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Melbourne Ska Orchestra

In 2003, the time was right. A world-record attempt to have the largest number of horn players on stage at the same time playing the ska-skank saw a slew of musicians take the stage at St Kilda’s Gershwin Room, and although no one remembered to check if the record had actually been set, from this sold-out performance the Melbourne Ska Orchestra was born. Assembled from some of Australia’s preeminent names in Ska and Reggae and fronted by inimitable frontman Nicky Bomba (Bomba, Bustamenta, John Butler Trio), the soaring popularity of the band is seeing the MSO fast becoming a fiture of Australia’s musical landscape.

Now, after more than a decade of sold-out shows and electrifying festival appearances the MSO has come together to produce a different kind of record. Their self-titled debut album showcases the versatility of a genre that has influenced some of the most venerated names in music, from Bob Marley to Gwen Stefani, as well as demonstrating a uniquely Australian vision of the exuberance and freewheeling colour of contemporary Ska. 

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Release
Melbourne-based pianist and composer Nat Bartsch spent a decade writing, recording, performing and touring with her jazz ensemble Nat Bartsch Trio. She has now shifted her focus to the creation of chamber music and solo piano music combining post-classical and contemporary jazz influences. When she became a parent herself in 2017 she was inspired to consider the potential of composing a new set of works specifically for babies and their parents – particularly those who find repeats of Twinkle Twinkle on the baby monitor infuriating!The result is Forever, and No Time At All, a gorgeous album of quiet, hypnotic, simple piano pieces – often written with one hand while her baby Will was in the other. With echoes of Michael Nyman and Philip Glass, but also of Erik Satie and Elena Kats-Chernin, these enchanting lullabies have a unique beauty and freshness. Quiet but full of personality; intricately composed but beautifully simple; background music that will make you sit up and listen: Forever, and No Time At All is a fascinating and soothing experience that will intrigue children of all ages. TRACKLISTING 1 Breathing In and Out2 Guy Smiley3 Forever, and No Time At All4 Rockabye5 Lights and Shadows6 Grizzlepot7 Here I Am, Just For You8 And Until Tomorrow9 Day Past Due10 Leap One11 Lullaby for Hugo12 The Little Possum13 Call and Response All tracks written by Nat Bartsch except track 8, written by Nat Bartsch and Luke Howard Nat Bartsch piano & celeste
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“...guitar playing of uncommon originality and authority. Musicality, expressivity and daring...” - The New York TimesABC Classics are thrilled to announce the reissue of three albums by acclaimed Australian guitarists Slava and Leonard Grigoryan.Distance was the fourth duo release from the Grigoryans, and reveals their love of jazz and improvisation. The album title hints at a theme of geographical distance, borne out by the varied and far-flung homelands of the musicians involved here: US jazz icon Ralph Towner, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel, Australia’s own Nigel Westlake, Brazilian guitarist Paulo Bellinati and England’s William Lovelady.But this album also hits a little closer to home: the brothers’ parents Edward and Irina Grigoryan appear on this recording, as do compositions by some of Australia’s finest contemporary composers in Jeremy Alsop and Shaun Rigney.Showcasing a variety of genres as well as their extraordinary technical prowess, Distance ranges from playful to pensive as it envelopes and beguiles the listener. Named by UK magazine Mojo as the second best Jazz release of 2010, Distance evokes a response that is anything but distant.The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers – and popularity – continue to flourish. TRACKLISTING 1. PAULO BELLINATI Jongo2. LEONARD GRIGORYAN Distance3. RALPH TOWNER with Edward Grigoryan – violinIrina Grigoryan – violaSlava Iourgaev – celloBen Robertson – double bass4. WILLIAM LOVELADY Nartuby River5. WOLFGANG MUTHSPIEL Everything Happens to That Dogwith Daniel Farrugia – drums6. NIGEL WESTLAKE Shards of Jaisalmer with Doug de Vries – guitar7. EDWARD GRIGORYAN Tian Shan8. JEREMY ALSOP Mandalay to Melbourne9. SHAUN RIGNEY Prayer Flags in Bright Wind Slava GrigoryanLeonard Grigoryanguitars
Release
