Jazz CD Reviews – Nov


Lost In Romance
Lyn Stanley
A.T. Music LLC 3101


Melodies rekindle memories especially when they are classic standards from The Great American Songbook sung with sophistication, style and warmth. Those three words sum up the singing of Lyn Stanley on her debut album where, accompanied by some of the cream of the West Coast jazz scene, she tastefully yet expressively defines the lyrics of matchless songs by such legendary composers as Irving Berlin (Change Partners), Harold Arlen (That Old Black Magic) and Michel Le Grand (Watch What Happens). For me the latter is the stand out track, imaginatively arranged by Tamir Hendelman, one of the three pianists used on the album. The other two are Mike Lang and Llew Mathews but it’s Hendelman, thoughtful and creative as the mood demands, who catches the ear. Elegance made Stanley a champion ballroom dancer and this has been carried over to her singing which can be rhythmic (That Old Black Magic) as well as melodic (The Nearness of You) on this perfectly-paced album; add an intimate but personal approach and you have the complete vocal package. There are fine solos by Gilbert Castellanos (flugelhorn), tenor saxophonist Bob Sheppard and trombonist Bob McChesney and the darkly brooding One For My Baby owes much to Lang’s accompaniment. Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn’s The Last Dance seems an appropriate but satisfying way to end. Her mentor, the late pianist Paul Smith, would have been proud. Her first two albums, Potions is the other, have been first-class. We await the third (Interludes) with much anticipation.

– Kevin Jones



Oranges & Sunshine
Released independently 2015
Elly Hoyt – Voice and composition
Scott Griffiths – Piano and arrangements
Darryn Farrugia – Drums
Jonathan Zion – Bass
William Barton – Didgeridoo
Sarah Curro – Violin
Anita Quale – Cello

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In late 2010 Elly launched her self-titled debut album featuring sensational original works and sophisticated arrangements of standard jazz tunes which went on to win an Australian Jazz Bell Award in 2011 for Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album. Shortly after, Elly was accepted into The Jazz Institute’s Stanford Workshop in the USA where she studied songwriting, as well as vocal performance in Stanford California and in New York, leading to her compositional contributions to this album – Our Little Boy, Sink or Swim, On the Other Side and the title track Oranges and Sunshine. Hoyt’s vocals have never sounded so very perfect as when she’s zooming away on breezy renditions of Nature Boy and My Baby Just Cares For Me then soaring to vocal heights with her finesse and natural ability on It’ll Rise Again, written by Peter Sculthorpe specifically for voice and piano. Hoyt’s band features excellent arrangements by Scott Griffiths with some magical improvisations, while Darryn Farrugia’s finely tuned and sympathetic drumming along with Jonathan Zion’s exceptional bass work contribute to making this album a first class effort and one to be really proud of.

– Barry O’Sullivan



The Progressives 1-3
Jazzart Collection
VJAZZ 13, 14, 15

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In recent decades, much of the worthy earlier jazz library has been re-released on CD, but alas, much of the Australian collection has been lost to but a few record collectors. Thank heavens for the Victorian Jazz Archive, now re-badged as the Australian Jazz Museum with full museum status. This largely volunteer run organisation, much like Fine Music, has been putting its vast knowledge and expertise to work, not only collecting and archiving the wealth of Australian jazz information and memorabilia, but also in recovering, re-mastering and rereleasing the recorded music itself. Three of the Jazzart Collection, The Progressives – 1, 2 & 3 and subtitled “birth of the Cool”, take a close look and listen to some of the major players of “modern” jazz development in Australia between 1948 and 1952, all re-mastered from the original 78 records. There are well-known numbers from the American songbook as well as less familiar tunes and a few originals among the 18 tracks on each, that range from historical interest to absolute gems. Included are players who had an impact on the development of Australian jazz – vibraphonist Jack Brokensha who was part of the highly regarded Australian Jazz Quartet and spent much of his time in America; violinist Don Harper, a wonderful player who became Head of Jazz Studies at Wollongong University; Ron Gowans, who led his own bands and toured with many of the visiting artists such as Fitzgerald, Shaw, Rich and Krupa; and Errol Buddle, one of our leading reed players for decades who is touring locally and internationally. There is an entire disc dedicated to saxophonist Splinter Reeves, who led his own groups in Melbourne, Sydney and Queensland. American ex-Ellington member Rex Stewart has several tracks, recorded during his many months’ stay here in 1949, as do Don Banks, Ron Loughhead, Bruce Clarke and vocalist Edwin Duff. Congratulations and thank you to the good folk at the Australian Jazz Museum for keeping our jazz history live.

– Jeannie McInnes


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