Andrea Keller Quartet
The Andrea Keller Quartet is: Eugene Ball (trumpet), Ian Whitehurst (tenor saxophone), Joe Talia (drums and electronics) and Andrea Keller (piano).
Having emerged in 2003 from what was once ‘The Andrea Keller Quintet’ (formed in 1999), long time collaborators Ball, Whitehurst, Talia and Keller have been said to create music that is "a marker of just how good Australian jazz is” (Bev Stapleton 2006). Their bass-less line up of instruments has been a leading force in developing an intimate chamber music-like approach to the compositions and improvisations performed by the group. Although the ensemble’s repertoire and personnel are heavily influenced by and stem from the jazz tradition, each member also brings a wide array of experience from other genres, ranging from contemporary western art music through to electronica, all merging to create a strongly identifiable and unique sound.
Performing the distinctive compositions of pianist/composer Andrea Keller, the AKQ have released five highly acclaimed albums:
- 2014 'Wave Rider' The Andrea Keller Quartet with strings (JazzHead)
- 2009 'Galumphing ‘Round the Nation – The Collaborations Project' The Andrea Keller Quartet with guests. Includes works from their 2009 national Australian tour featuring renowned musicians Bernie McGann, Phil Slater, Stephen Magnusson, Miroslav Bukovsky, John Rodgers and Jamie Oehlers (JazzHead).
- 2007 ‘Little Claps’ The Andrea Keller Quartet (Jazzhead)
- 2004 ‘Angels and Rascals’ The Andrea Keller Quartet with guests. Includes works from a suite dedicated to Jann Rutherford, commissioned by the Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival with funding from Arts Victoria (ABC Jazz)
- 2001 ‘Thirteen Sketches’ The Andrea Keller Quintet (Newmarket Music)
Awards & nominations
- 2014: Winner of the Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Award for Best Australian Modern Jazz Album 'Wave Rider'.
- 2014: Nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album 'Wave Rider'.
- 2014: Nominated for the AIR Award for Best Independent Jazz Album 'Wave Rider'.
- 2014: Nominated for the Age Music Victoria Genre Award for Best Jazz Album 'Wave Rider'.
- 2012: Winner of the Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Award for Jazz ensemble of the Year.
- 2011: Nominated for Jazz Ensemble of the Year at the Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Awards.
- 2008: Winner of the Australian Jazz ‘Bell’ Award for Best Contemporary jazz album ‘Little Claps’.
- 2007: Nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album ‘Little Claps’.
- 2005: Nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album ‘Angels and Rascals’.
- 2002: Winner of the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album ‘Thirteen Sketches’.
National & International Performances
The AKQ perform regularly in Melbourne, and have presented concerts in the major cities in Australia on various occasions over the years, including a National Australian Tour in 2009. They have toured internationally on two occasions - 2014 & 2007.
Some performance highlights include:
- Germany Tour in collaboration with the Christina Fuchs' Quartet. Performances in Dresden, Wuppertal, Berlin, Cologne, Luxembourg, Munich and Dusseldorf (2014)
- ShepARTon Festival (2014)
- Launch of 'Wave Rider' with string quartet at the Melbourne Recital Centre in the Salon (2013)
- Premier of 'Meditations on Light'. Cross-cultural collaboration with the Christina Fuchs’ ‘No Tango Quartet’ (Germany) at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival (2012)
- Performing new works with string quartet for the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative (December 2011)
- Performing works from across their 12 year history at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival (October 2011)
- Opening the Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival at the MRC Salon with string quartet performing 'Place' (April 2011)
- Opening for Charles Lloyd at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2010)
- ANU Canberra – Commission and premier of new works, and performance of 'Place' (2010)
- Four Winds Festival NSW - Commission and premier of 'Place' with Flinders Quartet (2010)
- The Studio/Sydney Opera House with special guest Bernie McGann (2009)
- Moers Festival (Germany) (2007)
- Copenhagen Jazz House (Denmark) (2007)
“This is totally original music; by that read no one else composes anything like this... Andrea Keller should be known throughout the jazz world, one can only hope that this album raises her international profile to where it should be.”
- Review of 'Wave Rider' by Michael Prescott, jazzwisemagazine.com, March 31, 2014
“… The mind and sound-world of Andrea Keller, a place that is one of the most original – if not the most original – in Australian jazz.”
