‘Sweethearts’ reviewed on www.jazzandbeyond.com.au

Here is a trio that knows how to caress a tune but at times they press a little harder opening up no end of melodic explorations within a quasi retro context reminiscent sometimes of the late Paul Motian’s On Broadway sessions. Bassist Anning is joined by reedsman Julien Wilson and the omnipresent Allan Browne on drums. Anning contributes four originals amongst delightful memories by Walter Donaldson, Billy Strayhorn, Irving Berlin and Duke Ellington. Amongst the highlights is one of the pressing numbers by Anning ‘Princess Doug of Fitzroy’. Here Anning opens with a funky bass lick before Wilson states the melody on tenor, which is wonderfully spatial leaving plenty of room for the bass and Browne who simultaneously states the melody and the beat on the drums. Wilson’s tenor reaches further out within context before Anning contributes a fine solo. Elsewhere the disc’s dimensions are increased by Wilson’s soprano, clarinet and bass clarinet but it’s his beautiful Lester Young like tenor that shines often with sensually bent notes. No overdubs though, just solid heartfelt, spontaneous and glorious playing.

– Peter Wockner