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Ryan Daunt: Essence


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Ryan Daunt: Essence
Drummer, educator, bandleader, and composer Ryan Daunt hails from Australia. Daunt is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a First-Class Honours Degree in Music, majoring in Jazz Performance. In 2016, he released his debut album. A busy sideman, Daunt has performed with a myriad of jazz artists including Kneebody, Troy Roberts, David Theak, Julian Arguelles, Kate Ceberano, Julien Wilson, Vince Jones, Ross Irwin, Alan Vizutti, Robert Childs, and David Childs. His second leader release, Essence, features a trio playing eleven original compositions written by Daunt.

"The Clutch" begins the album, and it is apparent that Daunt is a composer that takes his time to unveil his captivating melodies. Daunt's playing is precise and has a sense of joy as pianist Tristan Wills plays the arpeggio pattern leading to the central theme. The composition is filled with suspense as each section leads to the next, which creates a pleasurable form. Bassist Nick Abbey offers a melodic solo as the trio builds around it until Wills takes over with muted piano strings paired with flowing lines. Again, Daunt is the driving force and keeps everything moving forward and rhythmically on track. The theme of interaction between the three players is evident throughout the album.

"Essence" is a modern jazz composition that pulls delicate sections and powerful chordal figures into sophisticated movements that complement each other, painting a musical picture of a composite of today's jazz with elements of yesteryear. There is something free yet constrained about Daunt's playing; you have no idea what he will do next, yet you know it will be confined to the dimensions of the feel and pulse. From moment to moment, you are on an adventure of rhythmic motifs. Daunt's drum solo is driving, brave and compelling, yet there is a fragility that underpins the interplay around the drum kit that is deeply mesmerizing.

Daunt communicates a sound through Essence that has elements of American jazz, European jazz, and, most importantly, Australian jazz. Yet, he holds true to his inner time and uses his trio to bring us a set of new-sounding compositions brought to life by a talented group of young lions. This jazz has a perfectly distinctive feeling, and it's one of beauty.

Track Listing

The Clutch; Contentment Within; Essence; Lux; Soup and Tea; A Walk With You; Bad Maths; Slow Burn; Ups and Downs; Take a Moment; Massif.


Album information

Title: Essence | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

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