“It is only when one hears music this brave and fantastically new that one is hit – yes: an intake of breath, a stab of joy and a little shiver of fear – with the realisation that there are still new languages to be heard, new seas to cross. And it just reaffirms one’s faith in jazz, art and human courage that little sweet bit more.”
- Review of 'Wave Rider by John Hardaker, australianjazz.net, November 27, 2013.
“An absolutely gorgeous and thrilling album.”
- Review of 'Wave Rider by Bird Is the Worm, birdistheworm.com, January 23, 2014.
“Keller’s latest album proves…that this ensemble is one of the most interesting and consistent in Australian jazz… Brilliant performances by one of this country’s most consistent and enduring ensembles… An embarrassment of riches, and thoroughly recommended.”
- Review of ‘Galumphing Round the Nation’ by Aaron Searle, MCA Music Forum Magazine, Nov 2010-Jan 2011.
“A prayer of thanks seems appropriate. The meeting thirteen years ago of 20 year olds Eugene Ball, Ian Whitehurst and Andrea Keller has grown into a musical congregation of faith that has fulfilled much hope and given us much to love”
- Review of ‘Little Claps’ by Roger Mitchell, The Herald Sun, August 19, 2007.
"Pianist Andrea Keller is a major talent on the thriving Australian scene... Apart from being an outstanding piano player, Keller has the gift for writing totally distinctive and engaging compositions. This recording stands as a marker of just how good Australian jazz is."
- Review of 'Angels and Rascals' by Bev Stapleton, AllAboutJazz.com, January, 2006.
“Keller joins the more creative writers for this instrumentation worldwide.”
- Review of ‘Thirteen Sketches’ by John Clare, MCA Music Forum, Oct-Nov, 2001.
From Ether is: Gian Slater - voice/loops/effects, Geoff Hughes - guitar/loops/effects& Andrea Keller piano/nord/loops/effects
Devised by Keller in 2013, the music of From Ether is designed as a live and visceral soundscape that accompanies a film of photographic images, which were tweeted down to Earth by astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield during his term residing and working on the International Space Station.
Melbourne Recital Centre in the Salon (2015)
International Space Day at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, with special guest Phil Slater (2014)
Premier at the Melbourne Recital Centre in the Salon (2013)
“The familiar made unfamiliar can be both disquieting and invigorating. Part of one's mind loves to make sense of what it encounters, while the imagination relishes the chance to run wild. The photographs that Chris Hadfield took while commanding the International Space Station exemplify this, and in From Ether their potential to catalyse the imagination was amplified by Andrea Keller's accompanying score.”
Review of ‘From Ether’ performance at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, John Shand, April 13, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald
The Komeda Project
Andrea Keller & Miroslav Bukovsky Octet (Sydney/Canberra/Melbourne)
The Komeda Project is: Erkki Veltheim – violin, Andrew Robson – saxophones, Miroslav Bukovsky – trumpet, James Greening – trombone, Ben Hauptmann guitar, Andrea Keller piano, Jonathan Zwartz double bass & Evan Mannell drums
Keller and Bukovsky, both of Czech heritage, have adapted a selection of Krzysztof Komeda’s music, taking both his jazz and film music as inspiration, including his pivotal jazz release ‘Astigmatic’ (1966), and film scores ‘The Verdict’ (1962), ‘Knife in the Water’ (1962), ‘Cul-de-sac’ (1966), ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ (1967), Le Depart (1967) and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ (1968).
2016 Due for release ‘The Komeda Project – Andrea Keller & Miroslav Bukovsky Octet’. Recorded in December 2014 for Gerry Koster’s former program ‘Jazz Up Late’ on ABC Classic FM/ABC Jazz
SIMA, Sydney (2015)
Stonnington Jazz Festival, Melbourne (2015)
Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival (2014)
Sydney International Women’s Festival (2014)
“Krzysztof Komeda was dead at the age of 37. In that truncated life this Polish medical doctor had penned the scores for more than 40 films, including most of Roman Polanski's up to and including Rosemary's Baby. Simultaneously he was a jazz pianist who did more than anyone since Django Reinhardt to develop a variant of jazz that was overtly European in flavour.
The Komeda Project, jointly led by pianist Andrea Keller and trumpeter Miroslav Bukovsky, preserves and expands that legacy. The pair have concentrated on Komeda's film music, arranging the material for an octet and often combining pieces into mini-suites.”