“...guitar playing of uncommon originality and authority. Musicality, expressivity and daring...” The New York TimesABC Classics are thrilled to announce the reissue of three albums by acclaimed Australian guitarists Slava and Leonard Grigoryan.This Time was their sixth release as a duo and defies any attempt at classifying it into a genre, straddling the worlds of jazz and contemporary classical with great energy and verve. Featuring music composed by Leonard Grigoryan, Philip Houghton, Luke Howard, William Lovelady, Shaun Rigney and Nigel Westlake, it is at times dark and moody, at times beautifully melodious, at times heartbreakingly honest.The centrepiece of the album is Westlake’s Mosstrooper Peak, a six-movement work inspired by the six sites along the Great Barrier Reef where the Westlake family have erected memorials to Eli Westlake, who was tragically taken from them in 2008.Recorded in Oslo’s RainbowStudio by ex-ECM engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, This Time is a unique and extraordinary album that reinforces the Grigoryan Brothers as two of Australia’s most exciting and innovative performers.The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers – and popularity – continue to flourish. TRACKLISTING1. LEONARD GRIGORYAN This Time2. RALPH TOWNER Duende3. SHAUN RIGNEY Two Swings in the Heart Shaped Garden4. LUKE HOWARD Longplay with Luke Howard – pianoÓlafur Björn Ólafsson – percussionNIGEL WESTLAKE Mosstrooper Peak5. I. Burning Point6. II. Mosstrooper Peak7. III. Nara Inlet8. IV. Tangalooma9. V. Butterfly Bay 10. VI. Smokey Cape11. RALPH TOWNER Sarabande12. WILLIAM LOVELADY Incantation No. 213. LEONARD GRIGORYAN After Dark14. PHILLIP HOUGHTON Wave Radiance Slava Grigoryan Leonard Grigoryan guitars
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“...guitar playing of uncommon originality and authority. Musicality, expressivity and daring...” - The New York TimesABC Classics are thrilled to announce the reissue of three albums by acclaimed Australian guitarists Slava and Leonard Grigoryan.The Seasons is a twelve-movement composition originally written for solo piano by the great Russian composer Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky. These mini-melodic showpieces were written around the time Tchaikovsky was composing the ballet Swan Lake and were commissioned to be printed as monthly installments for readers of the music magazine Nouvellist in 1876.Each movement represents a month of year, from the bracing cold of a Russian winter in January to the vitality and energy of the June harvest. Beautifully lyrical and full of character, these beloved pieces have been arranged for two guitars by Slava and Leonard's father Edward Grigoryan.“Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons has been on the Grigoryan family ‘to do list’ for 15 years,” says Slava Grigoryan. “Many years ago I’d performed a few movements which dad had arranged for me but you really need two guitars to cover the full dynamic range and detail. Since then Leonard and I have been planning to record the complete set.”The Grigoryan Brothers, individually and as a duo, are counted amongst the finest musicians of their generation. Between them, they have clocked up an incredible 21 ARIA Award nominations and their recording and performing careers – and popularity – continue to flourish. TRACKLISTING: PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKYThe Seasons, Op. 37aArranged for guitar duo by Edward Grigoryan1. January2. February3. March4. April5. May6. June7. July8. August9. September10. October11. November12. December Slava Grigoryan Leonard Grigoryan guitars
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William Crighton is a Singer-songwriter who is known for his powerful and mesmerising live performances and has firmly established himself as ‘one to watch’ in 2018. Hailing from country girded by the South West Slopes and Riverina regions of New South Wales, Crighton peopled the tracks of his celebrated self-titled 2016 debut with compelling, ineffably Australian figures of often-tragic resonance.  Crighton identifies powerful analogues of lived experience. It’s a gift that finds its truest expression  on his folk-rock second album, Empire.Produced by established collaborator and sought-after drummer Matt Sherrod (Crowded House, Beck) in close co-operation with Crighton himself, Empire finds the singer-songwriter bringing a cinematographer’s eye for detail to bear on his incomparably immersive lyrical style. Above all, Empire is a songbook of breathtaking insight. The flame of the human spirit is, in Crighton’s hands, shown to be the most powerful force at work in 21st Century Australia: one that produces both soot and shadow, but also guiding light, illuminating both the painful past and the difficult path forward.
