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Kiri (Niran Dasika & Sumire Kuribayashi)

ABC Jazz presents Kiri, an exquisite and ravishing new album from Australian trumpeter Niran Dasika and Japanese pianist Sumire Kuribayashi.

Recorded live at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz in 2018, Kiri captures two exciting young artists utterly in synch with each other, demonstrating the sort of chemistry that only comes from a deep musical connection.

Dasika met Kuribayashi met in Tokyo in 2015, shortly after he moved to Japan, and over the following years they played together in various combinations. Says Dasika, “As with all good musical collaborations it started from an unlikely chance meeting and was sustained by a combination of friendship and shared musical vision.”

The compositions on this album are inspired by the ‘nihonga’ paintings of renowned Japanese author and painter Kaii Higashiyama, which occupy a special place in Dasika and Kuribayashi’s relationship.

“When I moved back to Australia at the end of 2017,” Dasika recalls, “Sumire gave me a book of Higashiyama prints as a parting gift. This book remained open on my piano music stand in Perth for about three months, during which I would sporadically open to a page that caught my interest and improvise, playing the piano and singing melodies, until it started to sound like how the painting felt

to me. I don’t consider myself at all knowledgeable about art, but Higashiyama’s paintings seem to me, with only some simple colours and geometric shapes, to really capture the feeling of being in nature.

“The first sketch I wrote was for the painting ‘Kiri’ (Mist) which forms the cover artwork for the album. ‘Kiri’ depicts just a few tree trunks fading into the distance, but there’s something about the textures that conveys the feeling of cool, damp mist on my skin. ’Evening Tide’ shows a shoreline at night with barely anything visible yet I can hear the sounds of the waves crashing unseen on the shore.”

Most of the compositions on the album fill no more than a single page when written out, but such is the connection between these two that these outlines can become over ten minutes of music in a performance.

“Both Sumire and I approach improvising in this project from a very compositional angle. By playing together over several years we’ve been able to develop enough trust and mutual understanding that we anticipate each other’s reactions and can create longer spontaneous forms in the moment.”

Born in Canada and raised in Melbourne with Indian and German heritage, Niran Dasika is a trumpeter gaining increasing attention around Australia and abroad for his distinctive, ethereal trumpet sound and compositions. Niran’s virtuosic trumpet playing has placed him in high demand both in Australia and in Japan, where he spent some years performing and recording on albums from Blue Note Records, Sony Music, Diskunion Records and more. Awarded 2nd place at the 2017 National Jazz Awards, in 2019 Niran was the recipient of the APRA AMCOS Professional Development Award and the Jazz Bell Awards Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year, in addition to being nominated for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship.

Sumire Kuribayashi is a Japanese pianist and composer gaining increasing renown within Japan and overseas. She has performed with Japanese jazz legends Hino Terumasa, Hideaki Kanazawa, Naoko Terai and has released four critically acclaimed albums under her own name. Jazzconvention.net said of Sumire, ”Belonging to the young generation of Japanese jazz scene, Kuribayashi has become in the last few years one of the most appreciated pianists both for her noteworthy creative qualities and the remarkable storytelling that crosses the textures of her music.”

