Tree Music (Ki No Uta)
Climbing Tree's debut album Tree Music showcases Alexander Hewetson's talent as a composer, the highly evocative music features all original compositions. The group played an integral part in the arrangements and Alexander notes that "sometimes the arranging and writing becomes one and the same thing, especially with such great musicians as these." ALEXANDER HEWETSON (Bass): has long been one of Australia's most sought after bass players equally at home with a variety of musical genres, ranging from funk and soul through to cutting edge jazz. The original bass player in the highly successful 90's jazz groove outfit D.I.G, Alexander also played and recorded with funksters Swoop between 1992 and 1998. Alexander currently features with artists such as Steve Clisby, EON Beats Project, Virna Sanzone, Joe Kelly, Jack Nolan and Andy Walton and has been an in demand session player for many years, recording with the likes of Savage Garden and Guy Sebastian to name just a few. PHIL SLATER (Trumpet): is a trumpeter and composer based in Sydney, Australia. He is the leader or co-leader of several prominent Australian groups, including Band of Five Names and the Phil Slater Quartet. He has performed with various artists both in Australia and abroad, including Lou Reed, Bobby Previte, Jim Black, Barney McAll, Mike Nock, Missy Higgins, Karaikudi R. Mani, Paul Grabowsky and the Australian Art Orchestra. He has released two recordings as a leader: Strobe Coma Virgo (2002), and The Thousands (2007). He will be performing at Font 08 with Jim Black, Chris Tordini and Australian guitarist Carl Dewhurst. Visit www.philslater.com for more information. MATT McMAHON Matt McMahon is a Sydney based pianist and composer who has been active on the Sydney scene since 1993. He won the National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Festival of Jazz in 1999. In 2005 he was the winner of the $20,000 MCA Freedman Fellowship for Jazz. He leads his own groups and works in collaboration with many of Australia's most respected musicians, performing within Australia and internationally with various groups. Matt, along with Simon Barker and Phil Slater co-leads the Band of Five Names having released three well-respected albums and performing internationally and locally. He also leads bands featuring his own compositions. He has taught piano and ear training at the Sydney Conservatorium of music since 2004. Matt released his debut album, "Paths and Streams, in 2006 to critical acclaim" ("a landmark in local creative music" - John Shand ,SMH), and his trio album "Ellipsis" in 2007. His 2008 duo with Guy Strazz "2@1" was nominated for an Air Award,When Matt isn't performing with his own groups he can be heard as the pianist and musical director for the Vince Jones band, having co-written and co-produced his latest album "Moving through Taboos". He has worked with many of Australia's finest singers including Katie Noonan, Jackie Orszaczky, and Tina Harrod. He has performed in the bands of some of Australia's most distinguished jazz musicians Dale Barlow, Guy Strazz, Steve Hunter, Dave Panichi, Sandy Evans/ Andrew Robson, Carl Dewhurst, and Phil Slater, among others With these musicians he appears on over fifty albums . He has also embraced music of great stylistic diversity - appearing live or on recordings playing with Joe Tawadros (Egyptian Oud player), Michael McMahon (folk singer/guitarist), Christina Leonard (classical saxophonist), Daorum (collaboration with Korean Pansori singer Bae Il Tong) Matt played with Bobby Previte (USA) during his 1999 Australian "Bitches Brew Project" tour and performed in 2006 with US Saxophonist Greg Osby. He has performed at many festivals and clubs throughout Australia and internationally with many bands Matt was classically trained before he pursued an interest in jazz in his late teens. He studied music as part of a Bachelor of Arts degree at Sydney University and completed an Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies from the NSW Conservatorium in 1994. He has studied in New York with Dave Kikowski, Bruce Barth, Marc Copland and Barry Harris. Matt presents a jazz radio programme called "Blow" every Thursday at Eastside Radio, 89.7 FM. The show is dedicated to presenting jazz and improvised music and features discussions and interviews. He is a founder member and current committee member of the JazzGroove Association - a collective of musicians dedicated to presenting original jazz and groove music. REVIEWS "The general standard of Australian contemporary jazz releases is remarkable and this is one of the really outstanding ones" (Band Of Five Names). JOHN