If you saw an LP with a cover like this in the second hand bin, you would take it for a heap of kryptonite from the era when panel vans bore Viking scenes. You wouldn't bother knockin'. Against all expectations, it is a local acoustic quartet of considerable accomplishment and charm. The most obvious affinity is with certain ECM projects - The Keith Jarrett groups with Dewey Redman or Jan Garbarek, for instance. The pretty tunes - which often blend euphoria with a pang of melancholy - are by bassist Michael Galeazzi. The arrangements use hypnotic vamps, in waltz time or 'mysterioso' Afro-Latin rhythms, with brief races of modern swing, in which Henri Peipman's piano lays out behind Jason Cooney's tenor saxophone.
Cooney has an unusually beautiful, broad singing tone, full of sensual and poignant inflections. Sometimes it is mournfully flattened - a powerful effect - and sometimes lusciously romantic. If you have trouble finding this disc, write to Dharma Records.
Drum Media review of Slumber for Nordic Wonder.
With Jason Cooney's sax cruising enigmatically out of the speakers like an antipodean David Murray, The Java Quartet's debut, and by all accounts impulsive, recording is immediately striking. Henri Peipman on piano, Michael Galaezzi on bass and Dave Sanders on drums make up a group that attack each of the five tunes on this EP / album with a confidence that's thoroughly bewitching.
The production is simple, uncluttered, perfect. Each instrument, while proving engaging and impressive in it's own right, works in happy harmony with it's mates. Striding through the thicket of post - bop contemporary jazz with a threateningly insouciant ease and a wicked gleam in the eye, it's to be hoped The Java Quartet begin to promote this excellent piece of work on the live circuit.
Craig N. Pearce
Jazz Action Society review of Slumber for Nordic Wonder.
To quote from the press release 'It was on a steamy December afternoon when four players, now known as THE JAVA QUARTET, locked themselves up in a studio for just a few hours. With a couple of jams under their belts and armed with a fine engineer, decent mikes and an eight-track, the session produced a pleasant surprise.'
SLUMBER FOR NORDIC WONDER documents these four young musicians - Jason Cooney [sax], Henri Peipman [piano], Michael Galeazzi [bass] and Dave Sanders [drums] - expressing themselves on a platform far more delicate than their usual 'rent paying' gigs. Recorded at Riverview College, Lane Cove in December 1994, all five compositions are by Michael Galeazzi.
Interestingly enough, there's no mention of the word 'jazz' anywhere to be seen on the blurb. However it fits into the jazz category better than a lot of recent releases I've heard. The playing is exceptional throughout. Each member is a distinctive and highly individal stylist in his own right; together they complement and feed off one another with exhilarating musical intelligence.