Across a Field As Vast As One album review

*Another group that i'm extremely proud to be part of is Sam Anning's sextet. Sam formed this group a couple of years ago with material entirely written by the leader. We recorded this album in April 2018 and was released just a month later! Feel free to check out many other releases through Jeremy Rose's record label Earshift Records.

Check out https://www.earshift.com

And here's a video by Haley Miro from the session.


Across A Field As Vast As One

Sam Anning

Earshift Music

Four-and-a-half stars

Published in The Weekend Australian, June 9, 2018

I have rarely heard a more intensely beautiful album than this. Bassist Sam Anning, a ubiquitous sideman on so many albums over the years, has acquitted himself brilliantly in the most demanding situations. Who would have thought that his own music would be so unpretentious, lyrical and heartfelt? This album is testimony to the Perth-Melbourne jazz axis, where in both cities young musicians were encouraged to find their own voice rather than copy American models. Three are originally from Perth: Anning himself (double bass & guitar), Mat Jodrell (trumpet/flugelhorn), and Carl Mackey (alto & tenor saxophones). From Melbourne are Julien Wilson (tenor saxophone & bass clarinet), Andrea Keller (piano) and Danny Fischer (drums). This is in a real sense an all-star group. By the standards of contemporary jazz in Australia, Anning's eight compositions are unusually melodic. The average listener could conceivably hum along to most of the themes, and easily relate to the harmonic changes therein. This is not to say that the music is without complexity and sophistication, but there is an accessibility about the music which augurs well for commercial success. Standing out is the title track, written by Anning in New York following the death of his friend and mentor drummer Allan Browne. The name Across A Field As Vast As One is taken from a poem Anning wrote when Browne was dying in Melbourne. This lovely performance, tinged with sadness if not grief, features luminous solos from Jodrell on flugelhorn and Keller on piano. It’s a moving tribute to Browne's legacy which his students and colleagues still feel today. It’s worth remembering what the great man once said: “Music is far too important to take seriously".

Eric Myers