Opal Dream

by Howie Smith / Mike Nock

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1.
2.
05:25
3.
02:24
4.
05:43
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
03:28
10.
11.
12.
07:35
13.
00:38
14.
00:49
15.
01:06
16.
17.
00:51
18.
19.
04:50

about

Sydney-based pianist, composer, and educator Mike Nock has appeared on over one hundred recordings during the past fifty-five years and won more awards than would fill a lift-top piano stool. He’s had an extended influence on, and participation in jazz, across the USA, Europe, and Australasia. Cleveland State University professor, saxophonist Howie Smith visited Australia in 1973 setting up the first tertiary jazz studies program here at the Sydney Conservatorium, remaining as director until 1976. This duo album showcases two grand old masters of jazz as they inspire, exchange and co-originate musical ideas, sparking wonderfully off each other. Smith’s soprano and alto display a pure clear tone while Nock’s Korg Kronos keyboard supplies a variety of judicious effects without overdubbing or overuse. Eleven of nineteen tracks are totally improvised while the others are composed by the players except for a Charlie Mariano piece He’s Gone, a ballad of deep sadness where the soprano’s melancholy theme is elaborated by a moving solo of sombre piano. Smith’s alto on To Be, Ornette, To Be, establishes a tribute to Ornette Coleman as the piano alternates between crashing chords, cascading runs, intricate figurines and unison passages. Life-like orchestral effects open and accompany The Magic Garden and a short Rag(ged) Time features stride piano and trad soprano increasing in complexity to a fade-out. Jamaican Rhum is a sprightly alto theme into which Nock deftly injects latin-timed dissonance. The title track is a profoundly beautiful soundscape vaguely reminiscent of Stardust and emblematic of the brilliant paired virtuosity in this broad sweep of an inspired collection.

John McBeath 4 1/2 stars ( The AUSTRALIAN )

credits

released April 6, 2015

Tracks 4,6,9,10,16 composed by Howie Smith ( Otama Music BMI )
Tracks 2,12 composed by Mike Nock ( Fourth Way Music ASCAP )
Tracks 1,3,5,7,8,11,13-15,17,18 by Howie Smith/Mike Nock.
Track 19 composed by Charlie Mariano ( Newport Music ASCAP )
Track 9, Opal Dream recorded CSU's Drinko Recital Hall 25 Feb,1997. James Abbot engineer, all others recorded at Trackdown, Sydney Australi, April 10 & 20, 2012. Engineer Daniel Brown. Mixed & mastered by Bruce Gigax, Audio recording, Cleveland, OHIO.

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about

Mike Nock Sydney, Australia

New Zealand born Mike Nock’s career spans a broad range of contemporary music. Widely recognised as an important voice in Australian modern music, he is.based in Sydney, and also spent 25 years in the USA, working with many of the world’s top jazz artists. Awards and honours include the prestigious Don Banks Award, the New Zealand Order of Merit and induction into the Bell Awards Hall of Fame. ... more

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