4.5 stars
Reviewed by Keith Pettigrew

When four young jazz musicians met at the Conservatorium, their Asian but first-generation Australian heritage gave them a common frame beyond their instrumental skills. Jordan Chung on piano, Hinano Fujisaki on tenor sax, Sabine Tapia on double bass and Manson Luk on drums have different compositional styles, but play together with empathy and maturity, enjoying the creativity and freedom of contemporary jazz in a multi-cultural setting.

As Fine Music Artists-in-Residence and ABC Records scholars, their debut album is The Wild Wild East. The eight tracks are a mix of lyrical and melodic, playful in delight, and strident and graceful. They are a journey of hope and exploring the new in Chung’s Set Sail and Seedling, introspection and reflection on the love of companions in Luk’s Baptiste and A Bowl of Fruit. The simplicity of folk traditions gives space for open improvisation in Fujisaki’s Sun Bear and Circle Circle, and exuberant danger and risk in Luk’s concluding The Wild Wild East.

Firm and gentle piano, haunting and assured saxophone, drumming that paces and punctuates, and double bass that is dynamic and binding. This is an album to be enjoyed more than once.