This year has been a particularly rocky one for Graham Wood, a man whose ubiquity stands as a foundation for the Perth jazz scene. Almost losing a battle with life-threatening cancer has left a permanent scar and it will be interesting to see where his future releases go from here.
Remembrance was recorded last year, shortly before Wood’s cancer battle and stands as a tribute to his departed father, with a pensive undercurrent throughout the album.
Highlights include 34th Street Traffic Jam, with its smoothly melodic solo by Wood, while Gotham Blues exemplifies more energetic and challenging ideas, with Simon Jeans and Jamie Oehlers leading the way on guitar and tenor sax, respectively. Title track, Remembrance, is a sombre piano ballad, thick with the feeling of loss, before the album picks up once more with several arrangements of standards by Wood and the group.
The band benefits with the years of experience the musicians have together and the album does well to maintain continuous and subtle mood shifts while leaving enough room for each musician’s voice without sounding cluttered.