About

Barney is a special piano player with that certain heart and touch, so he has great possibilities.
He’s a genuine musician, not just a skilled artist. There’s a certain touch that I’m talking about.
It’s hard to explain, but he has that
-Billy Harper

Barney McAll (born Melbourne, Australia, 1966) is a jazz pianist and composer. Barney McAll moved to New York City from Australia in 1997 to join saxophonist Gary Bartz‘s band. As well as remaining to be a member of the Gary Bartz quartet, he also plays with the Josh Roseman Unit, Fred Wesley and the JB’s, Groove Collective, and Kurt Rosenwinkel‘s “Heartcore”. He completed a Bachelor of Music at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, studying with pianists Paul Grabowsky, Tony Gould and Mike Nock and with guitarist Doug Devries.

His ensembles include “M.O.D.A.S”, “Sylent Running”, “GRAFT” and his most recent ensemble ASIO (Australian Symbiotic Improvisers Orbit). He was awarded the Australia Council Fellowship in 2007 and worked as musical director for Australian vocalist Sia Furler from 2011-2012.

Barney McAll is also the 2015 recipient of the Peggy Glanville-Hicks composer residency in Sydney, Australia.

He has recorded or performed internationally with many other musicians including Dewey Redman, Roy Ayers, Kenny Garrett, Maceo Parker, Jimmy Cobb, Eddie Henderson, Aloe Blacc, Peter Apfelbaum, Billy Harper, Daniel Merriweather and Vernel Fournier. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2015 McAll won Best Jazz Album for Mooroolbark.[1]

 

McAll is partial to unleashing surprises himself, whether they be radical dynamic shifts –
such as suddenly reducing a solo to the merest trickle of notes against thrumming bass
and whispered cymbal chatter – or just finding bewitchingly unexpected turns to take in
developing a melody. Masterful.
-SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

 

Selected discography

  • 1996 – Exit (Jazzhead)
  • 1998 – Widening Circles (Jazzhead)
  • 2000 – Release the Day (Transparent Music/Jazzhead)
  • 2005 – Mother of Dreams and Secrets (Jazzhead)
  • 2009 – Flashbacks (Extracelestial Arts)
  • 2011 – Blueprints (Jazzhead)
  • 2011 – Recollections – Best Of (Jazzhead)
  • 2012 – Graft (Jazzhead)
  • 2013 – Swirl Cauldron Swirl (Extra Celestial Arts)
  • 2013 – Solo Piano Live (Extra Celestial Arts)
  • 2015 – Mooroolbark (ABC Jazz)
  • Works

    • 1999 ¡¡EMANCIPATE THE DISSONANCE!! with Slave Pianos (Lombard-Freid Fine Arts NYC)
    • 2004 Two lives in flux – and vice versa Vilnius, Lithuania
    • 2009 “Vanishing Point” collaboration with video artist Janet Biggs (Claire Oliver Gallery NYC)
    • 2015 “The Unanswered Question” for UH Chorale Choir with Janet Biggs
    • 2015 ZEPHYRIX for Monash Art Ensemble

 

Barney McAll is a musical conjurer of the highest order
-CMJ REVIEW

 

Awards

  • 1990 Winner Jazz Piano Award at the Wangaratta Festival Of Jazz
  • 1993 Winner ARIA Award for Best Jazz Composition “Hindered On His Way To Heaven” (with Vince Jones)
  • 1996 Nominated ARIA Award Best Jazz Album : EXIT
  • 1998 Best Jazz Composition Award from NSW Jazz Action society
  • 2006 Bell Award nomination Best Jazz Album : MODAS (Mother Of Dreams And Secrets)
  • 2007 Grammy nomination for best contemporary Jazz Album (people people, music music)
  • 2007-2008 Australia Council Fellowship
  • 2010 Bell Award nomination Best Song : Flashback
  • 2010 Bell Award nomination Best Contemporary Jazz Album : Flashbacks
  • 2012 AIR Award nomination Best Jazz Album : Graft
  • 2012 Nominated ARIA Award Best Jazz Album : Graft
  • 2012 Bell Award nomination Best Song “Nostalgia For The Present”
  • 2012 Bell Award nomination Best Jazz album : Graft
  • 2014 Bell Award nomination Best Contemporary jazz album : Trio Feral :Don’t Feed
  • 2015 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer Residency
  • 2015 Winner ARIA Award Best Jazz Album : Mooroolbark
  • 2015 Winner Australian Independent Record Labels Association Best Jazz Album : Mooroolbark
  • 2015 Winner The Age Music Victoria Awards Best Jazz Album : Mooroolbark

 

 

There was a virtual absence of familiar bop riffs, extended bop harmonies or precise
bop rhythms. Instead, Rosenwinkel’s pieces offered turbulent, thickly textured waves of
sound, mostly produced by Barney McAll’s impassioned keyboard work.
-LOS ANGELES TIMES

 

Using space and simplicity, Barney McAll conjures mighty music.
-ALL ABOUT JAZZ

McAll manages to intelligently integrate pop elements into his music and deserves
much wider attention.
-LOS ANGELES TIMES

McAll displays an immediate feel for each pattern and the stamina to sustain them
without sounding automatic. McAll also contributed some of the most successful solos,
playfully blending his parts of the arrangements with bleeding voicings and darting accents”
-THE BOSTON GLOBE

“(McAll’s) ability to craft memorable themes is matched by a feel for the atmospheric…
Now established on the intensely competitive New York jazz scene, he plays here with
some of the city’s leading musicians. His music is utterly contemporary, McAll demonstrating
throughout that he is a talented composer as well as gifted keyboardist”
-ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE

The revelation of the evening is pianist Barney McAll. Playing beneath the liquid passages
of (Dewey) Redman, McAll carefully kneaded clusters of notes from his hands that I found
devastating. He explored ideas with a dramatic flourish that had the audience in raptures”
-DRUM MEDIA

 

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