Darryn Farrugia

(Disc One)

The seeds of Australian drummer-composer Darryn Farrugia‘s most recent recording were planted 20 years ago, but they’ve only now born fruit. Titled Seeds (AlFi), the release contains a track he recorded with distinctive guitarist Mike Stern in 1996, and two more featuring tenor saxophonist Bob Berg in 1998. (Berg died in an auto accident just four years later.) The following year, the project was shelved. Farrugia continued his stellar career as a sideman, playing in jazz groups on the London jazz scene as well as participating in various commercial recording sessions, and touring with huge names in blues, rock and pop. Then, after four-and-half years, he returned to Melbourne and began recording his own music once again. Assembling a crack unit to interpret his songs, Farrugia combined new tracks with the ones he made with Stern and Berg, and Seeds was released Down Under in 2012. AlFi has now issued it in the United States. The drummer’s cinematic songwriting is showcased throughout eight colorful, evocative tunes, such as "Making Joseph’s Coffee," included here. Farrugia and melodic player Colin Hopkins maintain an anxious backbeat, as Glenn Cannon’s cleanly picked guitar deftly weaves in and out like a Vespa in traffic. Pianist Joe Chindamo offers a melodic interlude and skillful comps, and the whole piece percolates like the caffeinated beverage for which it’s named.

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