Andrea Keller Quartet
Little Claps

Rating: ***1/2

Noted Melbourne pianist/composer Andrea Keller’s latest CD features a bass-less quartet with a front line of Eugene Ball on trumpet and Ian Whitehurst on tenor sax.

All tracks were composed by Keller and despite occasional turbidity, these are mostly interesting pieces with plenty of interplay between piano, trumpet and sax.

Ball’s trumpet work is a standout, and he plays numerous pleasing contrapuntal passages with Whitehurst’s tenor, notably on the post-bop piece Lines on My Face.

Moments in Parallel ranges out of tempo with elements of free-jazz stylings and Broken takes a similar approach, Keller’s piano rippling beneath the two horns.

A quietly lyrical piano opens Singing in a Sinking Ship before solo trumpet arrives to run a fast embroidery of the theme, then sax and drums take over introducing the whole quartet, concluding with a short magisterial solo piano ending.

The addition of a double bass would have provided more of a rhythmic grounding for some tracks which Joe Talia’s drumming alone, good as it is, cannot totally fulfil.

This review first appeared in The Weekend Australian and is republished with permission of the author.

Hash Varsani is the owner of The Jazz Directory, a network of sites related to jazz, travel and everything else he loves. He also runs a selection of jazz related sites including Jazz Club Jury, a jazz club and festival review site. Check out his Google+ Profile, to see what else he's up to...probably setting up another website from one of his many passions.