In conjunction with Earshift Music, Sydney based saxophonist-composer Sam Gill announces his new album Many Altered Returns. The album is the first release by his quartet Coursed Waters, a Melbourne/Sydney collaboration featuring drummer James McLean alongside pianist Novak Manojlovic and bassist Jacques Emery.
The music of Many Altered Returns is a culmination of three years of collaborative exploration and refinement. Across the album’s six tracks, Many Altered Returns navigates expanses of open improvisation within Gill’s provocative multi-sectional compositions, moving between moments of extreme density to whispering repose.
The inspiration for Many Altered Returns draws from Gill’s interest in the line between highly structured composition and free improvisation: “All of the music I love as a listener shares the quality of sounding both tightly organised and completely spontaneous,” says Gill, “leaving me feeling disoriented in some way. So my aim when writing for Coursed Waters was to foster a group approach that could generate that disorientating feeling in our own, personal way.”
With this aesthetic goal, Gill has created a body of compositions that push rhythm to the foreground of the music, written with the unique creative voices of McLean, Manojlovic and Emery in mind. “When we play together, there’s often a rhythm cycle that we’re improvising around or referencing in some abstract way, but we try to avoid stating the cycle explicitly. We’re more interested in being able to hold a state of playful ambiguity.” Variations on unfamiliar themes, recurrences without clear boundaries. It is these ideas of disguised cycles and hidden repetitions that inform the album’s title, Many Altered Returns.
Gill is an emerging voice within the Australian jazz and improvising community. He has performed with a number of Australia’s leading improvisers including Simon Barker, Paul Cutlan, Chris Hale, Andrea Keller and Gian Slater, as well as acclaimed ensembles such as world-music ensemble Mara! and the Australian Art Orchestra. In addition to Coursed Waters, he leads and co-leads several groups including Scattered, Microfiche and Mind On Fire. He has appeared on numerous records including Mind on Fire's The Process of Unbecoming (2017), Microfiche's self-titled 2016 album, and the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Orchestra’s 2017 release Okay.
released April 12, 2019
Sam Gill - alto saxophone & compositions
Novak Manojlovic - piano
Jacques Emery - double bass
James McLean - drums
Sam Gill is a saxophonist & composer based in Sydney. His music explores the intersections of composed and improvised music, appearing in his own groups Coursed Waters & Scattered as well as the collectives Mind on Fire & Microfiche.
supported by 5 fans who also own “Many Altered Returns”
Such beautiful, soulful jazz.
The music here is superbly composed, with compositions that ebb and flow as naturally as the flowing of water, which lends a reflective, elegiac feel to the entire album.
What is particularly impressive is the intuitive feel between all players, with the saxophonists, Julien Wilson and Carl Mackey being especially good throughout.
This is one of the best Australian jazz albums I've heard. Music as natural as breathing. Michael Mueller
Two fifths of the acclaimed group Irreversible Entanglements create a revolutionary LP celebrating Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences through intricate drum and brass arrangements. Bandcamp Album of the Day Oct 21, 2020