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SAND LINES is saxophonist and composer Jeremy Rose's second album as leader, and is the culmination of an extended suite composed by Rose for his longstanding Sydney quartet – a rich exposition of compositional ideas that unravel upon the musicians own terms, featuring the group’s subliminal interactions and unique subtlety.
The pieces on Sand Lines unfold with moments of deftness and a sense of searching with itinerants that transform through Rose’s extended compositions, allowing the improvisation and composed material to serve an unspoken musical agenda. “The music undertakes a journey with improvised sections that build from the notated material,” explains Rose, “I was getting into longer form compositions in which create a blurred line between the improvisation and composition.”
Rose manages to choose musicians who advance his compositions forward yet on their own terms. This lineup of some of Sydney’s best does so with creative spirit. “I’ve been working with most of these musicians off and on over the past 10 years. There’s a chemistry and aesthetic kinship that is captured on this album, brought about by the facilitation of each individual’s improvised voice in the music.” The pieces were developed over a two-year period of performing in and around Sydney, including a development performance at a pop-up venue in Sydney’s The Rocks in 2012. “I’ve wanted to record this group for a while now and I am grateful to be finally releasing this album, particularly given Boneham’s departure for USA,” says Rose.
Bassist Alex Boneham, who Rose co-leads The Vampires with, contributes robust accompaniment lines and a beautiful arco bass solo on Hegemony. Boneham relocated to Los Angeles shortly after this recording to commence his studies at the Thelonius Monk Institute, studying and performing with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Jackson Harrison is one of his generations most consummate and articulate jazz pianists. Harrison has collaborated with Rose in numerous contexts, including a duo recording for ABC Jazz, and the Compass saxophone quartet album Oneirology. Their longstanding chemistry is highlighted here with fine accompaniment and dialogue. Drummer James Waples has also been a long term collaborator of Rose, and a local favourite on the Sydney jazz scene, collaborating with veteran pianist Mike Nock and The Necks’ Chris Abrahams. He contributes here with incredible nuance support and rapturous energy. Guest guitarist Carl Morgan provides a pertinent addition to the album, contributing solos and accompaniment on two tracks.
As for Rose, his recent activities includes joining Cameron Undy’s 20th Century Dog, performances with new music specialists Ensemble Offspring, and a recording with his newly formed Earshift Orchestra. Jeremy regularly performs around Australia and overseas with a range of projects including The Vampires, The Strides, Jeremy Rose Quartet, Compass Quartet, and a range of improvised music contexts. Rose has received numerous awards including the 2009 Bell Award for Jazz Artist of the Year, was a two-time finalist in the APRA/MCA Art Music Awards and the Freedom Jazz Fellowship. His musical trajectory is wide and encompasses a pluralistic worldview.
The album’s title track Sand Lines comes from the idea of leaving a trail behind on an unexplored journey and a personal significance of having grown up on the beach in Sydney - nostalgia of a sense childhood solitary freedom, escapism, and being a part of nature. The Long Way Home is dedicated to regional touring, with memories of driving through Kangaroo Valley on the NSW South Coast. Hegemony is a nod to the American domination of the cultural diet in Australia. Mind over Matter is a tribute to saxophonist Dave Ades (1961-2013) with whom Jeremy was fortunate to have as a mentor, friend and fellow surfer for a number of years before he tragically passed away. His spirit is remembered in this composition, which navigates challenging composed material before breaking free to the improvised sections, with plenty of freedom to jam on a slightly funky groove. Precipice is about the edge between composed and improvised material, part of the impetus for the album. Debt Spiral is a tribute to Australia’s former and possibly worst treasurer Joe Hockey, who famously once said “poor people don’t drive cars”, and almost ran Rose over whilst driving his 4WD in a suburban street in Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
Rose sums up the album: “Sand Lines is about committing to an idea and seeing it through to fruition. It is the point, the precipice, at which we must continue with our intention. The process of improvisation and composition are like that in many ways, and these pieces contain micro-worlds of musical narrative that the players adopt and run with, creating much more than the notated composition - it is a performance.”
Jeremy Rose - alto and soprano saxophone
Jackson Harrison - piano
Alex Boneham - double bass
James Waples - drums and percussion
Carl Morgan - guitar
1. Sand Lines
2. The Long Way Home (feat. Carl Morgan)
4. Mind Over Matter (For David Ades)
5. Precipice (feat. Carl Morgan)
6. Debt Spiral
Total Playing time: 54:17
Recorded by Ross A’Hern at Sony Studios, Sydney NSW, 17 August 2014
Mixed and Mastered by Ross A’Hern at Chapel of Sound, Annandale NSW, April 2015
Photograph by Mikael Wardhana, Lake Tyrell, VIC, Australia
Design by Patrick Harris
All Compositions Registered with APRA © 2015 All Rights Reserved
Unauthorised Duplication is a violation of applicable laws
Released October 20, 2015
“Rose has assembled a group of players perfectly capable of understanding and interpreting these elegant works.”
4 1/2 STARS
“This latest recording demonstrates Rose at his best and perhaps marks a watershed moment in his composing and jazz career…. his writing is melodious, textured and considered.”
“I have always been intrigued, amazed, challenged and – to be frank – totally gassed by his restless artistic nature and his consistently questing music, both as a composer and as a soloist… it is a delight to hear Rose back in the arms of (almost) straight-ahead Jazz – an added delight is to hear him rocking so sweet and heavy in those arms.”
“The forms here quite often depart in original ways… and the jazz focus allows perhaps more licence for some high virtuosity.”
The Music Trust
"The expansive title track has skipping propulsion without ever seeming to burn any energy, and its melody and subsequent improvising dance across this propulsion without ever touching the ground."
Sydney Morning Herald