"The first album from Jonathan Zwartz was worth the wait. Where one might have expected driving jazz, however, Zwartz's compositions emerge with a distinct Brazilian bent: gentle, swaying creatures to soothe and seduce.
The leading Sydney bassist readily attracted high-calibre collaborators, of course: pianist Barney McAll, trumpeter Phil Slater, guitarist Doug de Vries, drummer Hamish Stuart and percussionist Fabian Hevia; all recorded with sensational clarity.
Their collective restraint generally makes the music as placid as a pond, with such solos as McAll's gorgeous story-telling on "Chester" barely rippling the surface. It could have become too docile without a climax of some sort, and the way Zwartz ups the stakes without destroying the mood is a marvel.
He suggests something's afoot via the soft shuffle of "Travelling Song" (with its compelling bass solo), and that leads into the more agitated "Hummingbird", which contains one of those trademark Slater bursts of blistered emotion. Then we're eased back into a state of bossa levitation. Beautiful."
John Shand SMH
An absolute must have purchase. Jonathan's first album is one of the finest cds we've heard in years. "The Sea" has been selling like hot cakes at Birdland since it was released, because it is quite simply one of the best pieces of music released here or anywhere else in years. Given enough exposure it could become a "Kind of Blue" for the 2000's. It's that good. KS
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