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Album of the week – Frame of Reference by Sean Foran

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‘Frame of Reference’ by Sean Foran is Eastside Radio’s album of the week.

Bringing us his first debut album as leader Australian pianist and composer Sean Foran gives us a project that is full of talent and original music. Music that may sound quite different for those of you who are used to Foran’s style. As one third of the highly regarded ‘Trichotomy’ and his trio with Rafeal Karlen and Kristin Berardi his work is well known. This time we hear Sean Foran step slightly away from the intensity of his renowned sound and we get a more mellow finely tuned piece of work.

With Foran receiving a masters of Arts in Jazz Performance with Distinction from the Leeds College of Music in the U.K and having toured over there with ‘Trichotomy’ he made a lot of connections with some very talented musicians in his time spent there. Given this when it came to putting together the players for his new album Sean built his body of musicians all hailing from the U.K. With the music that Foran wrote for ‘Frame of Reference’ he wrote especially for this band keeping each artist in mind for their talents and capabilities, when we get a project that has this much thought gone into it we know we are in for something good.

Across 8 tracks we get a mixture of sounds with leader Sean Foran on piano/rhodes, Julian Arguelles on saxophone, Stuart McCallum on guitar, Ben Davis on the cello and Joost Hendrickx on the drums. With all of these musicians coming together to play for the first time when they started recording it shows the talent that is on board, to be able to gel and combine each others sounds so rapidly. Foran was most excited about mixing in the cello instead of the double bass as for what creative sounds would come about.

“This project was something that I’d thought about for a while, and I wanted to write and record some music that featured a different lineup to the trio that I usually work with. It’s more chamber based then my trio material, and also more textural. The saxophone, guitar and cello complement each other in a really interesting way and open the music up to so many possibilities for melodic and harmonic interactions. Most of all, there’s space for everyone to improvise… it feels very open and melodic…I think there’s a sense of optimism in the music, a sense of calm”. – Sean Foran.

The album starts off with a 7 minute opening piece ‘A room with a view’ rightly so Foran leads the way with some gentle keys of the piano to be joined one after another by the rest of the instruments, we get a nice piano solo here and then two-thirds in an energetic burst of the drums by Hendrickx really turns up the heat. After that we are then met with the the quite fast paced ‘Une Fille’ which translates to one girl in French, the girl this song is dedicated to is his daughter Estelle. We get a lot of emotions and really thoughtful arrangements going into this piece, with it starting off fairly busy and fast paced it gradually finds it’s own speed and mellows down for another lovely piano solo. ‘Mish Mash‘ is also a track that is dedicated to one of his daughters Mischa, here we get a real chamber jazz sound from the group that leaves for some pleasurable listening.

A man that knows the genre extensively being a lecturer at the Jazz Music Institute (JMI) Brisbane & Head of Contemporary Music at JMC Academy in Brisbane, conducting workshops in performance, composition and music business around Australia, the UK, Japan, China and Indonesia he certainly knows his stuff. When someone of his calibre comes along with their debut album leading the show you know that every single guitar strum, brush of the cymbal high note and low note has had a lot of thought put into them. If you want to hear from four excellent musicians from the U.K lead by one of this country’s finest piano players that bring us a top quality jazz album then get your hands on ‘Frame of Reference’.

Track Listing 

  1. Room with a View

  2. Une Fille
  3. Frame of Reference
  4. Dare to Dream
  5. A Fine Balance
  6. Quite Times
  7. Mish Mash
  8. The Sum of

Artist Listing 

Sean Foran – piano/rhodes
Julian Arguelles- saxophones (UK)

Stuart McCallum – guitar (UK)
Ben Davis – cello (UK)
Joost Hendrickx – drums (UK)

You can follow Sean Foran’s career at seanforanmusic.info or via their FACEBOOK page. For an extended listen to the album, tune in on Thursday from 1.30PM – 2PM for ‘Album of the Week’ with Josh Crosbie. Don’t forget to also listen out for your opportunity to win a copy of ‘Frame of Reference’’ all week. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. You can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG.

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