• Review: Clint Allen, Martin Fondse, Zapp4 – “Impulse”

    Review: Clint Allen, Martin Fondse, Zapp4 – “Impulse”
    ITG Journal, Vol. 38, No. 2 (January 2014)
    (Brian Winegardner, Charlotte, NC).

    impulse review

    Australian-born trumpeter Clint Allen, a recently-named Bach Artist and Clinician, currently directs the University of Queensland Big Band.  He was awarded a 2011 Churchill Fellowship to study contemporary trumpet performance techniques from leading practitioners of crossover music in Amsterdam, London and Paris. Produced in 2012 with funding from the Churchill Fellowship Trust, this album is an intriguing venture into contemporary composition and avant-garde performance practice that strives to merge modern jazz with classical sensibilities. Every work in this recording is a new composition written specifically for this CD. The performing ensemble used is highly unusual; it combines the trumpet and piano with the Amsterdam-based Zapp 4 string quartet. The pieces presented in this recording are truly chamber works, with no member being used exclusively in either a background or solo role. Allen’s tone is warm and beautiful, and he blends very well with the ensemble around him.

    His sound soars above the ensemble when appropriate and provides a colorful backdrop when it is not the musical focus. The strings, piano, and trumpet all present technically impressive and musically tasteful improvisations that blend smoothly with surrounding material.  The improvisation for Surfarara where the violin and trumpet both simultaneously move into the stratosphere of their ranges is particularly exciting. A number of fascinating musical effects, both percussive and timbral, are presented throughout the album, particularly in Crystal Quiet No.1 and Crystal Quiet No.2. Impulse’s compositions incorporate elements of contemporary jazz, minimalism, and experimental performing technique. The disc does not come with liner notes, and it would be interesting to learn more about the inspiration behind the album’s compositions and the types of extended techniques used in their performance. This is an intriquing recording for anyone interested in contemporary performance and classical/jazz crossover music .

  • Impulse

    Clint Allen / Martin Fondse / Zapp 4
    Available NOW from :

    New classical/jazz crossover music for trumpet, piano and string quartet.

    This limited edition CD features Australian trumpeter Clint Allen, the infamous Dutch pianist/composer Martin Fondse, and the extraordinary Amsterdam-based Zapp 4 String Quartet (winners of the prestigious Sena Performers Toonzetters Award in 2012) performing new music by a host of renowned composers (Robert Davidson, Steve Newcomb, Thomas Green, Leonard Evers, Martin Fondse, Oene Van Geel and Robert Maggio).

    This album documents Churchill Fellowship recipient Clint Allen’s foray into contemporary composition and performance that seeks to bring modern jazz together with classical sensibilities. After rehearsing in Amsterdam at the ‘Theatre de Roode Bioscoop’, the six musicians travelled to the famous ‘Fattoria Musica’, a recording studio in Osnabrück, Germany (with an amazing Steinway D-series concert grand piano), which is located on a beautiful old farm and is considered to be one of the leading facilities for music production in Germany.

    “Impulse” hints of contemporary jazz, minimalism and avant-garde experimentalism, where the improvisations are themselves organic and act seamlessly with the compositions. Recorded under the watch of renowned sound engineer, Chris Weeda and mastered by Darius Van Helfteren (Amsterdam Mastering), the result is a CD of haunting beauty, unsettling at times with dark overtones, but with glistening strings and gorgeous piano lines.

    A one-of-a-kind limited edition CD.
    released 01 April 2013
    Trumpet: Clint Allen
    Piano: Martin Fondse
    Violin: Jasper le Clercq
    Violin: Jeffrey Bruinsma
    Viola: Oene van Geel
    Cello: Jörg Brinkmann

    Recorded @ Fattoria Musica (Osnabrück, Germany)
    Sound engineer: Chris Weeda
    Produced: Martin Fondse & Chris Weeda
    Mastering: Darius Van Helfteren (Amsterdam Mastering)

    Recorded in Germany on 22 & 23 June, 2012.

