Reuben Bradley – Shark Variations (2017/2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 52:52 minutes | 365 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Rattle
Wellington jazz drummer Reuben Bradley returns with his fourth album, ‘Shark Variations’.
The Shark Variations album was released by Rattle in 2017 and it followed a successful tour by the band a few months earlier. Bradley was in the process of moving to Australia at the time and he was keen to record with longtime collaborators Roger Manins and Bret Hirst. He needed to do this while they were all in the same place and this was his best window of opportunity. Hirst is an expat Kiwi who lives in Sydney, Manins is based in Auckland and Bradley was at that point, about to head for the Gold Coast. Because of their shared history, the musicians knew exactly what they were aiming for; an open-hearted collaborative and spontaneous expression of their art form. That they realised this vision will be apparent to those who listen to the album.
They are incredibly tight and exude a joyful energy, which is palpable to the listener. ‘Shark Variations’ is well titled, as there is a sense of musical danger threading through each piece.
There are moments where Bradley, Manins and Hirst turn on the proverbial dime in an unanticipated direction that surprises and delights.
The absolute standout track is the shark-related Makos And Hammerheads, where the phenomenal interactions of the trio are brought sharply to the foreground, providing goosebump moments.
Throughout this engaging album, the music unashamedly descends from the lineage of 1960s avant-garde jazz, but also continues on its own journey, without the need to conform to a particular ideal. This is a fine addition to Rattle’s jazz catalogue and is a sure bet for anyone wanting a good jazz trio record.
1. Reuben Bradley – Wairoa or L.A.
2. Reuben Bradley – Meeting at Union Square
3. Reuben Bradley – Circling In
4. Reuben Bradley – Don’t Be Afraid
5. Reuben Bradley – Choices
6. Reuben Bradley – Makos and Hammerheads
7. Reuben Bradley – Wake up Call