CLARE, Sydney Morning Herald. "It is very hard to think of an Australian production more beautifully played and recorded..." (Band of Five Names "Severance") JOHN CLARE, Sydney Morning Herald. "Standing out was the first airing of music from Matt McMahon's debut CD "Paths and Streams", a landmark in local creative music." JOHN SHAND, Sydney Morning Herald "The highlight of the week was a short set by pianist Matt McMahon, in trio with Jonathan Zwartz and Simon Barker. As well as some stunning (and rather neat) piano compositions, this set featured some absolutely exquisite solos from all concerned ... I'm left with the feeling that this was the best live music I've seen in Sydney for a very long time. CAL CLUGSTON, Revolver. "Musicians Matt McMahon, James Muller and Andrew Robson are the face of young Australian Jazz. That they have contributed musically so much to our culture already speaks volumes for the potential they possess and how much enjoyment and stimulation we can expect them to provide in the future. McMahon is a wonderfully allusive player, at times floating quietly on a breeze, then suddenly rumbling through a tune as if looking for a fight." CRAIG N PEARCE, Drum Media. SIMON BARKER (Drums): Simon studied in Australia with John Collins, and in New York with John Riley, Keith Copeland, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Kim Plainfield and Mike Clarke. Since returning home in 1990 he has performed throughout Australia, Europe, Asia and the US including a 17-city Tran-Siberian concert tour of Russia with the Mark Isaacs trio. In 2005 Simon created Kimnara Records, an independent label presenting new music by Australian improvisers. He is involved in several collaborative projects including Band of Five Names, Showa 44 and Red Fish Blue. In 2005, Simon was commissioned by the Australian Embassy, Seoul to create a cultural exchange event for the 2005 Australia Month Festival in Korea. This led to the formation of Daorim, a group featuring pansori singer Bae Il Tong, Korean traditional percussionist Kim Dong Won, Phil Slater, Matt McMahon and Carl Dewhurst. The group has also performed at the 2006 Jeonju Sori Festival in Korea, and the 2007 Queensland Music Festival. Recent projects include performances with Crossing Roper Bar, a collaborative work featuring indigenous musicians from Ngukuur, NT and members of the Australian Art Orchestra, Elvis Costello and the SSO, Ruby's Story with Archie Roach, Ruby Hunter and the AAO, Paul Grabowsky's song cycle "Before Time Could Change" us as well as concerts with Paul Grabowsky, Joe Lovano, Ed Schuller and Scott Tinkler, performing Tales of Time and Space. He has also been touring Europe and the US with Lucinda Peters, Japan with the Makoto Kuria trio and JAJO, and China with Peter Sherr. He performs regularly with many of Australia's finest jazz groups including Paul Grabowsky Quintet, Australian Art Orchestra, Vince Jones, Scott Tinkler Trio, Phil Slater qt, 20th Century Dog and the Matt McMahon Trio. Simon has also played with many international touring artists including Claire Martin, Sheila Jordan, Gary Smulyan, John Hicks and Carlos Ward. In the past he has recorded and performed with Mark Simmonds Free Boppers, Don Burrows, Judy Bailey, James Muller, Mark Isaacs trio, Lyn Christie, Katie Noonan, Clarion Fracture Zone, Roger Dean, Tim Stevens, Bernie McGann, Andrew Robson trio and James Greening. His has recorded over fifty CDs with local and international jazz artists. Equally active in the jazz education field, Simon gives workshops and private tuition at universities throughout East Asia including the Beijing Central Music Academy, Mahidol University (Thailand), All That Jazz series (Hong Kong), Hanoi Jazz co-op (Vietnam), Seoul Jazz Academy (Korea) and the Christchurch Polytech (NZ). In 1998 and 2000, he was a guest performer for the Canberra School of Music's Jazz Initiative. In 2005 he was guest lecturer and moderator at The University of Canterbury, Christchurch. In July/August 2005, Simon travelled throughout Korea with filmmaker Emma Franz to create "Intangible Asset #82", a documentary exploring physical and spiritual elements of Korean Shamanic music. His interest in developing new music with East Asian musicians has also led to collaborations with the Japan Australia Jazz Orchestra (2006), drummer/composer Won Il (Seoul, April 02), Min young Seok (Seoul 01/02), Eugene Pau (Hong Kong 98), and improviser Kim Dae Hwan (Seoul 99). Simon has been a guest speaker for the Asialink Leadership Program each year since 2003, and in 2002 was awarded an Asialink residency grant to engage with musicians and arts agencies in South Korea.