Review of the Komeda Project performance for SIMA, John Shand, June 14, 2015 Sydney Morning Herald
“The pianist’s masterful arrangements often moved as swiftly as a film in fast motion, darting from woozily plodding rhythms to graceful dances or majestic horn-led crescendos. … an exhilarating evening of music, played with intense focus by an awe-inspiring group of musicians.”
Review of the Komeda Project performance at the MWIJF, Jessica Nicholas, December 12, 2014 theage.com.au
“Extraordinary solos by an extraordinary band… Some themes leaned towards vaudeville, while others were wild and dark and others distilled a peculiarly European sweet melancholy.”
Review of the Komeda Project performance at the SIWJF, John Clare, November 11, 2014, www.sima.org.au/GigReviews
Keller/Murphy/Browne is: Andrea Keller piano, Tamara Murphy double bass & Allan Browne drums.
Performing original compositions by all three members, along with some standards by Monk, Duke, Green and free improvisations to Al’s poetry readings. Their focus was on achieving a collective consciousness on stage by pushing the boundaries of their musical dialogue.
The Keller Murphy Browne combination was a precious one. Emerging organically out of Al Browne's Monday night residency at Bennetts Lane, and a particular affinity between the three musicians that grew and simply grew, it had its own voice - as trios do.
Debuting in 2003 at the Melbourne Women's International Jazz Festival, the KMB trio held an intermittent residency at Bennetts Lane in the years that followed. They recorded their first CD "Carried by the Sun" for ABC Jazztrack (released on jazzhead records) in 2006, and were lauded for their “exquisite interplay” (Jessica Nicholas), and “music of diaphanous beauty” (John Shand).
With Allan's passing in June 2015 their newly released album ‘Travellers’, taken from two gigs in the Bennetts Lane small room in February 2015, has special significance.
2015 ‘Travellers’ Keller/Murphy/Browne (Jazzhead)
2006 ‘Carried By The Sun’ Keller/Murphy/Browne (Jazzhead)
Monday night residency at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club, Melbourne, held intermittently since 2004
Melbourne Jazz Co-operative 30th Anniversary Concert (2013)
Melbourne Jazz Co-op
Stonnington Jazz Festival (2006)
Wangaratta Jazz Festival (2006)
Melbourne Jazz Fringe Festival (2006)
SIMA, Sydney (2006)
Melbourne Women’s International Jazz Festival (2003-2014)
“(Keller/Murphy/Browne) demonstrated the wonderfully intuitive rapport that makes their music so engaging.”
Review of KMB performance at the MJC 30th Anniversary Concert, Jessica Nicholas, January 27, 2013, www.smh.com
“Pianist Andrea Keller, bassist tamara Murphy and drummer Allan Browne are assuredly poets on their instruments. There is no bravado and no music for music’s sake on this album; just a pure, interactive creativity”.
Review of ‘Carried By the Sun’, John Shand, October, 2006, Limelight
“Intensely telepathic communication”.
Review of ‘Carried By the Sun’, Ken Williams, 2006
"The set highlighted the exquisite interplay between Browne and his empathetic trio colleagues, Andrea Keller (Piano)and Tamara Murphy (bass) "
Review of KMB performance at Stonnington Jazz Festival, Jessica Nicholas, May 2006, theage.com.au
“‘Another pianist with impeccable touch, Andrea Keller, made music of diaphanous beauty with Tamara Murphy and Allan Browne.”
Review of KMB performance at Wangaratta Jazz Festival, John Shand, November 8, 2006, Sydney Morning Herlad
“Andrea Keller, Tamara Murphy and Allan Browne’s debut CD Carried By The Sun is varied and full of the adventurous rapport of a fine jazz piano trio.”
Review of ‘Carried By The Sun’, Lucky Oceans, Daily Planet, Radio National, July 24, 2006, abc.net.au
Solo Piano has become a prominent feature of Keller’s performance life in recent years. Her debut solo album ‘Footprints – the Wayne Shorter Project’ released by ABC Jazz, won the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album 2008.
In May 2013 she released 'Family Portraits' a collection of solo repertoire using prepared piano and live looping techniques recorded at the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon. ‘Family Portraits’ is released through Jazzhead Records and was nominated for Best Jazz Album at the 2013 ARIA Awards.
‘Family Portraits’ is a series of solo piano pieces composed by Keller in dedication to her ancestors and loved ones. An aural family tree, created from a desire to preserve the little that is known for her future generations. The pieces capture the love, humour and sadness of a small and geographically disparate family.
