SSC1131 2003-05-11

Track List

Place - 8:18
Tic Toc - 4:47
Dreams Of Paper Roses - 5:29
Twenty One - 7:18
Lotte - 9:19
The Return Of Dixon - 7:22
Bedira - 9:47
You Don'T Know What Love Is - 6:44


Aaron Choulai - piano
Tim Ries - sax
Scott Wendholt - trumpet
James Genus - bass
Clarence Penn - drums

Now at 21, the Australian pianist Aaron Choulai is presenting his first international release, and it is as exciting a debut as one could hope to find. One hears the influences, the Blue Note tradition so perfectly evoked in his effortless writing for the two-horn frontline, the traces of Herbie Hancock, but more as a lingua franca than as a self-consciousness. PLACE was recorded in New York with a first rate cast, assembled with the help of participant saxophonist Tim Ries, that also includes, trumpeter Scott Wendholt, bassist James Genus and drummer Clarence Penn


Young Melbourne pianist Aaron Choulai released an impressive indie album of original compositions with his sextet, Vada, a couple of years ago. His first CD under his own name finds him in the big league. Recorded last year in New York (for the French label, Sunnyside, but released here on Move), it teams him with experienced US trumpeter Scott Wendholt and saxophonist Tim Ries, plus Dave Douglas' rhythm section, bassist James Genus and drummer Clarence Penn. Inevitably, the album has a New York sound, and listeners will hear echoes of jazz heroes like Miles Davis or Dave Douglas. But Choulai's compositions stand up as attractive vehicles that can establish a mood, and encourage the soloists to produce strong statements. Choulai is not a flamboyant pianist, but his solos here are consistently thoughtful, and germane to the theme at hand.

All That Jazz