A U S T R A L I A N   S Y M B I O T I C    I M P R O V I S E R S   O R B IT

Barney McAll on Piano and Chucky bio here
Julien Wilson on Sax  bio here
Jonathan Zwartz on Bass bio here
Stephen Magnusson on Guitar bio here
Simon Barker  bio here/ Hamish Stuart on Drums bio here

-Sydney Morning Herald *****

-The Australian *****

Melbourne-raised pianist McAll moved to New York in 1997, working with artists as varied as Sia and Dewey Redman as well as writing film scores. He returned to Australia last year and has lost no time in assembling a cast of some of Australia’s finest jazz players. Here he reflects on the suburb of his youth and naturally enough his music has a filmic kind of quality: it’s not about blazing solos but compositional skill and ensemble playing. Nectar Spur uses wordless vocals to enhance its hypnotic quality. Saxophonist Julien Wilson plays a key role, reinforcing the melody ofFebruary while the band explores complex rhythms below and leading the way through the late-night grooves of Coast Road. On Jendhi Stephen Magnusson’s electric guitar flashes like lightning across the landscape, out in the fringes between Weather Report and Radiohead. The final track features Barney, aged eight, playing boogie woogie at the piano at his childhood home, neatly rounding off a musical journey that builds on the past while looking to the future.


This music turns the arrows of listening back on us like a Zen Koan.  Barney McAll is an award-winning, Grammy nominated Jazz Musician based in New York. He was recently awarded a one year Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers Residency and he currently resides at the Paddington residency house in Sydney, Australia

-CJC New Zealand

It being Melbourne International Jazz Festival My mind is spinning and my heart is exploding at the gig I saw last night of Barney McAll and his outrageous Quintet!  This kind of presentation is ALL about what the jazz festival should be about. Incredibly exciting music of a level that we don’t get a chance to see from our local players (and expats) all too often.

Their concert for the Melbourne’s International Jazz Festival saw McAll and his quintet of leading Australian musicians walk onstage in orange safety vests ironically emblazoned with the acronym of ASIO, not referring to the intelligence agency but standing for Australian Symbiotic Improvisers Orbit, to present their ‘evocative reflection on time and place.’

 -Australian Stage

Barney McAll has called this group Australian Symbiotic Improvisers Orbit or ASIO for short, which he explained “just happens to be the name for the true genus of  owl.”  The implication of course is that ASIO is commonly referenced in regard to the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.  At the basement all the musicians walked out in customised fluorescent orange vests with ASIO painted on the back

– A New Frame