Tag Archives: Black Money



Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne, 8.30pm Sunday September 9, 2012: Black Money plays Alter Ego and James Carter launches After All

John McAll’s Black Money: David Rex (alto sax), Julien Wilson (tenor sax & bass clarinet), Jordan Murray (trombone), Philip Rex (bass) and Sam Bates (drums), plus a very special guest.

James Carter alto saxophone, Dan Sheehan piano, Christian Meyer guitar, special guest James Gilligan electric bass and Mariel Koroibulu vocals

John McAll

John McAll at the piano in Black Money, with Phillip Rex on bass.

Two gigs tonight will feature special guests. John McAll’s keeping the details close to his chest, but that’s to be expected because he does like a little intrigue. The Melbourne Jazz Co-operative brings us Black Money, and the band is sure to play Assassin from this McAll’s second album, Alter Ego. Sink back and imagine a plot or conspiracy being devised deep in an Arab bazaar. Cue Julien Wilson. As for the special guest, you are likely to have heard him (oops) and you will love his contribution. It’s not Prince, BTW.

In another room at Bennetts Lane the Melbourne Improvisers Collective presents alto saxophonist James Carter. Carter’s guest is James Gilligan on electric bass, filling in for James Christensen on double bass.

Alter Ego

Pianist John McAll’s first album as bandleader and composer was the eponymous Black Money, recorded in New York in 2007. It was a great success. More originals followed on his recent release Alter Ego. The band appeared at this year’s Stonnington Jazz Festival in May in a double bill with John’s brother Barney. That was a definite festival highlight.

After AllIf you decide to hear James Carter, make sure to stay to hear his moving Tenho saudades tuas (in Portuguese ‘I miss you’). The album After All, released on the Newmarket label, includes nine of Carter’s compositions.



John McAll on piano, Jordan Murray on trombone, Tim Wilson on flute and alto sax (David Rex broke his arm), Adam Simmons on reeds, Philip Rex on acoustic bass, David Jones on drums at Jazz on Ovens

I loved Black Money, John McAll’s first album as bandleader and composer, so I relaxed and enjoyed as the septet played tracks including Atlantis, I Should Care, Behind the Bushes (think sinister, think silly swaggering cowboy elements in America), Melbournology, the superb Glitter and Dust (“melancholy meets brilliant thoughts”) and Chick Corea’s Humpty Dumpty.

The audience loved it and queued to buy the album later. Shades of the wonderful Way Out West gig at Ovens the previous year.

I’m hoping there’ll be another album from the “lesser known McAll” soon, with this line-up or similar.

Pics to come


Black Money


THE name McAll is usually associated with New York-based pianist/composer Barney, but this is the first time his elder brother, John, pianist on 40-plus albums, has been bandleader and composer. The less-known McAll has waited a long time, but his breadth of experience shows in eight originals, each with a story to impart.

Imbued with dark references (Axe Dig Gun), black humour (Behind the Bushes), and elation/melancholy (Glitter and Dust), the music is immediately appealing and often upbeat (Garage Jazz, Boogie Dragon).

With him to record in New Jersey in 2007 were drums educator Tommy Igoe, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, expatriate bassist Matt Clohesy, and alto saxophonist David Rex. Overdubs last year in Melbourne featured Adam Simmons on bass clarinet and Jordan Murray on trombone.

McAll has tapped significant talent for a balanced, captivating ensemble. Highlights are Glitter and Dust and the one standard I Should Care.

Black Money is on the money.

The album was launched on Sunday afternoon, June 14, 2009, before an enthusiastic crowd at Bennetts Lane, Melbourne.