Release
It’s hard to imagine, but Screamfeeder, the legendary noisy pop/indie rock band from Brisbane, have been making great records for 25 years now. Lovers of loud and beautiful music since the day they were each conceived, Screamfeeder have rightly been compared to all the greats; Husker Du, Dinosaur Jr, GBV and The Pixies. And so to 2018, and the announcement that Screamfeeder will, for the first time, collect all their singles - and shoulda-beens - together on one monumental release, simply titled Patterns Form. From the outset, you could hear the way the band that combined loud with beautiful, intense with joyous, chaotic with precise and pulled it all together in a way that very few acts ever manage. What’s apparent, listening to these songs in chronological sequence, is how the pop sensibility gradually unfurled itself and moved into the foreground, propelling Screamfeeder’s songs onto radios around Australia and the globe. Screamfeeder believe in writing good songs, and then performing them like their lives depend on it. There simply is nothing like them around today. Old school? Shit yeah, and proud of it.  Track Listing1. Tower2. Pepper3. Fingers & Toes4. Wrote You Off5. Button6. Fill Yourself With Music7. Lost In The Snow8. Who's Counting9. Sweet Little Oranges10. Static11. Dart12. Gravity13. Hi Cs14. Triple Hook15. Stopless16. Above The Dove17. Mr Tuba18. I Don't Know What To Do Any More19. Ice Patrol20. Bunny21. 1234522. Alone In A Crowd23. All Over It24. Karen Trust Me
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Gathered here are some of the most beautiful settings by contemporary composers of sacred texts celebrating the power of love. The tracklist draws on the rich traditions of Anglican choral music, especially the singing of Choral Evensong – an oasis of calm at the end of the day.The Choir of Trinity College, Melbourne lives this musical tradition, singing Evensong several times each week in the college chapel. The choir has toured several times to the UK, presenting the Daily Service on BBC Radio as well as singing concerts and Evensongs in the major cathedrals and collegiate chapels. Tours to the USA, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore have also met with critical acclaim. Its repertoire extends from Medieval plainchant and Renaissance anthems to the present day, regularly commissioning and premiering new works by Australian composers.This digital album, recorded in the warm and resonant acoustic of Melbourne’s Trinity College Chapel, presents the Choir at its finest. TRACKLISTINGUbi Caritas1 TRADITIONAL Ubi Caritas (Plainchant)2 DAVID BRIGGS Ubi caritas et amor3 JOHN BARNARD In the Heart Where Love Is Abiding4 PETER NARDONE I Give You a New CommandmentA Prayer of St Richard of Chichester5 LEN WHITE A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester6 JONATHAN WILLCOCKS O Holy Jesus7 BOB CHILCOTT A Thanksgiving8 MALCOLM ARCHER A Prayer of St Richard of Chichester9 LOUIS HALSEY A Prayer of St Richard of ChichesterMost Glorious Lord of Life10 WILLIAM HARRIS Most Glorious Lord of Life11 BOB CHILCOTT Most Glorious Lord of Life12 JOHN RUTTER Most Glorious Lord of LifeAnthem for the Feast of Any Healer13 MICHAEL LEIGHTON JONES Anthem for the Feast     of Any HealerBlessings14 CHRISTOPHER WILLCOCK Peace at the Last15 DAVID BRIGGS O Lord, Support Us16 MICHAEL LEIGHTON JONES Irish Blessing Choir of Trinity College, MelbournewithJohn O’Donnell & Hugh Fullarton organJonathan Bradley pianoMichael Leighton Jones director
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The music of Australian composer Stuart Greenbaum offers a breathing space amidst the relentless pressure of the modern world. Grounded in the Western art music tradition but also reaching out to the sound worlds of jazz, pop and mimimalism, it aims to evoke a sense of wonderment, taking the listener beyond the imperatives of everyday living.