Stumbling Upon Marc Hannaford
Sometimes, I feel guilty about the attention I devote to albums that happen to have Tim Berne on them. Seems a little unfair. Then again, Berne was my touchstone to creative music and has been a reliable beacon for discovering interesting artists — much the same way that the viola obsession helped educate me on the the classical music side.
So, yes, Ordinary Madness (Marchon, 2012) came to my attention because it has Berne on it — but I’d also been aware of Australian trumpeter Scott Tinkler and the darting abandon he can bring to free jazz. And now I’m acquainted with pianist Marc Hannaford, another Australian (now living in New York) and the leader of this session.
As you can read on Bandcamp, Berne actually was the impetus for the recording, as he’d met Hannaford at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. The album is unedited — three long improvised pieces by a quintet, a studio concert documented in the moment.
It’s a crisp session, with Tinkler sounding particularly inspired and frequently taking the lead (to my ear, anyway). Here’s a nice segment from the title track, where a group session gives way to a trio moment for Hannaford’s piano, bassist Philip Rex, and drummer Simon Barker.
You can sample Ordinary Madness on eMusic.
As mentioned, Hannaford is in New York nowadays. He has a trio with Simon Jermyn (bass) and Satoshi Takeishi (drums) that’s been rehearsing for three years; here’s a video sample of a Jan. 28 gig they did at IBeam Brooklyn.