Elegant compositions meld with passionate improvisation
The ishs/Allen Project (TiAP) launches their debut, self-titled album on 4 March 2015. Spearheaded by pianist/composer ade ishs and drummer Chelsea Allen, the band currently comprises a quartet with Paul Bonnington (semi-acoustic and electric basses) and Ee Shan Pang (trumpet, flugelhorn, and voice).
Of the group’s fledgling recording, Peter Neville (Head of Percussion and New Music Studio, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music) says, “Often sparse and understated, always elegant, this debut album for The ishs/Allen Project delivers wonderfully complementary pieces, each painted in warm harmonic brushstrokes, framed in thoughtful arrangements, and recorded to perfection.”
ade says, “I’m particularly drawn to the compositional styles of contemporary composers and instrumentalists. I really enjoy the levels of details exhibited in their writing, and enjoy the challenge of playing improvised music with interesting and complex forms.”
These, as well as ade’s early classical influences, are evident in compositions such as the rhapsody-like Handholding, poignant A Place in the World, and the exuberant samba, Welcoming Spring.
The evocative Guildford Lane, co-written by the band leaders, showcases a sensitive duet between piano and drums that speaks of the beginning of their musical journey and the place of their meeting in Melbourne.
Says Chelsea, “The ishs/Allen Project is an improvising musical group, of course, in keeping with the very best traditions of contemporary and traditional jazz, but we also have a focus on writing and performing compositions that speak to the heart, which take the listener on a journey, and which give us an exciting platform for composing in the moment.”
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