Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan
Driven by genre-fusing ardour, with the inclusion of warped, shaped sounds, the ethnic intrusions and Eastern tangents of vocalised rhythmic syllables (Konakol), with instruments plus electronics, Bungarribee jazz quartet leans on solid ground while moving in mysterious ways between music of the jazz-infused avant-garde and classical. Embracing different genres, grooves and intensities, they have released a lovely recording that embraces openheartedness and positive expression.
Led by pianist Gary Daley, who remains one of the most accomplished exponents on the scene and adapts with remarkable prowess to classic jazz environments as well as these more modern contexts, the quartet deliver a dozen original pieces alongside additional material from Bartok and Schoenberg, hinging on interaction to express their creativity. The bevy of piano sounds with modular synth curlicues, growling multiphonic blows, winding cello patterns ranging in pitch, rattling percussion, and murmuring sax notes reinforce the harmonic background.
Bartok’s Notturno from Mikrokosmos IV hits the sweet spot of chamber music with its classical intonation and scintillating melodic conduction. Cleverly, the quartet adds elements of surprise, creating the highlight tracks of their album, The Waiting Room, Interior Mountains, and Currawong. These are a testament to Bungarribee’s power of collaboration and sound arrangement as an art form. Their other works, constructed according to their musical freedom, open a narrative, with Bungarribee assuredly knowing where they are stepping on their sonic path of sound discovery.