Northern beaches saxophonist and composer Sandy Evans has earned her stripes as a jazz musician of world standing through her consistently innovative and technically accomplished approach.
She has garnered a shelf full of awards – and recognition with an OAM – for her performances and her works, and her invaluable role as an educator.
But few of her projects can have been as tough and heartbreaking as her latest, an album which charts the emotional journey she and her husband clarinettist Tony Gorman have been through since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
When The Sky Cries Rainbows is more of a suite than 14 separate tracks, and features her trio members Toby Hall on drums and Brett Hirst on bass, joined by some of Sydney’s jazz elite. The result is a wonderful roller-coaster which rides the anger, despair, love and the joy – with some wicked humour for good measure – of a couple facing a life where MS is a third partner.
From the AIR media release: Internationally renowned saxophonist, composer and multi-award winner SANDY EVANS was awarded Best Independent Jazz album for her 60 minute extended jazz composition “When The Sky Cries Rainbows”. These outstanding works, exquisitely played, created a landmark album, which has now been recognized as the JAGERMEISTER INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD’S finest Jazz album for 2011, adding to EVAN’S already remarkable repertoire.
ALTHOUGH she has appeared on more than 30 albums, any new CD from Sydney composer and saxophonist Sandy Evans is enthusiastically anticipated.
When the Sky Cries Rainbows, her latest, is especially noteworthy, not only because of its musicianship and compositions but for being the first time she has spoken publicly about the tragedy that struck her husband, saxophonist Tony Gorman. In the cover notes she describes Gorman waking up one morning in 1996 numb from the waist down, and after agonising delays being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“Years went by in a haze of fear and depression,” she writes.
It was more than a personal disaster. The pair had formed a close musical bond, playing together in various groups, notably in their quintet Clarion Fracture Zone. Gorman had to relinquish his career. Evans says: “Clarion Fracture Zone is presently latent.”