“I often conceive of music in terms of journeys. And this often involves viewing our home planet Earth from a distance and considering our place in the universe.”This digital album presents three works from a projected cycle of some 20 sonatas, one for each of the main instruments of the orchestra. Some, like the Sonata for Trombone and Piano and the Sonata for Guitar, are ‘pure’ music, but all are inspired by a sense of connection with, and concern for, the planet Earth, our Solar System and the Universe. Taking scientific discovery as a starting point, the works imagine journeys in time and space: in the case of the Sonata for Trumpet and Piano, a journey to Mars.Performing these sonatas are the musicians of Ensemble Three, the award-winning Melbourne-based trio lauded as “an inspiring example of forward-thinking classical music culture in Australia”. TRACKLISTINGSTUART GREENBAUM b.1966Sonata for Trombone and PianoI. travelling, freely II. floating III. energisedSonata for GuitarI. resolute II. mysterious III. elatedSonata for Trumpet and PianoI. journey to Mars: 6 to 8 months interlude: the surfaceII. return journeyEnsemble Three Don Immel tromboneKen Murray guitarJoel Brennan trumpetwith Konrad Olszewski piano
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Before ‘La Stupenda’ came ‘The Voice’! Dame Nellie Melba was Australia’s first singing sensation, and one of the most famous Australians of her day; idolised in the theatre, mobbed on the street and known by name in even the most remote corners of the country. Soprano Lorina Gore and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra salute Dame Nellie Melba, Australia’s first singing sensation.Born in Richmond, Victoria, in 1861, Melba was the first Australian classical musician to receive major international recognition, following her operatic debut in Brussels in 1887. That first appearance (as Gilda in Rigoletto) was described by a famous German critic as "an instant triumph of the most emphatic kind”, and quickly led to debuts at Covent Garden, the Paris Opera and at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.One of the undoubted stars of the ‘Golden Age of Opera’ in the mid-to-late 19th century, Melba is also familiar to Australians through the dishes named after her – most famously the Peach Melba, but also Melba toast – and she also features on the Australian $100 banknote. Lorina Gore is a Helpmann Award nominated soprano and has been a principal artist with Opera Australia since 2008. Her most recent credits include Pip in the State Opera of South Australia production of Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick, Roxana in Szymanowski’s King Roger for Opera Australia, and her critically acclaimed performance as Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at the 2018 Adelaide Festival. A Toast to Melba sees Lorina reunite with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Marko Letonja, their Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, following the success of their collaboration on a disc of Johann Strauss: Waltzes and Arias, released on ABC Classics in 2016.Track Listing:1. GOUNOD Je veux vivre from Roméo et Juliette2. VERDI Caro nome from Rigoletto3. GOUNOD Ballet Music 14. GOUNOD Ballet Music 2 from Faust5. GOUNOD Ah je ris de me voir si belle (Jewel Song) from Faust6. MASSENET Obéissons quand leur voix appelle  from Manon7. GOUNOD Heureux petit berger from Mireille8. GOUNOD Ballet Music 3 9. GOUNOD Ballet Music 4 from Faust10. BIZET Comme autrefois dans la nuit sombre from The Pearl Fishers11. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV Song of the Indian Guest from Sadko12. THOMAS Je suis Titania from Mignon13. GOUNOD Ballet Music 514. GOUNOD Ballet Music 615. GOUNOD Ballet Music 7 from Faust16. DUPARC Chanson triste17. MASSENET Sevillana from Don César de Bazan
