Tag Archives: Daniel Brates


Russell Holmes Trio

Karl Florrison on bass and Mike Perkins on drums in the Russell Holmes Trio.

GIG: Russell Holmes Trio, Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne, October 16, 2012, presented by Melbourne Jazz Cooperative

It’s not news that, when it comes to improvised music, good things happen in Perth. Lots of names come to mind, including the WA Academy of Performing Arts, Johannes Luebbers and Jamie Oehlers.

A week ago, exciting young pianist Tal Cohen was at Bennetts Lane with fellow Perth musicians Oehlers on tenor sax, Chris Tarr on drums and Pete Jeavons on bass, playing material from his album Yellow Sticker. I regret not having made it to this outing.

Russell Holmes plays Bennetts Lane.

Russell Holmes plays Bennetts Lane.

This week Melbourne has a chance in three gigs to hear from Russell Holmes on piano and keyboards, as well the talented young trio members Mike Perkins on drums and Karl Florrison on double bass.

The first outing, at the Lane, delighted an appreciative audience and confirmed again that what is happening out west is worth hearing.

Tonight, at Bar 303, the trio will open at 8pm before Stephen Magnusson and the Julien Wilson Quartet.

On Thursday he will play at Paris Cat along with his daughter Sarah Holmes, who plays bass and her compositions with The Outfit.

The Outfit is a Melbourne group playing songs about coffee, knitting and tumbleweeds. Band members are Daniel Brates on  drums, Diego Villalta on guitar, Rob Simone on saxophone and Louise Goh on vocals.

The Holmes family musical connection stretches way back. Russell’s father was a prominent Perth jazz guitarist and vocalist. Russell started playing as a toddler and has been playing piano for more than four decades.

Since 1989 Russell has lectured at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, specialising in theory and rhythm studies, harmony, arranging and individual tutoring in contemporary and jazz piano.

Karl Florrison

Karl Florrison

In two sets on Tuesday at the Lane, the Russell Holmes Trio served up some originals from its current released EP-length CD Restless, as well as a Troy Roberts arrangement of Bye Bye Blackbird and some Thelonious Monk.

Russell Holmes Trio

Mike Perkins on drums

There were some excellent solos, but what stood out on the night was that this trio is cohesive, well practised and brimful of energy. Lots of drive comes from Holmes on piano working extremely well with Perkins, who is constantly attentive and responsive. Florrison showed strength, warmth and space in his work.

I had previously heard only the Fire and Rain album featuring arrangements of James Taylor songs, on which Holmes has a different line-up. The music delivered by his latest trio was compelling, often powered by tension and with deeply embedded swing. This trio has plans to tour nationally and in Europe. It is a band confirming that it is definitely not all quiet on the western front.


Karl Florrison

Karl Florrison




Ausjazz was out of town for a week and missed some significant gigs:

MARK ISAACS TRIO — June 20, 2010

Sydney-based pianist/composer Mark Isaacs returned to Melbourne with a new trio collaboration with acoustic bassist Sam Anning and drummer Dave Beck.

EDELPLASTIK and THE OUTFIT — June 22, 2010

Daniel Brates, Sarah Holmes, Diego Villalta, Rob Simone, Liam McGorry and Louise Goh make up two bands playing sets of different original music.

The Outfit plays original, fun jazzy tunes inspired by everyday events in the life of bassist Sarah Holmes — songs about bicycles, Melbourne streets, a dodgy pancreas, coffee and a young man who looks like Jesus.

Edelplastik combines the qualities of late ’60s jazz and progressive music from the decades that follow, with compound time signatures and piquant harmonies.


Marc Hannaford (piano), Scott Tinkler (trumpet) and James McLean (drums) explore time, speed and structure in group improvisation.


Launch of album On A Clear Day, with Oehlers on tenor sax, Grabowsky on piano, Sam Anning on bass and Ben Vanderwal on drums. Grabowsky: “With this project, we have brought our personal approaches to line, harmony and rhythm to … standards, some very well-known and well-travelled, others perhaps less so.” Oehlers: These are tunes that we love, that mean something to us, that have inspired us to create this type of music throughout our lives. With my long-term friends and band members, Ben Vanderwal and Sam Anning joining us, this recorded music became joyful, inspiring, introspective and heartening.”

Thanks to Bennetts Lane website and the liner notes for On A Clear Day for the material above.