TRACKLISTING

1. Kiri (Mist) 11’57

2. Seikyou (Green Echoes) 7’13

3. Wildflower / Iku Haru (Passing Spring) 12’46

4. Hana Akari (Bright Cherry Blossoms) 7’15

5. Bochou (Evening Tide) 9’57

6. Spring Hymn 5’08

Niran Dasika trumpet

Sumire Kuribayashi piano

Release
Music can change lives. For almost 20 years, the Hush Foundation has been working with renowned Australian artists to create music of joy and calm – originally to support children in hospital, and now enjoyed everywhere from concert halls to living rooms. In this latest offering from the Hush series, pianist Tony Gould and guitarist Peter Petrucci present music that can bring optimism even in the toughest times.The Hush Foundation, under the inspirational leadership of physician Professor Catherine Crock AM, transforms the healthcare experience for patients, families and staff through music and the performing arts. It has produced 17 albums, bringing some of Australia’s finest performers and composers together in collaborative partnerships that engage with the lived experience of people in the health system and other stressful environments. Hush albums are played not only in hospitals, but also in aged care, palliative care and childcare facilities to reduce stress and anxiety. Community and international orchestras also play music composed for Hush. In 2014, Hush’s contribution to Australian music was acknowledged with the APRA/AMCOS Award for Excellence.Gathering of Kindness recognises the power of the small acts of kindness and respect that build trust and create a sense of safety and security in difficult and challenging situations. ‘When we ask patients, their families and those working in healthcare “What matters to you?”’ says Professor Crock, ‘the single word at the top of the list is kindness.’Tony Gould and Peter Petrucci wrote the music on this album with the Hush ‘family’ firmly in mind. ‘We hope they serve at least one of music’s purposes in life, and that is to help calm our fellow humans in times when things aren’t going so well. Music can do this superbly. It can also give us joy, can foster kindness and a sense that, ultimately, everything will be all right.’ This latest album has been named after the healthcare events Hush has hosted since 2016. The Gathering of Kindness bring people working in health and aged care together to talk about ways kindness can flourish in their organisations and services. These events are being hosted throughout November at metro, regional and rural healthcare organisations across Victoria, and include live performances of Hush plays and music, healthcare book launches and panels, narrative and a range of self-care workshops, as well as updates on new research being undertaken. Hush is also hosting a ticketed event at KPMG in Melbourne on Thursday 14 November.›Pianist / composer / critic / author / academic / educator Tony Gould has been involved in music in Australia for over half a century. A prolific performer, composer and recording artist across several musical genres of art music, Tony has composed and performed alongside other renowned musicians Australia-wide and internationally. His numerous accolades include membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his contribution to music.Peter Petrucci is one of Australia’s leading jazz guitarists, recognised for his virtuosity and lyricism in improvisations and artful compositions. He has released eight albums – the latest, They Know That We Know, in August 2019. Peter has performed locally and internationally supporting distinguished musicians and has appeared at numerous international jazz festivals, in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival and the Wangaratta, Stonnington and Queensland Jazz Festivals. TRACKLISTING 1 All Things Good2 Anthem3 Calm4 Autumn Lullaby5 Quiet6 Spring Town7 It’s Up to You8 A Little Folk Song9 Essence10 Truth and Beauty11 The Softness of Air12 The Smile Peter Petrucci guitar – Tony Gould piano Tks 1-3, 5, 8, 10-12 composed by Tony Gould.Tks 4, 6, 7 and 9 composed by Peter Petrucci.
Release
ABC Jazz is excited to announce the very first commercial release of a recording by Paul Cutlan's Coltrane Project, including a complete performance of John Coltrane's unfathomable masterpiece, Ascension.   The Coltrane Project was formed by Paul Cutlan and John Mackey as a one-off tribute concert in 1997 to mark the 30th anniversary of Coltrane's death. Gathering together some of Australia's finest improvisers, the popularity of the concept and the transformative energy of the ensemble has seen it regroup for a number of very special shows over the years, unique gatherings, never to be repeated, and never to be heard beyond those lucky few in the room - until now.    This release chronicles the highpoint of the project, when the ensemble swelled to 10 people in order to perform Ascension, that gigantic opus of Coltrane’s late repertoire, at the Side On Café in Annandale, in Sydney's inner-west.    "To me," says Cutlan, "Coltrane has always represented many things: an unreachably high standard of saxophone playing, the complexity and mystery of his harmonic and technical innovations, the inspiration of his untiring quest to always be better, to always be searching for greater spiritual and technical modes of expression, and an honest, human, universal quality which inspires my own efforts to discover what makes me unique and worthwhile as a musician."   Recorded for Radio National's Live on Stage program, this concert featured two sets: the first featured a sextet of Adam Ponting (piano), Steve Elphick and Steve Arié (basses), Toby Hall (drums), Andrew Robson (alto sax) and Paul Cutlan on tenor sax, bass clarinet and E-flat clarinet, performing both Coltrane compositions and originals by members of the project inspired by Coltrane’s output.    This gig began with Cutlan's own Blue Step, a piece in the style of Coltrane Plays the Blues, fused with a progression from his iconic Giant Steps. Equinox follows in a minor key with a slower, moodier blues: it gives the two basses plenty of space to interact, blending with bass clarinet. Then the key shifts up a semitone, unleashing a searing alto sax solo from Andrew Robson, before sinking back to the depths.    Naima is John Coltrane’s best known and loved ballad, written for his first wife. In this version, the bass clarinet and two basses once again create a dark, velvety texture, before a sublime piano solo from Adam Ponting. Kaleidoscope is a quirky, Calypso melody built on the harmonic progression to Giant Steps, written by Tony Gorman. Alto sax and piccolo clarinet duet before trading choruses, then the two basses also trade choruses.   Then came the second set - Ascension itself: a massive piece of intense expression, in which the players collectively create walls of sound. Each performer is featured in turn against this visceral environment, galvanised to transcend themselves in sound. For this set, the sextet is joined by Sandy Evans (tenor sax), Mathew Clare (alto sax), Phillip Slater (trumpet) and Jeremy Borthwick (trombone) - an incredible lineup featuring some of the most creative and accomplished jazz performers in Sydney.    "Among the inspiring line up of players on this performance," says Cutlan, "I want to make special mention of alto saxophonist Mathew Clare. This special musician died tragically young and isn’t documented on many recordings. I’m thrilled that audiences will now be able to hear Mathew’s highly emotive solo on Ascension, starting at 16:30."   "I’ve often wondered what to do with these recordings over the years, wanting to make them publicly available, but reticent to commit to producing an album or compilation. I think there are some incredible performances among all three recordings, but the original Coltrane albums are a daunting yardstick to be measured against. I’m really happy that this last ABC recording is finally being released - this seems to be the most appropriate way to share the accomplishments of a band which certainly developed an exciting and individual identity, as it came to grips with this awe-inspiring repertoire."   Tracklisting: 1. Blue Step (Paul Cutlan) 2. Equinox (John Coltrane) 3. Naima (John Coltrane) 4. Kaleidoscope (Tony Gorman) 5. Ascension (John Coltrane)   Paul Cutlan – tenor saxophone (1, 5), bass clarinet (2, 3), E-flat clarinet (4) Andrew Robson – alto saxophone Adam Ponting – piano Steve Elphick & Steve Arié – bass Toby Hall – drums   Plus (track 5 only): Sandy Evans – tenor saxophone  Matthew Clare – alto saxophone Phillip Slater – trumpet Jeremy Borthwick – trombone