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Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Australia’s favourite baritone, returns with his first solo album in four years. I’ll Walk Beside You features music of journeys, physical, emotional and spiritual: from one land to another, life to death, wakefulness to sleep, love to loss, and despair to hope. Songs from all over the world – from Australia, Scotland, Germany and America, as well as two Maori songs from Rhodes’ homeland – find a home alongside each other in gorgeous arrangements by the Southern Cross Soloists, one of Australia’s most formidable chamber music ensembles.‘Music transcends all cultures, and I think it’s great that we can enjoy music from every culture,’ says Rhodes. ‘I sing opera that’s written in Italy, or France, or Germany, and then we have people from other cultures singing our English language. It’s a wonderful thing that music brings a lot of people together.’Featuring favourites like ‘Shenandoah’, ‘Loch Lomond’, ‘Going Home’ and ‘She Was Beautiful’ (the Cavatina from The Deer Hunter), I’ll Walk Beside You is a heartfelt and beautiful album from one of Australia’s best-loved voices.Track Listing:1. TRAD Raglan Road2. MYERS She Was Beautiful (Cavatina, from The Deer Hunter)3. ANON Hoea rā4. TRAD Botany Bay5. MURRAY I'll Walk Beside You6. JAMES Comrades of Mine from Six Australian Bush Songs7. WOOD Roses of Picardy8. TCHAIKOVSKY None but the Lonely Heart9. TRAD Deep River10. TRAD Klezmer Dances [Instrumental]11. DVOŘÁK Goin' Home12. TRAD Eriskay Love Lilt13. ANON Still, Still, Still 14. LOWRY Shall We Gather by the River15. SCHUBERT Du bist die Ruh'16. TRAD Pō atarau17. TRAD Shenandoah18. TRAD Loch Lomond
Release
Come, little children, I’ll take thee away, into my garden of shadows…From Shakespeare to Disney, we have always been fascinated with Witches. Their magic and mystique has been the inspiration for fairy tales, books, movies and music.This album brings together four of Australia’s most acclaimed leading ladies, united by their iconic portrayals of the most famous pair of witches in musical theatre, Glinda and Elphaba, from Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked. Helen Dallimore opened the original West End production as the good witch Glinda. Lucy Durack then portrayed Glinda in the original Australian production, opposite Amanda Harrison and then Jemma Rix as the green-skinned ‘wicked’ witch Elphaba.Inspired by a concert that premiered in July 2016 at the Sydney Opera House, Witches features these four great singers singing witchy songs from Wicked, Into the Woods, and The Witches of Eastwick as well as magical favourites from Frozen, The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and more. The album also contains the world premiere recording of Matthew Lee Robinson’s ‘Princess’, written for Lucy Durack.Featuring world premiere arrangements by award-winning musical director Kellie Dickerson, Witches will cast a spell on you right from the first listen. Track Listing:1. Garden of Magic2. Pure Imagination from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory3. Let It Go from Frozen4. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered5. I Put a Spell on You6. Make Him Mine from The Witches of Eastwick7. Love is an Open Door from Frozen8. Princess from Sing On Through Tomorrow9. Children Will Listen from Sondheim on Sondheim / Into the Woods10. With You from Ghost11. Last Midnight from Into the Woods12. Popular 13. For Good 14. Defying Gravity from Wicked 15. Somewhere Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz
Release
“Lush, beautiful music played with clarity, honesty and soulfulness.”ABC Jazz is proud to announce the digital release of the Nat Bartsch Trio’s acclaimed 2010 debut album. Recorded for ABC Jazztrack, the tracks inhabit a sound world shaped by such diverse influences as Debussy, Radiohead, Sigur Ros and the improvised music of Scandinavia.“Taste and subtlety are paramount throughout...There is an ever-present sense that every gesture is purposeful.[This] is a wonderful contribution to Australia’s contemporary music. Hear Nat Bartsch whenever you can.”– The Music TrustThe Nat Bartsch Trio first came together in 2006, while the three young musicians were studing improvisation together at the Victorian College of the Arts, and quickly made an impression on the national and international scene, with appearances at the Stonnington Jazz Festival, Walsh Bay Jazz Festival, Brisbane Jazz Festival, Valley Jazz Festival and the Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival, and tours to Japan and Europe.“We deserve to hear creative young Victorians like these, who in their youth are already capable of producing music of transcendent beauty.”– Steve Robertson,Portland Observer