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ABC Jazz Home > Features > 6 Aussie jazz albums only on vinyl

6 Aussie jazz albums only on vinyl

Vinyl
Nov 16, 2015 Updated Dec 4, 2015

An #AusMusic Month feature: Get your crate-digging on! Here is a selection of classic Australian jazz, only out there on the analog format.

 

1. Len Barnard's Famous Jazz Band - The Trouper, 1972

Yet another fantastic cut from the great Swaggie Records label. Len Barnard is one of Australia's most prolific drummers and bandleaders, and his large volume of records shows his growth as an artist over the years, progressing from trad jazz to swing to bop (and on this record, even some funk!). On the album, he's joined by his brotherA Bob on trumpet, plus Greg Gibson (clarinet), Graham Coyle (piano), Jack Lesberg (bass) and the great John Sangster (vibes). And, whilst some of these tracks are available on various compilation CDs, the album as a whole is featured as part of Swaggie's 'The Jazz Makers' series on LP. This record is our feature album between November 27 - December 3.

 

Ripping some more vintage #Aussie #jazz... #ausmusicmonth #ausjazz #vinyl #lp #record #cratedigging

A photo posted by ABC Jazz (@abc_jazz) on Nov 12, 2015 at 4:45pm PST

 

2. Jazz Co-Op - Live At The Basement, 1976

A live cut tracked at one of Sydney's (if not Australia's) most iconic jazz venues - the Basement - in February, 1976. This record was a collaboration with local musicians Howie Smith (sax), Jack Thorncraft (bass), Alan Turnbull (drums) and the great Roger Frampton (piano). Side A features Frampton's compositions, whilst Side B contains tracks by Smith and a largely free rendition of the classic 'Poinciana.'

 

3. Jazz Australia - feat. Don Burrows, Judy Bailey, Bernie McGann and Johnny Sangster, 1967

Speaking of Australian jazz royalty, Columbia Records put together this record as a compilation featuring improvised music from down under. The linear notes remark that "Australia's removal, geographically, from the personal contact of a continually evolving jazz art... may initially appear as a disadvantage when, in reality, this very aspect has been the prime motivation behind the development of a highly personalised, creative music." Too true!

 

4. Crossfire - Crossfire, 1975

Australia's answer to Weather Report and Return To Forever, Crossfire was a collaboration between a handful of Australian musicians who gained critical acclaim both locally and worldwide, with appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and an album with the great American vocalist Michael Franks. The core band was made up of the primary composers Jim Kelly (guitar) and Michael Kenny (keyboards). Australia's answer to Weather Report and Return To Forever, Crossfire was a collaboration between a handful of Australian musicians who gained critical acclaim both locally and worldwide, with appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and an album with the great American vocalist Michael Franks. The core band was made up of the primary composers Jim Kelly (guitar) and Michael Kenny (keyboards). Whilst some of their albums have appeared in digital format, this one - their debut - hasn't (at least not to our knowledge!).

 

5. Brian Brown Quintet/Jazzbird Orchestra - Carlton Streets, 1974

The cover gives this record away: Psychedelic rock meets jazz poetry - this record from Brian Brown is reminiscent of Bitches Brew and other early jazz fusion titles. But don't let the word fusion scare you - this record has its own local bent, with interpretations of indigenous folk-law and references to downtown Melbourne. Some big names in the band too, with Ted Vining on drums and Bob Sedergreen on keys.

 

Can anyone guess what year? #classicjazz @montreuxjazzfestival #ausjazz #jazz #donburrows #vinyl #cratedigging

A photo posted by ABC Jazz (@abc_jazz) on Oct 27, 2015 at 4:16pm PDT

 

6. The Don Burrows Quartet - Live at Montreux, 1972

This live recording from the iconic Swiss jazz festival came after the ABC endorsed Don Burrows' nomination to appear at Montreux in 1972. Burrows is joined by his long-time collaborator George Golla (guitar), plus Ed Gaston (bass) and Alan Turnbull (drums). It's great to hear some local boys representing on the global stage, and at one of the most iconic jazz festivals, none-the-less. Listen to the recording here (from Thursday Night Live.)

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On Nov 30, 2015. 9:32am
ABC Jazz said

@John Beedham - As far as we can tell, these picks are out-of-print. Some of the Crossfire catalogue has made it onto digital, but a lot of these indie Australian jazz labels aren't around anymore (sadly...) Thankfully, there's a whole library of old vinyl still at the ABC, and we're planning on digitizing more of these records soon, so stay tuned!

On Nov 28, 2015. 8:19am
John Beedham said

But we're they released on CD.

On Nov 26, 2015. 1:25pm
Kelly Pegs said

I would add this this John Sangster's 'Australia and All That Jazz' series. Beautiful music with Don Burrows, Graeme Lyall, Tony Buchanan and other great local musicians from yester-year. KP

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