Pianist Andrea Keller - whose contributions to this festival were a highlight - joined Eugene Ball on trumpet and Tamara Murphy on bass for Transients IV, one of Keller’s trios inspired by and in memory of the late Allan Browne. There was so much magnetism and space in the originals they played that I did not want to leave.
Wonderful compositions by Keller and Anning. Keller’s tribute to the late John Taylor, a pianist and mentor, entitled ‘Grateful, Hopeful, Joyful’, was breathtakingly beautiful.
Totally absorbing… This concert worked on many levels, but I found myself slipping easily between momentary explorations of the ideas conveyed by the words and the pure joy of experiencing voice and other instruments… The vocalists blended and crossed beautifully… It was a journey to places that I needed to explore.
The Andrea Keller Quartet:
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.
Remarkably Australian in its evocations.
Keller’s writing can make silence feel as rich as the sounded notes are.
… 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.
Keller’s Quartet has long (since 1999!) been one of our best. Trumpeter Eugene Ball and saxophonist Ian Whitehurst are remarkable, together with drummer Joe Talia they beautifully blur the line between the composition and improvisation allowed in Keller’s pieces.
The strings here: Erkki Veltheim and Helen Ayres on violins with violist Matt Laing and Zoe Knighton on cello, meld with the Quartet, breathing in and out as the music breathes, entirely integral yet free voices.
The result is stunning – Wave Rider is as monumental as nature yet as fleetingly lovely as nature. It takes the art of jazz to its very edge, not in an anarchic or revolutionary way, but in an organic and evolutionary – and thus more ultimately real and grounded – way. Keep your awards – we should simply thank Andrea Keller for that.
An absolutely gorgeous and thrilling album.
A state of sonic musing, letting sounds disperse with a freedom that is positively arresting.
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.
A feast of compositional and playing styles…Galumphing ably airs the nation’s talent.
A musical portmanteau; holding in its manifold pockets six Kellaborations, all brillig & frabjous.
Keller has one of Australia’s most consistently interesting musical minds.
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
Their music is both friendly and deep. Their colours and textures are brilliantly recorded on this disc, their best I think.
A beautifully conceived work with an awareness of both jazz tradition and aspects of modernist European art music…Keller and her players are consistently outstanding.
Keller’s compositions are innately distinctive and interesting. If jazz conventionally has a soul rooted in the blues, Keller’s version is much more cross-fertilised with contemporary classical music… Keller was a joy throughout with her delicate touch and beautiful ways of building tension.
One of this country’s most daring and fascinating composers, she produces work that bristles with surprises, a powerful blend of European lyricism with space and improvisation.
One of the most original thinkers on the Australian scene... she has the priceless ability to think outside the square.
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.
These musicians (are) such a fine and inspiring lot.
Angels and Rascals is further compelling evidence of Keller’s brilliance.
Ingenious compositions…Keller is a fine technician and fiery improviser who can also withdraw into a soft-focus world of dreams, impressions and confessions.
From the opening notes of the first track, as her energetic piano ostinato sets up a range of themes, it’s clear that Andrea Keller has an impressive recording on her hands … Keller has been justifiably lauded for her virtuosic and sensitive pianistic abilities.
Keller joins the more creative writers for this instrumentation worldwide.
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.
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 tocelebrate their lives.
Delightful in itself, this will also send you back through favourite Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis and Jazz Messengers albums.
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.
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.
The Komeda Project:
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.
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.
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.
(Keller/Murphy/Browne) demonstrated the wonderfully intuitive rapport that makes their music so engaging.
Pianist Andrea Keller, bassist tamara Murphy and drummer Allan Browne are assuredly poets on their instruments. There is no bravado and no music for musi’s sake on this album; just a pure, interactive creativity
Intensely telepathic communication
The set highlighted the exquisite interplay between Browne and his empathetic trio colleagues, Andrea Keller (Piano)and Tamara Murphy (bass)
Another pianist with impeccable touch, Andrea Keller, made music of diaphanous beauty with Tamara Murphy and Allan Browne.
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.
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.
An avant garde, post modern exploration of jazz music. An incredibly innovative and ambitious project.
The Bartok Project:
It’s a potent combination of players and Keller’s superb writing and arranging makes the most of their talents – both as interpreters and improvisers.
Keller is a very accomplished pianist indeed with a sure touch, deft technique and strong improvisational ideas… This is an extremely important and visionary project in the overall output of Australian new music.
Keller’s Mikrokosoms project is a winner.
Keller has extended the piano works with tact, taste, intelligence and imagination… they are highly pleasing – often quite magical and exciting – adaptations.
Keller is becoming one of those musicians whose CD you can buy without a listening test because you are assured of getting something special.
A superb album.
Keller oozed a joy in playing, and her outstanding credentials as a composer were witnessed… a major talent.