Lachlan Hamilton, Harry Sutherland
5 stars

Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan

If it were possible to inhale the music of this contemporary jazz album certainly one would be transported into a state of sonic euphoria. As the lengthy opening track, Pearl River develops under the deeply personal piano sound of Harry Sutherland setting the tone for the project; gradually each of the players contributes sounds akin to the excitement of children meeting in a playground, instantly creating their games. Then the magic begins. Throughout the remainder of the recording, everything falls into place. On stand-out tracks, Dark Emu, Unconventional, and Caro Kann, Lachlan Hamilton’s saxophone expertly darts, weaves, and cruises around the bassist Jacques Emery’s rhythmic textures and Inman-Hislop’s noted hues from his kit, while Sutherland builds emotion, drama, and rich melodic colours providing all with a supportive base of jazz elasticity. Deja Vu reveals Jacques Emery’s technically enlightened solo on an expressive ride through form, followed by Sutherland’s sumptuous progression through the chordal structures on piano. Throughout the album, the music is always fascinating, sometimes dainty, and sometimes exquisite. Both Sutherland and Hamilton provide many instrumental and musical highlights signalling their acumen as composers and co-leaders of a highly distinguished ensemble. They all have chops, and these modern jazz practitioners find a perfect harmonious balance between composition and personal expressive freedom. Go ahead, inhale, and be transported.