Review of Glow in the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD 4th Edition.
Nothing riveting about the way this quartet plays, but they find themselves in the writing-eight attractive originals-and the way they bring it to life, sometimes with a caress ('God's Gift', haunting in it's impassive way), more often with an accomplished post-bop attitude. Another interesting bulletin from Australia courtesy of the adventurous Rufus label.
Richard Cook and Brian Morton
Cadence Magazine, New York State, September 1997.
The Java Quartet hails from Australia and offers a program similar in intent to thr Fraize Quintet. They, too, play with the mainstream tradition with a particular bend to the music created in the 60's by groups such as John Coltrane's Quartetand the Miles Davis Quintet. The opening track, 'Call To Life', has a bass line like 'A love Supreme', but a bluesy piano solo that truely swings. Greg Coffin is a two-fisted pianist who does not sound like McCoy Tyner but has a rhythmic drive that rivals him. Tenor saxophonist Jason Cooney sustains his notes, filling the sound spectrum with a rich tone. On the opening track, he rides the dynamic drumming of Mike Quigley, who really pushes the players.
Oddly enough,the second track,'Blind Owl', has a bass line that sounds like an inversion of the one on the previous track. The approach to the melody reminds this listener of some of the work of Jan Garbarek but with a piano line that has a Chick Corea feel .Pianist Greg Coffin is way up front in a very 'hot' mix. 'Alterior Motif' has a funky feel with Cooney sounding like Michael Brecker.
The program on 'Glow' is a good mix of tempos, with an emphasis on melody and interplay. half the material was penned by bassist Michael Galeazzi - he has an extremely melodic feel in his compositions that sometimes leans towards the New Age but rarely falls in. His 'Hip Rotation' is finely funky with a nice straight - ahead feel .The Java Quartet sounds as if they have been together a while, they don't step on each other's lines, and you can hear that they enjoy the music. Their compatability makes for good listening. If you like mainstream jazz that utilizes a creative rhythm section, this disc should satisfy you.
Richard B. Kamins
The Sydney Morning Herald's, May 12th, 1997.
This is a significant step up from The Java Quartet's debut album. Where that seemed rather diffused, this is a much more intense listening experience, with a punchier recording quality.
Bassist Michael Galeazzi and tenor saxophonist Jason Cooney have been joined by new colleagues in pianist Greg Coffin and drummer Mike Quigley. Coffin's assertive style seems to suit Cooney's bold, often abrasive approach. Together, they provide more interesting overlays for Galeazzi's grooving ostinatos than was the case on the first album. Quigley strikes a good balance between intensifying the fireworks and laying back with the bass.
Drum Media 1997.
The Java Quartet bellowed a loud and unheralded HELLO onto the Australian scene a couple of years ago with the release of their debut recording, the wicked 'Slumber For Nordic Wonder'. For this, their second recording, we're more prepared. But they've stuffed us again. Rather than repeat the adrenalin charge of 'Slumber' [ironic, huh?] ,they've unveiled a masterpiece of lyricism. Check Greg Coffin's piano on 'Call To Life', or Jason Cooney's sublimely sensuous tenor on 'Blind Owl', and you'll understand how I can come to be so overwhelmed by the poetry and dynamism this band possess. Why the hell don't they play around more often? It's bloody criminal. Rest assured, 'Glow' does exactly what the title intimates it does, and with considerable style. Run to it children, run to it now.
Craig N. Pearce
ABC Radio 24 Hours Review of Glow, June 1997.
A band of young Sydney musicians, relatively recent graduates of the Sydney Conservatorium Jazz Studies course. Apparently this is their second CD release. I never came across their first.
'Glow' is an apposite title. The music, all originals by the quartet members, is shouting, joyous, fiery. Tenor saxophonist Jason Cooney is one of the brightest of the younger jazz musicians and has worked in Mike Nock's group. He has an attack, especially out front of this band, that can pin you back against the wall - 'post -bop contemporary' is the definition given. The sound shows a keen awarenss of the history of jazz. There's an earthy rawness which gets to you.