2013 'Family Portraits' Andrea Keller solo (JazzHead)
2007 'Footprints - The Wayne Shorter Project' Andrea Keller solo (ABC Jazz)
Awards & Nominations
2013: Nominated for the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album 'Family Portraits'.
2013: Nominated for the Age Music Victoria Genre Award for Best Jazz Album 'Family Portraits'.
2008: Winner of the ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album 'Footprints - The Wayne Shorter Project'.
Melbourne Jazz Co-operative (2015, 2014)
Peace Lounge Series with David Jones, Federation Hall, Melbourne (2015)
SIMA, Sydney (2014)
Melbourne Jazz Co-operative 30th Anniversary concert (2013)
Launch of 'Family Portraits' at the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon (2013)
APRA Art Music Awards (2012)
Live recording of 'Family Portraits' at the Melbourne Recital Centre Salon (2012)
“The Australian pianist’s wordless songs are eloquent, intimate, surprising. The music is deeply emotional, but never merely sentimental; truly beautiful, rather than merely pretty. No two Andrea Keller albums are too much alike. All are uncommonly rewarding.”
Review of ‘Family Portraits’ by Doug Spencer, Radio National: The Weekend Planet, June 2, 2013.
“It’s a richly textured album that explores the piano through loops, delay pedals and various preparations. The compositions feature a natural restraint that grounds some wonderful flights of imagination… There’s plenty of soul within Family Portraits and an adventurous, experimental spirit that is engaging and satisfying… There’s a lot of love here, both between Andrea and her family and in the process of creating music to celebrate their lives.”
Review of ‘Family Portraits’ by Perry Holt, PBS FM: In the Quiet, June 10, 2013.
“She gives Shorter’s melodies such freedom and vitality that they sound completely spontaneous. At other times her improvisations are so flawlessly structured as to seem set in stone…. This is Keller’s first album without the support of a band or collaborator and it is a ripper.”
Review of ‘Footprints’ by Aaron Searle, Music Forum, May – July, 2008.
“Imaginatively, she explores the possibilities of her instruments, delighting in her decisions to adjust or retain forms, celebrate harmonies and melodies, and create opportunities for improvisation.”
Review of ‘Footprints’ by Roger Mitchell, Sunday Herald Sun, October 5, 2008.
The Company of Pianos
The Company of Pianos is a series of concerts Keller co-presents at the Melbourne Recital Centre in the Salon.
Beginning in 2014, each incarnation features Keller performing in a two-piano setting with a guest Australian jazz pianist.
The repertoire features compositions by Keller and her guests, and others from the Australian songbook.
- The Company of Pianos IV with Barney McAll (December 2015)
- The Company of Pianos III with Tim Stevens (June 2015)
- The Company of Pianos II with Mike Nock (August 2014)
- The Company of Pianos I with Matt McMahon (March 2014)
Three Lanes is: Andrea Keller (piano), Genevieve Lacey (recorders) & Joe Talia (revox B77, electronics & percussion)
Formed by Keller in 2010 with the desire to create new music with two of her most admired, intriguing and broad-minded musical colleagues, virtuoso Genevieve Lacey and improviser/electronic artist Joe Talia.
Stepping outside of her usual working environment, this trio combines acoustic, electronic, prepared, improvised and composed elements, allowing the unique and distinctive contribution of each of these three celebrated Australian musicians to be given voice.
- 2012 'Three Lanes' Three Lanes (AK001)
- 2012 'Boy' Three Lanes & string quartet (digital only release)
- Now NOW Festival, Sydney (2013)
- Capital Jazz Project, Canberra (2013)
- ANAM, Melbourne (2012)
- Melbourne Recital Centre Salon (MRC/MIJF)(2012)
- Elder Hall (Adelaide Festival)(2012)
“It’s not surprising that this foray out of Keller’s comfort zone works so well – after all, her work is always lit brightly by the spark of originality… Acoustic, electronic, prepared, improvised and composed elements are interwoven with subtlety, so that there is no feel of artificiality or domination by devices."
Review of ‘Three Lanes’ by Roger Mitchell, Ausjazz Blog, April 16, 2012.
“An avant garde, post modern exploration of jazz music. An incredibly innovative and ambitious project.”
Review of ‘Three Lanes’ Eastside897fm, April, 2012.