Tag Archives: CD reviews



Kristin Berardi vocals; Aaron Flower guitar; Steven Barry piano; Brendan Clarke contrabass; Evan Mannell drums & cymbals; David Theak, Murray Jackson, Richard Maegraith, Matt Keegan, Nick Bowd saxophones, clarinet & flute; Simon Sweeney, Angus Gomm, Simon Ferenci, Andy Fiddes trumpets; Jeremy Borthwick, Dave Panichi, Lucian McGuiness, Justin Kearin trombones

Kristin Berardi Meets the JMO

4 stars

IT is testimony to the talents of six arrangers, 17 Mothership musicians and vocalist Berardi that her compositions are rendered so sensitively.

Under saxophonist David Theak’s direction the ensemble displays such subtlety, exquisite control and empathy that Berardi’s evocative and finely crafted vocals are given vital space.

The soloist is able to weave with fluidity and agility between layers of instrumentation, the sensibility and insight of her lyrics — exemplified in Ode to Oli and The Old Fashioned Way — never lost despite the ensemble’s size.

And vocal solos are not the only attraction of this outing. Given the improvisational room, Mothership players deliver in spades.

Download: Ode to Oli, Mr Jackson

File between: Mace Francis Orchestra, Johannes Luebbers Dectet


This review also appeared in the Play liftout of the Sunday Herald Sun on October 2, 2011

Kristin Berardi

Kristin Berardi with the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra at Stonnington Jazz 2011



When the sky cries rainbows

4.5 stars

IF you buy one jazz album this year, it should be this. Inspirational Sydney saxophonist Sandy Evans has had since 1996 to compose her response to her musician husband Tony Gorman’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis.

Taking the rainbow as a symbol of finding hope in suffering, Evans has created a musical journey that evokes life’s myriad hues and states of mind.

From the wistful, yet sprightly title track, through Heedrum-hodrum headbanging’s irrepressible complaint and the grim humour of Alexander’s Dark Band to the trumpet lament of Broken and blessed relief of Indigo Hues, Evans and her brilliant ensemble tell a story that is surely best experienced as a whole, with no distractions.

It exudes love.

Download: Spectre, Broken, Indigo Hues

File between: Allan Browne Quintet, Stu Hunter


This review also appeared in the Play section of the Sunday Herald Sun on September 18, 2001.



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.