The musicians on this CD (pianist Chris Cody, James Greening on trombone and pocket trumpet, guitarist Jon Pease, bassist Lloyd Swanton, drummer John Bartram and percussionist Fabian Hevia) will not be familiar to American listeners, but that is because they are all fixtures of the jazz scene in Sydney, Australia. They have all been in Europe at one time or another, and their playing is certainly world-class. Cody, who has a driving post-bop style, wrote all of the selections except for "Monk's Mood," including the Monkish "Flooze Blooze." His music explores plenty of moods, including the Arabic "El Bahdja," the dark ballad "After the Storm," the swinging "Gare De L'Est" and a passionate "Shadows Across the Land." Mostly heard on trombone, Greening displays plenty of spirit in his playing, while the rhythm section is both alert and intuitive, reacting quickly to the ideas of the lead voices. The music is not startlingly original, nor necessarily Australian in character, but neither is it a mere copy of American styles. Well worth checking out, this advanced straight-ahead release is rounded out by the exuberant "African Dance."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow