By Josef Woodard | Published March 2020
While acquitting herself artfully as both pianist and composer on Transients: Volume Two, where a few songs also are titled as sequels, pianist Andrea Keller makes a point of casting a flattering light on the impressive Melbourne jazz scene.
But echoes of precedents arise along the way. We can detect parallels to Keith Jarrett’s 1970s Scandinavian quartet on “Sleep Cycles (II),” and sonic similarities with the current Norwegian sounds of Christian Wallumrød and Trygve Seim. Elsewhere, variations of waltz time grace the song set, from a duet with guitarist Stephen Magnusson on the bittersweetly gentle “Do Not Go Gentle” to the percolating piano-saxophone-trombone matrix of “Inside Out (II).” With its yearning emotional tenor, “Search For Optimism (II)” effectively realizes the suggestion of the title, lined with chordal bass guitar work and an impressive piano solo.
Finally, bonafide swing enters the picture, with the walking bass-driven closing track, “Domesticity.” Roving rounds of soloists work steadily toward a spidery, cool head only articulated at tune’s end. Keller leaves us wanting more on a crisply suspended unison line.
Transients: Volume 2: Sleep Cycles (II); Inside Out (II); Search For Optimism (II); Saint Misha (II); Salmon Life; Suspended; SNAFU; Do Not Go Gentle ... ; Domesticity. (47:29)
Personnel: Andrea Keller, piano; Flora Carbo, alto saxophone; Julien Wilson, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; James Macaulay, trombone; Stephen Magnusson, guitar; Sam Anning, bass; Christopher Hale, bass guitar; Leigh Fisher, James McLean, drums.