Thursday, January 21, 2021

MENAGERIE · MANY WORLDS

Freestyle Records 
Jan. 15, 2021

Menagerie is the Jazz ensemble founded by Melbourne’s Lance Ferguson, also the driving force behind The Bamboos, Lanu, Rare Groove Spectrum and one time member of Cookin' On 3 Burners.

Menagerie 'They Shall Inherit' saw the light of day in 2012 and established the fact that Jazz of the contemporary type could reach back to it's essential roots and present itself, refreshed and vital for a contemporary audience.

2018 saw the release of ’The Arrow Of Time’ on UK label Freestyle. Inspired by both the post-Coltrane generation of the 70’s and the current ‘New Wave Of Jazz’, the album made serious waves internationally in 2018, being championed by the likes of BBC’s Gilles Peterson, Jamie Cullum, Courtney Pine and Don Letts. It features some of Australia’a finest musicians, including pianist Mark Fitzgibbon, percussionist Javier Fredes, Phil Noy on Saxophones and Ross Irwin on Trumpet.


"Many Worlds" is the third album by Menagerie released by esteemed UK label Freestyle Records. Recorded at Union Street Studio by award-winning engineer John Castle, "Many Worlds" features some of Australia’s finest musicians, including pianist Mark Fitzgibbon (a regular performer at Gilles Peterson and Patrick Forge’s original Dingwalls sessions), drummer Daniel Farrugia and renowned saxophonist Phil Noy (The Bamboos).


Inspired by both the post-Coltrane generation of the 70s, labels like Strata-East, Impulse! and Tribe, along with the current ‘New Wave Of Jazz’, Menagerie aligns with the world of Kamasi Washington, Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia, whilst also bringing their own unique twist.

Lead single "Free Thing" leans heavily into the spiritual side of the band's sound with a hypnotic spoken word-poem that is evocative of The Last Poets. The song is an earthy yet futuristic meditation on the universal theme of freedom itself, set to a backdrop of insistent percussion, double bass and brooding piano voicings.

Opening track "Hope" carries the sound of spiritual jazz into the 21st century with its epic vocal harmonies and melodic fanfare. It is an uplifting anthem for this period of global upheaval and uncertainty.

Title track "Many Worlds" is a perfect example of how Menagerie incorporates their myriad influences but manage to create a sound that feels uncannily fresh and contemporary. Book-ended by ambient, ethereal sections, the slow-burning groove builds over its 11-minute duration to create a standout crossover track.

"Many Worlds" will be released on legendary U.K imprint Freestyle Records - home to jazz contemporaries Courtney Pine, Jessica Lauren, and keyboard legend Brian Auger.


Tracklist:

1. Hope
2. Many Worlds
3. Free Thing
4. Mountain Song
5. Hymn Of The Turning Stone
6. Quantum Blues Featuring:

Lance Ferguson; Guitar & Vocals
Phillip Noy; Tenor, Alto & Soprano Saxophone
Ross Irwin; Trumpet
Mark Fitzgibbon; Piano & Fender Rhodes
Ben Hanlon; Acoustic & Electric Bass
Daniel Farrugia; Drums
Phil Binotto; Percussion & Vibraphone
Fallon Williams; Vocals
Christin Deralas; Vocals


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