The Andy Sugg Group, The Jazzlab, 4 May 2021 Doors 7pm Music 7.30pm $25 or $20 concession
Just bobbing up briefly from among the beehives and honey frames with a reminder that tonight The Jazzlab hosts The Andy Sugg Group playing compositions from Andy’s last three albums, which were recorded in New York.
Andy Sugg on tenor saxophone will be joined by Brett Williams on piano (who featured on Grand & Union along with Sugg, Alex Claffy on electric and acoustic bass and Jonathan Barber on drums), Danny Fischer on drums and Cuban bassist Yunior Terry, who also will be at The Jazzlab for Undercurrents on Tuesday 18 May.
Two previous albums by The Andy Sugg Group – a Melbourne-based quartet that explores post-Trane improvisation – Tenorness and Wednesdays at M’s—were also recorded in Brooklyn and feature Sean Wayland (piano/keys), Matt Clohesy (bass), Mark Whitfield Jnr and Nate Wood (drums).
Expect references also to Sugg’s Stravinsky Jazz Project, which draws on Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, in particular its radical approach to rhythm imagined for a primitive, prehistoric fertility ritual.
THE saxophonist leading The Andy Sugg Group is a quite different beast from his fiery free-jazz incarnation with Kris Wanders. In a recording taken at the end of a long season at the Brunswick Green Hotel, Sugg’s ensemble of Daniel Gassin (keys), Nashua Lee (guitar), Thom Mann (drums) and Michael Story (bass) delivers detailed and delicate fusion.
Sugg’s originals are layered and incremental, but the feel is relaxed, with none of the developmental tension displayed by The Necks. The appeal is in the obvious synergy, with each member of the group feeling free to contribute alongside others in varied absorbing entanglements.
It would have been nice to hear more of Mann and Story — as in Blah — and perhaps some fiery Sugg, but this is a valued testament to nights in Brunswick.
File between: John Coltrane, Weather Report
Download: Blah, Tower Road
This review also appeared in the Play liftout of the Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne on January 9, 2011