Tag Archives: Sunday Herald Sun




3.5 stars

THE Vampires’ debut album, South Coasting, was a horn-lover’s feast, with Jeremy Rose (alto sax) and Nick Garbett (trumpet) jousting and joining delightfully and guest Shannon Barnett (trombone) adding warmth and depth on five of 11 tracks.

Chellowdene has a lighter, brighter feel, with Barnett sitting in on only two of nine Rose and Garbett originals.

Alex Masso stays on drums, Alex Boneham replaces Mike Majkowski on double bass and Fabian Hevia provides percussion.

Latin, salsa and reggae influences help lift the spirits and rich horn harmonies are balm for the soul. Lovers of soulful lament can find it in Red Head and Balkan Dance.

The Vampires’ melodic horns are tasty, but let’s hear more meat from Barnett’s ‘bone.

Download: I Saw Blue Then White
CD launch: Sept 12, 9pm, Bennetts Lane (with assistance from Melbourne Jazz Cooperative)


Review published in Sunday Herald Sun on September 5, 2010



Mike Nock Trio

4 stars

AN accumulation of creativity, spontaneity and vibrancy, this double CD is the deeply satisfying result of a Sydney Opera House Studio session and a weekend live at Sydney’s Sound Lounge, both recorded in 2008.

With no agenda in the studio “except to allow the music to come through”, Mike Nock on piano, Ben Waples on double bass and brother James on drums, converse with compelling clarity and understanding that taps the source of great art. Notes in Joyous Awakening hang suspended, their beauty in simplicity and gentle dissonance. The fragmentary Rite of Passage evokes the birth of music as if from a primeval swamp.

The live pieces are equally eclectic, moving from the evolving patterns and tempos of Elsewhen, through the upbeat Beautiful Stranger to the expansive, lyrical ballad The Wind. Nock’s A Tree Has Its Heart In Its Roots is a triumph of strength and fragility, sustaining depth and compelling intricacy.

File beside: Paul Grabowsky
Download: Joyous Awakening


A slightly shorter version of this review was published in the Sunday Herald Sun’s Play liftout on July 11, 2010