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davegraney thumbnail
davegraney Sounds so great. I have a Hubert Laws CTI album of Stravinsky pieces. Bravo for the idea and the execution and thanks also for making it available on Compact Disc.
James Sandeman
James Sandeman thumbnail
James Sandeman The gloaming are my favourite band partly for the way they give new life to folk music, merging different styles in a beautiful way. I think James Sherlock & Ben Hanlon might even be going a step further here by bringing improvisation back to classical music, tastefully, playfully & thoughtfully, the way it should be done. This album has exceeded my expectations & I had pretty high expectations...
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Hardcopy CD in gatefold case with CD case with photography by Sarah Walker and album design by Hetty Kate.

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‘Stravinsky’ is the second album by Sherlock Hanlon, jazz guitarist James Sherlock and MSO bassist Ben Hanlon’s Melbourne based duo project. With shared backgrounds in classical music and jazz, the duo is focused on the potential of arranging orchestral works for improvising, and here they take on iconoclastic Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s canonical works The Rite of Spring and Petrushka alongside compositions by Gershwin and Debussy.
The album presents concise distillations of orchestral works for two instruments using the themes of the originals as starting points. The arrangements feel natural, authentic and fluid and take the right amount of liberty with the original works, turning them into living, breathing contemporary improvisations while maintaining the essence of Stravinsky’s
orchestra scores. The two effortlessly alternate between accompanying and leading, Sherlock’s guitar flits between soloing and chordal comping and Hanlon’s bass switches from pizzicato to buttery arco. Both instruments cover the full register’s available to them, sometimes bass soars above the guitar with Sherlock playing an anchor role before the bass returns to its home territory. Sometimes they even make Stravinsky swing.

James Sherlock and Ben Hanlon began playing in a duo format in 2017 bringing together two storied careers in improvising and classical music. James has collaborated and toured with international artists including Jeff “Tain” Watts, Sheila Jordan, Cyrille Aimée and Leroy Jones and performed at Jazz festivals from Montreux to Wangaratta. Double bassist Ben Hanlon is a rare breed of musician, whose virtuosity and musicality enable him to move fluidly between his permanent role with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and a multitude of high profile jazz ensembles.


released August 8, 2021

James Sherlock - Guitar
Ben Hanlon - Double Bass
Mixed and Mastered by Niko Schauble at Pughouse studios
Photography by Sarah Walker
Album design by Hetty Kate


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James Sherlock and Ben Hanlon Melbourne, Australia

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