If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
"It's hard to write liner notes for an album like this," Australian superstar James Morrison says about Pyldriver, the second recording by trumpeter Ralph Pyl's superlative Sydney All-Star Big Band. It's hard to review it too. Where does one beginwith the picturesque and persuasive charts, the precise and powerful ensemble work, the sharp and sinewy rhythm section, the energetic and eloquent solosor all of the above? Whatever the starting point, the conclusion is the samethat this is not only Australia's leading big band, but one that compares quite favorably with ensembles anywhere in the world, up to and including the "birthplace of jazz."
With one notable exceptionBilly Strayhorn's shop-worn "Take the 'A' Train," wonderfully reconditioned by Bob Florencethe All-Stars play only original compositions, six of which were written and arranged by members of the band, and each of which is top-drawer. No less admirable are Canadian Terry Promane's swinging "This But's for You," Judy Bailey's "Child's Play" (cleverly based on a number of nursery rhymes), and Richard Percival's lusty bow to the great woodwind virtuoso, "Paquito."
Trombonist Dave Panichi composed "Pyldriver" and "Sensuale," saxophonist Graham Jesse "Shoalhaven Sunrise" and "Pitt Street," trumpeter and American expatriate Don Rader "Blues Down Under" and "Newtown Tango." Each of them does double duty, with Panichi soloing brilliantly on "This But's for You," Jesse on "Paquito" (alto) and "Tango" (soprano), Rader on "This But's for You" and "'A' Train." But we shouldn't single them out, as everyone else is similarly impressive, from trumpeters Pyl, Warwick Alder and Paul Panichi to tenors Mark Taylor and Craig Walters, clarinetist Adrian Cunningham, baritone Blaine Whittaker, pianist Bill Risby, bassist Brendan Clarke and drummer Gordon Rytmeister. And we mustn't overlook the guitarists. There are three, and each oneBen Hauptmann, Rex Goh, Jim Pennellis heard to good advantage, Hauptmann on "Pyldriver," Pennell on "'A' Train," Goh on "Paquito" and "Pitt Street."
Especially captivating are the saxophone quintet that introduces "Pitt Street" and Risby's deft use of "piano/accordion" to simulate the bandoneon on the evocative "Newtown Tango." Again, however, one must be careful not to over-praise a particular component (even though the temptation is almost irresistible, especially when citing the rhythm section), as everything on the album is exemplary. There is, in fact, nothing unflattering to be said about Pyldriver, which is one of the most electrifying big-band albums it has been my pleasure to hear and review in quite some time, and an unequivocal addition to the year's Top Ten listing.
Track Listing: Pyldriver; This But
Personnel: Ralph Pyl, leader, trumpet; Paul Panichi, Don Rader, Warwick Alder, trumpet, flugelhorn; Graham Jesse, Adrian Cunningham, Craig Walters, Mark Taylor, Blaine Whittaker, reeds; Dave Panichi, Anthony Kable, Ben Gurton, Colin Philpott, trombone; Bill Risby, piano, keyboards; Jim Pennell, Rex Goh, Ben Hauptmann, guitar; Brendan Clarke, bass; Gordon Rytmeister, drums; Tony Azzopardi, percussion. Additional musicians ?" John Pennings, trumpet; Steve Fitzmaurice, reeds.
I love jazz because... of it’s instant
composing and rhytmic interesting
caracter: jazz in all it’s different
appearings is often able to enrich the very
moment, the NOW. And that’s all we have,
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!