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UNDERWARDS ‘Delve’

Aug 16, 2023 | Jazz, Reviews

Australian jazz emsemble present a tapestry of nature's majestic gifts

Have you ever stood on a Blue Mountains viewing platform in Australia, and let your senses be overwhelmed by the wonder of nature’s grandeur? A soul enriching experience indeed. However, if you press on north west, you reach Dabee Country near Kandos NSW, a magical land where Sydney based trumpeter and composer Ellen Kirkwood found inspiration for much of Delve.

As a player Kirkwood’s trumpet largely characterises this ensemble piece, roaming from straight ahead melodic brilliance to breathy smudges of whispered conversation, and coruscating flight. However, ample elbow room is on offer to the other members of Underwards.

Hiliary Geddes’ plummy guitar lines morph into a muscular funk work out for the title track, reminiscent of Ava Mendoza’s work on William Parker’s Mayan Space Station. Then, spill over into immense astral blooms for Mountain Magic.

Furthermore, the rhythm section provide the expansive liquidity required to underpin everything from field recordings and improvised studies, through to sweeping post rock catharsis. Delve covers a lot of ground: a jazz album wanting to tread down every pathway.

Amongst the rock formations and rivers, the dark history of Dabee’s indigenous population is marked with a deep meditation for The Cliffs Beheld, as it reflects on an horrific massacre. A fitting acknowledgment during this living and breathing tapestry of nature’s majestic gifts.

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