at the recording session for this album. Don’t miss it. As for Karaoke, who can resist? Go on, you know you love it. This is Origami’s take on some songs that are well known.

The Origami tour dates and places are listed below:

Melbourne Mon 11 March. Musica @ La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton 7:30pm
Ballarat Sun 17 March. L’espresso, 417 Sturt St 8pm
Canberra Mon 18 March, The Front Gallery & Cafe, Shop 3, 1 Wattle Pl, Lyneham 7:30pm
Newcastle Tue 19 March, The Grand Hotel (presented by NIMA), cnr Church & Bolton streets 7:30pm
Sydney Thu 21 March, Colbourne Ave, cnr Colbourne Ave and St Johns Rd, Glebe 8pm
Canberra Fri 22 March, The Village Festival, Glebe Pk – http://www.thevillagefestival.com.au time TBC
Paraparap Sun 24 March, Wolseley Winery, 1790 Hendy Main Rd, Paraparap 3pm
Melbourne Thu 28 March, Melbourne Recital Centre, 31 Sturt St, Southbank 7pm

Here’s some background provided by the band:

Origami is the most recent of Adam Simmons’ various projects, which include the Adam Simmons Quartet, New Blood, Collider, La Société des Antipodes and the renowned Adam Simmons Toy Band. He has contributed to numerous ensembles and recordings over many years, including in recent times: Gotye, Tania Bosak, John McAll’s Black Money, Kutcha Edwards, bucketrider and many others.

Howard Cairns , a band leader in his own right as well as a pivotal member of Way Out West, brings a beautifully gentle strength in his bass playing that helps to define the sound of Origami. Founding drummer, Anthony Baker, has unfortunately withdrawn from regular duties with Origami , but the incoming Hugh Harvey complements the trio’s sound with ease, bringing his own exuberant style to the group.

Peter Wockner in Limelight Magazine, 2012, writes:

Simmons has been on the Melbourne scene since the 1990s, but this could be his defining moment. Origami, with masterly technique, embraces some of the most vital aspects of jazz tradition and yet has an utterly contemporary relevance. Swing, groove, interplay, self-expression, and in the example of past masters such as Rollins, has embraced pop without compromising artistic integrity.

Karaoke (2013) and The Usefulness of Art (2013) are distributed nationally by Trailblazer Records – contact Richard Fields, (03) 9510 1435
For physical and/or digital sales, (inc. 24bit, 96Khz quality) visit Fatrain



Eighth reason


8. Origami IS SIMPLE. OR IS IT?

Media coverage of festivals often gives emphasis to overseas drawcards, which is understandable given that these artists are not usually on the musical menu at Australian venues.

But festivals are also an excellent opportunity for patrons to discover how much our local musicians — many with extensive overseas experience — have to offer.

Saxophonist Adam Simmons’ trio Origami, with Howard Cairns on bass and Anthony Baker on drums, is another highlight that I’d highly recommend not be missed at this year’s Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival.

Last year this trio released a superb debut album The Blues of Joy. Recently the band was back in the studio, so there are more recordings on the way.

Inspired by the Japanese art of folding paper, this trio works from a simple beginning to create pieces of great complexity and beauty.

Simmons is quoted on the festival website as saying, “Whether it is the stripped back instrumentation or the musical compositions, the idea has been to focus on limited materials and expand from there.

“My original idea was to form a ‘fierce alto trio’, full of strength, bravado and power – but partly due to choosing the friendliest rhythm section in Melbourne, as well as composing a whole bunch of gentle tunes, the reality became something quite different. It is still strong, due to the individual voices of each musician and their vast experience, but it is a gentle strength, without having anything to prove.

“At Wangaratta, we will perform original music from the CD, The Blues of Joy. And there will be music from a forthcoming CD, which will feature the songs by well-known (and not so well-known) contemporary artists such as Nick Cave, Gotye, Colin Hay and others.”

Simmons cites his musical influences as Ornette Coleman’s trio, and  alto sax players such as Maceo Parker, Johnny Hodges, Ian Chaplin, Tim O’Dwyer and Anthony Braxton.

Performance: Sunday, November 4 at 2pm, St Patrick’s Hall




Origami — The Blues of Joy

4 stars

Listen/Hear Collective

The hand-folded CD case is ingenious, but as the music unfolds it is clear this trio is thinking outside the box.

For this outing of mostly his originals, Adam Simmons uncharacteristically limits himself to alto sax, taking obvious delight in its versatility.

Howard Cairns
, on bowed as well as plucked bass, and Anthony Baker on drums are equally moved to celebrate their instruments’ timbre and dynamics.

Don’t be lulled by the dreamy, slow openers, or the title track’s playful verve.

The grit comes in darkly tense Chimera, with growling bowed bass and protesting sax, and the restless, edgy Morse Code.

Jitters is carefree before a minor maelstrom, Chasing Cars revels in unhurried spaces.

Origami’s debut discloses many layers of intensity.

Download: Chimera, Morse Code

File between: Tom Christensen, Sandy Evans


This review also appeared in the Play liftout of Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun on October 16, 2011.