Graft is Barney McAll’s seventh album and continues this exciting trajectory. The album features vocalists Gian Slater and Sia Furler, the acclaimed 16 piece choir Invenio and Dan Weiss on drums.
Graft juxtaposes the purity of Gian Slater’s Invenio Choir against a constantly morphing background of virtual and real, improvisation and composition, shadows and light. It is a wild musical sound painting. Graft is a suite of music that looks at technology and the bizarre affect it is having on human connection.
Like plants growing through concrete, a child commanding a touch screen, or a tiny beating heart inside a hard drive, these pieces are thought provoking and emotive.
Graft is the music of now.
Out on Jazzhead.
Having resided in New York since 1998, McAll’s innovation and talent as an artist has continued to grow and evolve, never stagnant, never without purpose, as this truly stunning new recording will attest.
“The most powerful impression came from New York-based Australian pianist Barney McAll. His visionary new work Graft (featuring two pianos, vibraphone and a 16-voice choir) combined soulful grooves, electronics, ethereal harmonies and exquisite lyricism”. SYDNEY MORNING HERAL
Barney McAll’s seventh album is a far reaching affair that stylistically ties a number of issues and musical timeframes into one cohesive fabric. Graft is as much about musical history, the various means of sound creation of the 21st century and future directions, as it is about compelling jazz piano improvisation. Yet miraculously, digital samples, wordless choral arrangements and piano improvisation meet at one destination and happily sit comfortably and sometimes disturbingly, together. ‘Nostalgia for the Present’ opens with a narrative of the possible future of social interaction on the internet with voice enabling technology containing obvious glitches – ” I can be myself around you, isn’t it?” ” 20,000 of my close friends are, friends” ” I have a lazy eye”. The melody has a beautiful vibraphone line by Dale Gorfinkel that instrumentally asks “Is this really where we are heading?” Titles like ‘Jazz Epidural’ and ‘Blood USB’ raise just as many questions as they answer but throughout, the music remains highly accessible possibly reaching a crescendo in the fitting final piece (the only piece not penned by McAll) by Abbey Lincoln ‘The Music is the Magic’. Gian Slater’s choral arrangements have a life of their own and turn this tune into an exultant soulful aural experience
-Peter Wokner (four and a half stars)
Excellent music and production, you have never heard anything like this music before. Buy this new music today! It will take you to another world as McAll’s music seeks to comment and express modern concepts of social media.
A sublime work of genius and magic
Transcendent and grounding at the same time, while listening to this album I felt I was at once soaring through outer space as well as deeply aware of my body and emotions. At times I was almost crushed by the beauty of the music and the relentless mind expansion it provoked in me. It made me wonder if this was perhaps what love must be like.