Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence: Whirlpool

Read "Whirlpool" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Australian jazz pianist and composer Alister Spence has led his own trio for twenty years, picking up regional ARIA best jazz album nominations for Flux (2003), and Mercury (2006), both on the Rufus label. Spence has led the ensembles Clarion Fracture Zone and Wanderlust and was an early member of the Australian Art Orchestra. He is best known in the U.S. as a member of Scottish saxophonist Raymond MacDonald's International Big Band, and for his adventurous work with Satoko Fujii. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Sensaround: Heart/Noise

Read "Heart/Noise" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Sensaround is an electro-acoustic trio of Australian and Scottish lineage, co-led by the familiar names of Alister Spence and Raymond MacDonald and the less recognized Shoeb Ahmed. Heart/Noise is the group's third release following the 2014 Isotropes (hellosQuare recordings). The music defies categorization, combining--as the musicians describe it--"jazz ambience, ghostly dub, and post-punk experiments...." It is not likely to conjure up associations with anything else in or around the periphery of jazz. A composer, keyboardist and effects artist, ...

RADIO

Burning Ghosts, Alister Spence and More

Read "Burning Ghosts, Alister Spence and More" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Expat bassist Mike Parker is living in Poland now and making great music with his Trio Theory. This episode kicks off with a pair of tunes from Shiny Objects, Dark Places, his latest album. You'll also hear Burning Ghosts with their musical expression of anger and distaste for the current state of American politics. The second hour features Australia's Alister Spence continued collaboration with the great Satoko Fujii, conducting her Orchestra Kobe through a set of distinctly original music. The ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Doug Hall

Imagine Meeting You Here (Alister Spence Music, 2019) is the release by Alister Spence, a recognized leader in Australia's new music directive and one of his country's most original and distinctive jazz pianists and composers of orchestral pieces. Certainly there is a reflection in the title of this release that is his biographical journey and meeting in musical imagination. A project that developed in 2015 when Spence was beginning a doctoral PhD in creative practice (music composition) which morphed into ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The year 2018 saw two “sounds-you've-never-heard-before" collaborations between Australian composer/pianist/electronics master Alister Spence and Japanese pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii, the duo recording Intelstat (Alister Spence Music), and Kira Kira (Libra Records) by the Fujii quartet Bright Force. These recordings were part of Fujii's “one CD release per month" celebration of her sixtieth birthday year. The duo opened 2019 with the Spence-led Imagine Meeting You Here, featuring the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe, one of many (it's hard to keep count) ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence / Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On the heels of a monthly release year, celebrating her sixtieth birthday, Satoko Fujii takes no break as she dives into a new year. Imagine Meeting You Here is a five-part suite for Fujii's improvising Orchestra Kobe. The compositions are by pianist Alister Spence, who acts as producer and conductor of the fifteen-member ensemble. The suite premiered with Fujii's orchestra in Kobe, Nagoya and Tokyo in 2016 and was performed by the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra later that year. Orchestra Kobe ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Alister Spence Trio: Live is, apparently, this Australian group's sixth recording. Sadly, the others have passed me by and pianist Alister Spence only recently crossed my CD deck in the company of Scottish saxophonist / improviser Raymond MacDonald. To be honest, much contemporary piano trio jazz--EST, Brad Mehldau, The Necks--bores me. Perhaps unfairly so but to me a lot of it sounds to me like a Michael Nyman soundtrack from some seemingly endless film that Mrs. O'Groove would have me ...


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