Thanks so much to APRA AMCOS – such a generous award and congrats to all the other winners and finalists. The money will be a great help towards writing some new music and heading to NYC next year. Inspiring to see so many great people in the music industry working across genres! The other winners included Jack Carty, Timothy Carroll, Ngaiire, Briggs, Ruby Boots, Marcus Corowa, Aaron Kenny and Peter McNamara.
Out now: Sand Lines – Sydney saxophonist/composer Jeremy Rose’s Quartet deliver a captivating jazz album featuring pianist JACKSON HARRISON, bassist ALEX BONEHAM, drummer JAMES WAPLES, with guest guitarist CARL MORGAN
SAND LINES is the culmination of an extended suite composed by saxophonist, composer and bandleader Jeremy Rose for his longstanding Sydney quartet; a new addition to Rose’s Earshift Music label – a rich exposition of compositional ideas 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 melodic fragments that transform throughout 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 spring from the notated material,” explains Rose, “I was exploring longer form compositions for this ensemble, creating numerous platforms for improvisation within the one work, often blurring the line between improvisation and composition.”
Rose has a knack for selecting band-mates that advance his compositions forward yet on their own terms. This lineup of some of Sydney’s top jazz talent 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 that we hope is captured on the album.” 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. “The development period allowed more time to hone the compositions to get the most out of the players – this is a rare luxury and I’m grateful for the musicians that worked on the music. I really love everyone’s playing in the band and wanted to make their improvisatory contributions significant to the overall album,” says Rose.
Bassist Alex Boneham, who Rose co-leads The Vampires with, contributes robust accompaniment lines and soloing, particularly on the slower 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, with a second album set for release on the Swiss Hat Hut Label. Harrison has collaborated with Rose in numerous contexts, including a duo recording for ABC Jazz, and the Compass saxophone quartet album Oneirology. Their longstanding work is highlighted here with intuitive dialogue. Drummer James Waples has also been a long-term collaborator of Rose, and a stalwart of the Sydney jazz scene, collaborating with pianists Mike Nock and The Necks’ Chris Abrahams in Roil. He contributes here with incredible nuanced support and at times rapturous energy. Guest guitarist Carl Morgan provides a pertinent addition to the album, contributing on two tracks.
Rose’s recent activities include performing with Cameron Undy’s 20th Century Dog, new music specialists Ensemble Offspring, and a recording with his newly formed Earshift Orchestra. He recently completed a PhD in composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, creating a folio of works and conducting interviews with a dozen jazz musicians discussing creative processes in the Sydney Jazz scene. Jeremy regularly performs around Australia and overseas with a range of projects including The Vampires, The Strides, Jeremy Rose Quartet, Compass Quartet, and various 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 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 inspired by memories of driving through the beautiful Kangaroo Valley on the NSW South Coast. Hegemony is a nod to Australia’s infatuation and a dominance of American culture. 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 in 2013. His spirit is remembered in this composition, which navigates polyphonic melodic material before breaking into the improvised sections, with creative freedom to blow on a simple pedaled groove. Precipice contains several openly improvised sections, and melodic material played by Rose and Morgan, drawing attention to the boundaries between composed and improvised material. 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 drove onto a pedestrian crossing in his 4WD whilst Rose was crossing a suburban street.
Rose sums up the album: “Sand Lines is form of story telling for me. It is not only a culmination of my particular approaches to working with these musicians but more importantly of creating meaning of events in my life through music. 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.”
“Rose shows us subtle glimpses of a marvelous technique and plays with the restraint of a true master.” Limelight Magazine
“Rose is developing into a significant Australian voice” (Dr Michael Webb, jazz-planet)
“With their snaking melodies and switch-back rhythms, Jeremy Rose’s compositions stand out from the pack.” SMH
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