SAND LINES is the culmination of an extended suite composed by saxophonist, composer and bandleader Jeremy Rose for his longstanding Sydney quartet; a new addition to Rose’s growing Earshift Music label – a rich exposition of compositional ideas that unravel upon the musicians own terms, featuring the group’s subliminal interactions and unique subtlety.
The pieces on Sand Lines unfold with moments of deftness and a sense of searching with itinerants that transform through Rose’s extended compositions, allowing the improvisation and composed material to serve an unspoken musical agenda. “The music undertakes a journey with improvised sections that build from the notated material,” explains Rose, “I was getting into longer form compositions in which create a blurred line between the improvisation and composition.”
Rose manages to choose musicians who advance his compositions forward yet on their own terms. This lineup of some of Sydney’s best does so with creative spirit. “I’ve been working with most of these musicians off and on over the past 10 years. There’s a chemistry and aesthetic kinship that is captured on this album, brought about by the facilitation of each individual’s improvised voice in the music.” The pieces were developed over a two-year period of performing in and around Sydney, including a development performance at a pop-up venue in Sydney’s The Rocks in 2012. “I’ve wanted to record this group for a while now and I am grateful to be finally releasing this album, particularly given Boneham’s departure for USA,” says Rose.
Bassist Alex Boneham, who Rose co-leads The Vampires with, contributes robust accompaniment lines and a beautiful arco bass solo on Hegemony. Boneham relocated to Los Angeles shortly after this recording to commence his studies at the Thelonius Monk Institute, studying and performing with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. Jackson Harrison is one of his generations most consummate and articulate jazz pianists. Harrison has collaborated with Rose in numerous contexts, including a duo recording for ABC Jazz, and the Compass saxophone quartet album Oneirology. Their longstanding chemistry is highlighted here with fine accompaniment and dialogue. Drummer James Waples has also been a long term collaborator of Rose, and a local favourite on the Sydney jazz scene, collaborating with veteran pianist Mike Nock and The Necks’ Chris Abrahams. He contributes here with incredible nuance support and rapturous energy. Guest guitarist Carl Morgan provides a pertinent addition to the album, contributing solos and accompaniment on two tracks.
As for Rose, his recent activities includes joining Cameron Undy’s 20th Century Dog, performances with new music specialists Ensemble Offspring, and a recording with his newly formed Earshift Orchestra. Jeremy regularly performs around Australia and overseas with a range of projects including The Vampires, The Strides, Jeremy Rose Quartet, Compass Quartet, and a range of improvised music contexts. Rose has received numerous awards including the 2009 Bell Award for Jazz Artist of the Year, was a two-time finalist in the APRA/MCA Art Music Awards and the Freedom Jazz Fellowship. His musical trajectory is wide and encompasses a pluralistic worldview.
The album’s title track Sand Lines comes from the idea of leaving a trail behind on an unexplored journey and a personal significance of having grown up on the beach in Sydney - nostalgia of a sense childhood solitary freedom, escapism, and being a part of nature. The Long Way Home is dedicated to regional touring, with memories of driving through Kangaroo Valley on the NSW South Coast. Hegemony is a nod to the American domination of the cultural diet in Australia. Mind over Matter is a tribute to saxophonist Dave Ades (1961-2013) with whom Jeremy was fortunate to have as a mentor, friend and fellow surfer for a number of years before he tragically passed away. His spirit is remembered in this composition, which navigates challenging composed material before breaking free to the improvised sections, with plenty of freedom to jam on a slightly funky groove. Precipice is about the edge between composed and improvised material, part of the impetus for the album. Debt Spiral is a tribute to Australia’s former and possibly worst treasurer Joe Hockey, who famously once said “poor people don’t drive cars”, and almost ran Rose over whilst driving his 4WD in a suburban street in Sydney’s Lower North Shore.
Rose sums up the album: “Sand Lines is about committing to an idea and seeing it through to fruition. It is the point, the precipice, at which we must continue with our intention. The process of improvisation and composition are like that in many ways, and these pieces contain micro-worlds of musical narrative that the players adopt and run with, creating much more than the notated composition - it is a performance.”
“Rose shows us subtle glimpses of a marvelous technique and plays with the restraint of a true master.” Limelight Magazine
“Rose is developing into a significant Australian voice” (Dr Michael Webb, jazz-planet)
“With their snaking melodies and switch-back rhythms, Jeremy Rose’s compositions stand out from the pack.” SMH