Grabowsky's compositional skills give him a profound understanding of the jazz tradition and make him a perfect partner for McGann, whose ability to reinvent and re-imagine something fresh from familiar material is almost peerless. Both artists love the work of Thelonious Monk and enjoy improvising on the standards of the Great American song book and produce music that is fresh and exhilerating. Joining McGann and Grabowsky is the outstanding Jonathan Zwartz on bass and hard driving "generation next" drummer (and winner of the 2011 national Jazz Award), Tim Firth.
Paul Grabowsky has been prominent in the music scene in Melbourne since the 1970′s, working in various jazz, theater and cabaret projects. Founder and AD of the Australian Art Orchestra, with whom he performs regularly, he has also performed with many jazz luminaries throughout his career, including Chet Baker, Art Farmer and Johnny Griffin, as well as leading his own trio and sextet with whom he has also performed in Sydney last year. Paul has written the scores for over twenty feature films in Australia, the UK and US including most recently The Eye of the Storm. He has recently stepped down as Artistic Director of the Adelaide Festival after two very successful events. While he has a phenomenal knowledge of all types of music, Paul Grabowsky, like McGann, is a formidable "player" someone who enjoys the act of playing instinctively and taking risks. The two complement each other.
Saxophonist Bernie McGann is considered one of the most important modern jazz musicians in Australia. Paul Grabowsky has described him a the jazz equivalent of painter Fred Williams, in the way his music bridges disparate parts of the jazz tradition. His tough, yet very lyrical sound and unique style where every note presses the listener with meaning, have enthralled audiences in Australia and overseas. When Huub van Riel, the Artistic Director of Amsterdam's famous Bimhuis, heard McGann at the Wangaratta Festival in 1999 he remarked that the altoist was one of the most remarkable players he had ever heard (and he'd heard them all). In the US McGann's music has has been enthusiastically received by important critics such as John Corbett and John Litweiler and similarly in the UK by such critics as as Graham Lock and Andy Hamilton. These dates present an exciting opportunity for local audiences to experience the music of multi-award winning Paul Grabowsky as he teams with the legendary Bernie McGann and a great rhythm section.
Bernie McGann, (alto sax), Paul Grabowsky (piano), Jonathan Zwartz (bass), Tim Firth (drums)
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