Here’s the evidence that something other than politics can come out of Canberra and furthermore something of original high musical quality. Pianist Tate Sheridan has followed his 2014 debut album In Hiding, with saxophonist Calum Builder to introduce this newest release of his piano trio. Sheridan is a graduate of the ANU and as with the previous collection the self-titled album is funded by the Friends of the ANU School of Music. All eight tracks here are Sheridan originals and stylistically they vary from the fast-running opener, Please No Questions featuring a quick piano flow of changing ideas and a smart bass solo from James Luke, to the fragmented theme of Run Don’t Walk, and an ultra-slow, seriously profound piece, Onward Outward.
There are occasional vague echoes of Oscar Peterson in Sheridan’s swinging solo on House Arrest but with the Canberran’s characteristic addition of unpredictable, yet interesting variations in direction. Lone Gunman is a seriously slow ballad with weighty passages of bowed bass, staccato chordal piano and a pounding beat. Another slower composition, Grace is a relaxed exploration of a pastoral theme with drummer Aidan Lowe using brushes to good effect and when the piano branches out there is a slightly soulful undercurrent, neatly investigated in the bass solo, followed by the piano building to a stately finale.
Sheridan is a talented young composer and pianist destined for a role of national importance on the Australian jazz scene.