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.
AS its name suggests, GEST8 is about slow development and infinite possibilities. Co-led by composers Tony Gorman and Sandy Evans (saxophones), the ensemble of eight lead musicians incorporates influences as diverse as Japanese, Korean and circus music and free improvisation.
Best experienced live, as in the closing performance at the 2008 Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, this music — described by Paul Grabowsky as reflecting jazz as a process — can surprise, arrest and is always engrossing.
Satsuki Odamura on the ancient Japanese koto and bass koto adds a distinctive dimension, as does Greg White on computer, particularly on Platform, which is eerily reminiscent of Hitchcock’s The Birds.
Standout tracks are Gorman’s mesmerising Lambent and Evans’s thoughtful Inner Space, the upbeat, then frenetic The Emperor’s Old Clothes and whimsical A Shower of Sunbeams.
In short: Ever-changing musical shapes and colours.