Album of the Week – ‘Unexpected Greeting’ by Michael Griffin
‘Unexpected Greeting’ by Michael Griffin is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week.
This is definitely an album to share with everyone you know from jazz-heads to top 20 chart lovers who squint their eyes and tilt their heads at the suggestion of the genre. Upon a first playing of the release, it’s easy to sit back, close your eyes and just enjoy the smooth stylings it has on offer, but we do recommend you give it a few more spins with a closer ear to the stereo. The album showcases a sensitivity within its compositional range and performance beyond its years.
It’s strongly influenced by the greats, of which Griffin deeply admires, such as Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley to name a few, which can be heard interlacing each and every track most notably via Griffin’s playing. The 10 track release elegantly balances instrumentals and vocals, as well as originals and arranged standards, featuring alongside Griffin’s alto sax, Dane Laboyrie on Trumpet, Chris Long on Piano, Brendan Clarke on Bass, Tim Geldens on Drums, and guest vocalist Briana Cowlishaw.
All of this and more from a debut album of such a young Sydney-sider. This is an artist who is not only deeply passionate about the genre, but also practices what he preaches. “There are so many great things in jazz, however the best of all is that addictive swing feel. People lose sight of that and it’s the worst thing to lose. Out of all the things in jazz that is the most powerful thing in jazz which can hook in anybody. It’s never uncool to swing. But it has to be done well.” This of course means Griffin is one to watch, not just to check up on the numerous accolades that are sure to be heading his way but also to catch a live set or two. His performances not only showcase his exemplary talent as an instrumentalist, Griffin’s a highly interactive and comical performer who invites his audience into a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.
This idea, being so sensitive towards his audience, is a theme that truly makes up a core component of the entire release. It’s a crucial element to continue the genre’s legacy and invite newcomers to the sound, as Griffin comments, “I feel there is something in it for everyone which is really what I want. I want to do what I love and I will never compromise what I love and the way I play but at the same time I always have a desire for everyone to enjoy my music...We’re playing somewhat challenging music but let’s do all we can to invite people in and take them with us.”
Michael Griffin- Alto Saxophone
Dane Laboyrie- Trumpet
Chris Long- Piano
Brendan Clarke- Bass
Tim Geldens- Drums
Special Guest vocal appearances from Briana Cowlishaw
Track Listing -‘Unexpected Greeting’ by Michael Griffin:
2.Almost Like Being In Love
6.I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
7.Shut the Funk Up
9.As Time Goes By
10.The Girl Who Called Me Sunsilk
Music Directors Track’s of Choice: Shut the Funk Up + I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
You can follow Michael Griffin’s career via his Facebook page.
Be sure to tune in this week to 89.7FM EASTSIDE RADIO for your chance to WIN a copy of ‘Unexpected Greeting’ by Michael Griffin. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. Don’t forget you can also stream the station at www.eastsidefm.org.