by Matt McMahon
Richard Maegraith, like the musicians he has assembled for this recording, is one of the most respected musicians in the city in which he spends most of his time in Sydney. It is always tempting to list the great achievements of a musicians career and the great players with whom he has worked over years of performances and recordings. But improvising is always about being in the moment, making real time decisions and looking ahead - which is something all of the musicians on this recording manifest again and again throughout these series of pieces.
Richard and I played together a lot when we first met as students at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1993. He displayed in those days the skills that would serve him well on his path towards a career in music: technique, versatility, a gift for melody, composing and arranging flair, deep knowledge of and respect for the great contributors on his chosen instruments.
But what I hear on this recording are the parts of Richard’s nature shining through. He is a person with a great commitment to music and a person of great integrity in all parts of his life. His warm, fluid sound, is used in the service of deep communication. Richard’s compositions on this recording display a love for jazz but venture into other territory, original territory whenever the expression demands it. Much preparation is needed for a recording session such as this: composing , selecting which compositions will work well together
ALBUM REVIEW BY SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2008
The opening of this unusual disc seems to promise breezy French movie jazz (a genre I perversely enjoy). There is wordless unison voice and even a piano accordion. Things change rapidly. Many tracks have brilliant vocals (with lyrics) by Kristin Beradi.
They are love songs but clues tell me the loved one is a symbol of Christ, in the Renaissance tradition. One clue is that Richard Maegraith is a committed Christian. One song is for Beradi's baby. Maegraith is also a superb tenor saxophonist, with a handsome tone and powerful expressiveness. As the disc progresses, his solos become more and more remarkable
Willing to teach
I've taught children through to adults. I usually prefer older teenagers and adults.