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Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Artiste

Reviewed by Aleisha Ward

Artiste

Dunedin jazz-fusion band Subject2Change‘s third album recorded in 2014 for Ode Records is an almost entirely improvised offering (the one exception being the first track s2c #21) – very much in the tradition and method of Miles Davis’s iconic fusion albums of the 1960s with sketches of ideas and structure being discussed before the recording session, but the actual assembly of each piece coming in post-production. Keyboards and trumpet player Trevor Coleman was at the helm of arranging/assembling each track, but I would find it hard to believe the other band members (Nick Cornish, saxophones; Dan Bendrups, trombone; David Harrison, guitar; Rob Burns, bass; Robbie Craigie, drums/percussion) did not have a role to play in bringing these pieces together in their final form. The idea of working in this way, a collaboration of musicians and improvisation within certain pre-arranged boundaries, is an enticing one from a musician’s point of view, and a happy one from the audience’s. Subject2Change has the right combination of musical personalities to pull it off, something I dare say not every band would be able to do, and it has led to a wonderful album. This is also quite a compact album – only seven tracks with an additional two remixes (one credited to composer Jeremy Mayall who mixed and mastered the album) – but it has such a spacious feel to it that each track feels longer than it actually is (in a good way), and yet it is still surprising when each track ends, leaving the listener wanting more. It is a very gentle sounding album, atmospheric and almost hypnotic, but don’t mistake it for being background music. There are also musical surprises and enchantments that keep the listener’s attention focused solely on the album.