    1. Impulse (6:49) – Thomas Green
    2. Song (6:25) – Leonard Evers
    3. Glare (4:44) – Robert Davidson
    4. Crystal Quiet #1 (3:32) – Martin Fondse
    5. The River (5:23) – Oene van Geel
    6. To Walk (5:34) – Steve Newcomb
    7. Surfarara (6:14) – Robert Maggio
    8. Crystal Quiet #2 (7:33) – Martin Fondse

  • Review: The Soundscapes Quintet – “Globaletic”

    Review: The Soundscapes Quintet – “Globaletic”
    ITG Journal, Vol. 36, No. 3 (March 2012)
    (Jim Martinicic, adjunct instructor of music, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois).

    Globaletic is the debut CD effort by the Soundscapes Quintet, an Australian group formed in 2007. This eclectic collection of songs is sumptuous and arousing to the spirit and spirit. The CD title implies that the music is global (has worldwide appeal), while also interweaving a variety of genres in an eclectic fashion. This incredible potpourri of sound, emotion, and rhythmic grooves are drawn from classical, Latin, jazz, swing, funk, and other world music. The improvisational skill of these five exciting musicians explodes on every track. The angular harmonic content and strong rhythmic continuity provide an incredible background structure that allows the creativity and spirit of these artists to flow.

    Bridge to Hell has a modal Miles feel that trumpeter Clint Allen performs beautifully. The piece alternates introspective and up-tempo extroversion. Take That! showcases Clint Allen doing some sweet muted trumpet work in combination with a tight ensemble in a swing-bop style. Downward Spiral is a marvelous vehicle for Clint Allen’s haunting and heartfelt flugelhorn work. Southside Pocket demonstrates the great ensemble chemistry within this group, navigating a variety of grooves and harmonic soundscapes. Spur of the Moment has a familiar Chick Corea “Spain-like” vibe in the beginning and then modulates to an emotional mid-section before returning to an up-tempo ensemble coda.

    There are no liner notes for this project. It would have been nice to see what the group’s concept was for their songs. However, it is just as sweet to let the listen interpret the songs as he or she hears the group on this fusion-filled soundscape. This is a CD that will be enjoyed by anyone interested in 21-century eclectic and world ensemble genres.

  • Brass Quintet – French Program

    I’ve been asked to put together a brass quintet program that features French composers as part of Brisbane City Council’s Lunchtime Music Series. We’ll feature some beautiful works by Satie, Ravel, Poulenc, Bizet and Berlioz.

    The lineup for this group will be:
    Trumpet 1: Clint Allen
    Trumpet 2: Tom Morison
    F Horn: Bec Luton
    Trombone: Adrian Head
    Tuba: Tom Allely

  • Natalie Cole Big Band

    I’m Looking forward to playing with Nine-time GRAMMY award winner singer Natalie Cole here in Brisbane on the 28th January (QPAC).

  • Zappa Big Band debuts at Woodford Folk Festival

    The incredible Zappa Big Band made their debut appearance at the 2011/12 Woodford Folk Festival. All your favourites were featured – ‘Peaches en Rengalia’, ‘G-Spot Tornado’, ‘The Grand Wazoo’, ‘The Black Page’…..

    Thursday 29 December @ 7.45pm
    Friday 30 December @ 8pm

    ALTO 1: Scott Griffith
    ALTO 2: Ellie McIntosh
    TENOR 1: Darren McPherson
    TENOR 2: Andrew Ball
    BARI: Joe Roberts

    TRUMPET 1: Clint Allen
    TRUMPET 2: Shane Purnell
    TRUMPET 3: Mal Wood
    TRUMPET 4: Sean Rankin

    TROMBONE 1: Adrian Head
    TROMBONE 2: Josh Yaniw
    TROMBONE 3: John Cosic

    PIANO: Kellee Green
    GUITAR: Paul Henderson
    BASS: Craig Kickbush
    DRUMS: John McDermott
    PERCUSSION: Dave Kemp
    VOCALS: Stu Fisher