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The Scented Garden by Jann Rutherford

In the last weeks of her life, Jann Rutherford, the Kiwi pianist/composer who became a major figure on the Australian jazz scene before succumbing to cancer at the age of 38, assembled the quartet that she has been leading for the previous three years, along with guest Roger Manins, whose tenor sax graces four tracks, and created her own musical memorial. More than that, she crafted a truly valuable musical gift to the jazz community.

In arrangements crafted for duet, quartet and quintet, Rutherford displays the piano skills that marked her as a classical prodigy from an early age, and the creative vision that led her to the front ranks of the Down Under jazz world. As a leader, she demonstrates great generosity and a clear grasp of her fellow performers' range and value. Each member of the band is a leading member of the Aussie jazz scene in his own right, and for American and European listeners, it's a fine opportunity to gain an appreciation of the outstanding music being created beyond the borders typically thought of as encompassing the jazz universe.

Released on the Australian label Tall Poppies, this one may require a bit of a search, but the reward will be an album of straight ahead jazz that's a straight forward masterpiece. Do the work.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jann Rutherford
  • CD Title: The Scented Garden
  • Genre: Straight-Ahead / Classic
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Tall Poppies
  • Rating: Five Stars
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