NEW SPRINGS ★★★★
Hawthorn Arts Centre, September 6
Friday night marked the premiere of an ambitious cross-cultural collaboration, New Springs. The seeds of this project were planted more than 20 years ago, when Sandy Evans and Adrian Sherriff – two highly respected Australian jazz musicians – met the revered Indian percussionist Karaikudi R. Mani. Their decades-long association with Guru Mani eventually led to the creation of this ensemble, forging new pathways between contemporary jazz and Carnatic music.
The other two Australian participants – bassist Jonathan Dimond and drummer Adam King – have a deep understanding of Indian music. On Friday they radiated an air of relaxed assurance as they leapfrogged from one elaborate rhythmic motif to the next.
The musicians of New Springs.
Evans and Sherriff, too, displayed extraordinary dexterity and precision on saxophone and bass trombone, whether locking in tight with the full ensemble or launching into inspired solos.