Saturday, March 26, 2022

VA - Pyramid Pieces 1 [2020] + VA - Pyramid Pieces 2 [2021] (2 x CD's)



VA - Pyramid Pieces 1 [2020] + VA - Pyramid Pieces 2 [2021] (2 x CD's)

VA - Pyramid Pieces 1 [2020] Modal & Eco Jazz From Australia 1969-1979      Borrowing its title from an infamous Australian jazz composition, Pyramid Pieces is a long overdue compilation which documents a period of Australian modern jazz that flourished during the late 1960's and 70's. A brief yet vital survey which examines an isolated yet thriving vibrant scene that was largely unheard outside of its own country. Whilst many local musicians found success abroad in the UK or the USA, those that remained found limited support for jazz from the commercially-minded mainstream music industry, thus an empowered independent movement was born, represented by labels such as Jazznote and Horst Liepolt’s 44 Records.

This compilation is a showcase of this period and the various forms of modern jazz indicative of the scene, from modal and deep spiritual jazz through to avant-jazz film soundtracks and the unique sub-genre ‘Eco Jazz’ (a distinctive style which drew vivid inspiration from Australia’s natural environment). Featuring essential tracks from celebrated Australian jazz icons such as John Sangster and Alan Lee, the collection also asserts the importance of other often overlooked groups including Jazz Co/op and The Brian Brown Quintet amongst others. Pyramid Pieces is the first entry in a new series that will explore the largely unheard yet incredible sound of Australian modernist Jazz. Tip-on sleeve featuring artwork from renowned Australian abstract expressionist painter Peter Upward. (Amazon)

VA - Pyramid Pieces 2 [2021] Modern Jazz Australia 1969-1980      Following the critical acclaim of the 2020 compilation Pyramid Pieces, The Roundtable return with a second offering of modernist jazz from Australia. Another vital document further examining the nation’s jazz scene during the late 1960s and 70s. A fertile period that witnessed the birth of an in-dependent movement and the development of a distinct Australian jazz sound. While continuing to focus on the modal forms explored in Volume 1, this second edition shifts direction slightly, this time also surveying other post-bop modes representative of the scene including soul jazz, avant-garde ballet music and Eric Dolphy-inspired free jazz.

Again featuring tracks from the esteemed independent imprints Jazznote and 44 Records, the col-lection also offers never before published pieces from less obvious Australian jazz groups. Compo-sitions by internationally renowned musicians including Bob Bertles (Nucleus/Neil Ardley), Bruce Cale (The Spontaneous Music Ensemble/Prince Lasha) and Allan Zavod (Frank Zappa) alongside pillars of the local scene, Charlie Munro and Ted Vining plus the lesser-known yet formidable free jazz unit ‘Out To Lunch’. Pyramid Pieces 2 is another timely insight into the evolution of the in-credible yet obscured Australian modern jazz movement. Tip-on sleeve featuring artwork from renowned Australian modernist painter James Meldrum (Amazon)



Track lists


01 Jazz Co-Op A La Coltrane 7:43

02 Alan Lee Quartet Sunflower 9:26

03 John Sangster Quartet Exploration of the Sun 3:15

04 Galapagos Duck Kate Did 8:20

05 Brian Brown Quintet Wildflowers 5:03

06 Peter Gaudion's Blues Express People Make the World Go Round 7:20


01 Bob Bertles Moontrane Valley of the Tweed 7:03

02 Bruce Cale Quartet Kuri Monga Nui 9:20

03 Charlie Munro Trio Whirlpool 4:31

04 Allan Zavod Circles 4:06

05 Ted Vining Trio Number One 7:57

06 Out to Lunch What the Thunder Said 8:19




  1. Replies
    1. Hi Doc,
      Two different pieces of Australian jazz. Really interesting and enjoyable.
      Hope you get into them.


  2. Replies
    1. You're welcome Guitarradeplastico,scraping oddities.


  3. Thanks for producing these compilations. I know absolutely nothing about Australian jazz, but this seems like a good place to start.

    1. Hi Garu,
      Australia has many great Jazz ensembles. I hope you will get into these.