Tag Archives: Luke Howard Trio


Shannon Barnett

Shannon Barnett at WPAC Hall at Wangaratta Jazz and Blues Festival 2013.

In a rare change to the MJC’s advertised program, New York-based trombonist Shannon Barnett will play at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club tonight with guitarist Steve Magnusson (first set) and in a quartet playing compositions from her album Country.

Scott Tinkler‘s scheduled performance with Magnusson and Erkki Veltheim has been postponed due to doctor’s orders (nothing major, fortunately).

In the other room at Bennetts, students from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music at Monash University will give their final recitals from 6.30pm.

On Sunday, November 17th, the co-operative has another change to its printed program, with the double bill of Luke Howard Trio / Nat Bartsch Trio moving to November 26 (courtesy of the gracious Sam Keevers Trio moving to 2014) so that Aaron Choulai can play before his return to Japan.

Shannon Barnett

Shannon Barnett at Wang 2013

The new program notes, supplied by Martin Jackson, are as follows:

Steve Magnusson

Steve Magnusson plays Wangaratta Jazz 2013


Recipient of the 2007 Young Australian Jazz Artist of the year at the Australian Bell Awards, trombonist and composer Shannon Barnett returned to Australia for performances at the Wangaratta Festival and Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival before heading back to New York City where she is studying for her master’s degree. Since moving to New York she has studied composition with John Abercrombie, trombone with John Fedchock and has performed with the likes of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, the Birdland Big Band, Cyrille Aimée and the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York.
In an opening set, Barnett will perform in an exploratory duo with Stephen Magnusson (guitar). The second set will see her perform originals from her debut album, Country, with Nash Lee (guitar), Chris Hale (bass), and Chris Port (Drums).

Sunday, November 17, 8.30pm: AARON CHOULAI QUINTET (Tokyo/Melbourne) – Premiere

At the age of 31, award winning and critically acclaimed pianist/composer Aaron Choulai has already achieved a impressive amount in his career. From small band jazz recordings in New York for Sunnyside records to large scale multi-media cross-cultural festival commissions, the pianist’s work is as wide and varied as it is explorative and adventurous. As a side man, Choulai has worked as musical director and arranger for Kate Ceberano, the Melbourne Festival commission ‘Black Arm Band’ and has performed with a wide variety of musicians from Ben Monder and Clarence Penn in the U.S. to the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra and Archie Roach. As a band leader and composer, Choulai’s most celebrated work is a collaboration between Melbourne based outfit ‘VADA’ and a choir from his home town in Papua New Guinea, which was commissioned by the Queensland music festival in 2007.
Based in Japan at the Tokyo College of the Arts as a composer and a researcher since late 2008, on this brief visit to Melbourne, Choulai will perform with long time friends and collaborators Carlo Barbaro (tenor saxophone), Jordan Murray (trombone), Tom Lee (bass), and Rory MacDougall (drums). The quintet will mainly play new material from Choulai, as well as one or two jazz standards.
“In essence, Choulai is a meticulous technician via a richly lyrical, yet often animated type of delivery” – Glenn Astarita, JazzReview.com
“Aaron Choulai is writing is as alluring as it is adventurous and his feisty ensemble conjured fabulous melodies and propulsive grooves like rabbits out of a hat” – Jessica Nicholas, The Age

Tuesday, November 26, 8.30pm: LUKE HOWARD TRIO & NAT BARTSCH TRIO

Over the past few years, pianists Luke Howard and Nat Bartsch have both cultivated a distinctive piano trio sound; focusing on tonal, contemporary, ambient composition and improvisation. Their respective 2013 album releases A Dove, a Lion, a Coast, a Pirate, and To Sail, To Sing are both widely acclaimed. With shared musical values and mutual admiration, they are now teaming up to direct a new series of concerts entitled the Festival of Beautiful Sound. To mark the beginning of this new collaboration, Bartsch and Howard’s trios will perform each other’s compositions in a unique concert. Luke Howard Trio features Jonathan Zion (bass) and Daniel Farrugia (drums), while the Nat Bartsch Trio comprises Tom Lee (bass) and Daniel Farrugia (drums). See http://www.natbartsch.com & http://www.lukehoward.com.


ROGER MITCHELL picks his favourite albums for the year

A top 10 is a little like a star rating — how can diverse albums be assessed against each other according to some sort of merit test? But I’ve been happy over the past few years to prepare such a list for the Sunday Herald Sun‘s Play liftout because it is another way for people to hear about albums they may like to buy and enjoy. Reviewers were given 15 words in which to describe each album. I chose from albums I’d reviewed during the year, so there are many good albums not considered because I did not manage to review them. The main test I applied for this top 10 was to ask myself which albums I had played most since writing the review.

Joe Chindamo

1 Joe Chindamo
Another Place, Some Other Time
Interpretations of Coen brothers film music vie with the originals in their power to move.

Mike Nock Trio

2 Mike Nock Trio
An Accumulation Of Subtleties
Double CD of studio and live sessions is an accumulation of creativity, spontaneity and vibrancy.

Dark Eyes

3 Tomasz Stanko Quintet
Dark Eyes
Polish trumpeter Stanko’s sublimely mournful playing is a brooding presence on his simple, moving compositions.

The Gathering

4 Stu Hunter
The Gathering
Pianist/composer Stu Hunter’s imaginative, compelling second suite is more enthralling and engrossing than his first.

The Effects of Weather

5 Way Out West
The Effects Of Weather
Asian themes seamlessly mesh with jazz grooves, building stories through complex rhythms and horn overlays.

Newell Waltz

6 Howard Cairns Quintet
Newell Waltz
Luxuriant harmonies mingle with melodies and timbres to create moods variously dark, spirited and humorous.

Boggy Creek Bop

7 Snap
Boggy Creek Bop
Reed-only quartet offers many moods and styles, proving you can never have too much sax.

Une Saison en Enfer

8 Allan Browne Quintet
Une Saison En Enfer
Rimbaud’s poem inspires harmonically rich, darkly beautiful pieces with dreamy musing, wistful longing and majesty.


9 Jex Saarelaht Quartet
Standout Stonnington Jazz concert brilliantly captured is testament to the quality of pianist Saarelaht’s quartet.


10 Luke Howard Trio
The Meadowlands
Sensitive bass and drums accompaniment allows the piano’s lyrical, crystalline beauty to shine. forth.


The Meadowlands

Luke Howard Trio's The Meadowlands


4 stars

THIS trio’s inaugural album allows space for the lyrical, chrystalline beauty of the piano to shine forth. So sensitive is the accompaniment by Jonathan Zion (acoustic bass) and Daniel Farrugia (drums) to the clarity of Howard‘s playing that this could almost be a solo piano outing. It is not, of course.

In 12 pieces by Howard (FGHR, Michael Story Trio) and Zion, with Flametop Green by Daniel Lanois, bass and drums are integral to the piano’s intent, whether in the solemnity of Desertion or the free-flowing, almost rollicking Theme from an Untitled (and Possibly Foreign) Film.

Howard often conveys serenity and introspection. In Spring there is skipping energy and in the title track there is spare stillness. It’s time spent in another world.

Download: Desertion, NADP
CD launch: Oct 27, Melb. Recital Centre, 7pm