MJC Presents: Sherlock Hanlon – ‘Stravinsky’ Album Launch
Sunday, November 28, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
‘Stravinsky’ is the second album by jazz guitarist James Sherlock and MSO bassist Ben Hanlon’s Melbourne based duo project.
With shared backgrounds in classical music and jazz, the duo is focused on the potential of arranging orchestral works for improvising, and here they take on iconoclastic Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s canonical works The Rite Of Spring and Petrushka, alongside compositions by Gershwin and Debussy.
The album presents concise distillations of orchestral works for two instruments using the themes of the originals as starting points. The arrangements feel natural, authentic and fluid and take the right amount of liberty with the original works, turning them into living, breathing contemporary improvisations while maintaining the essence of Stravinsky’s orchestral scores. The two effortlessly alternate between accompanying and leading, Sherlock’s guitar flits between soloing and chordal comping and Hanlon’s bass switches from pizzicato to buttery arco. Both instruments cover the full register’s available to them, sometimes bass soars above the guitar with Sherlock playing an anchor role before the bass returns to its home territory. Sometimes they even make Stravinsky swing.
James Sherlock and Ben Hanlon began playing in a duo format in 2017 bringing together two storied careers in improvising and classical music. James has collaborated and toured with international artists including Jeff “Tain” Watts and Leroy Jones and performed at Jazz festivals from Montreux to Wangaratta. Double bassist Ben Hanlon is a rare breed of musician, whose virtuosity and musicality enable him to move fluidly between his permanent role with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a multitude of high-profile jazz ensembles.
An opening set will feature the incredible vocalist Merinda Dias-Jayasinha and hotshot young bassist Isaac Gunoo.