ARIA award winning contemporary jazz ensemble
Clarion Fracture Zone was formed in 1988 when saxophonists Sandy Evans and Tony Gorman moved to Sydney from Scotland and joined forces with pianist Alister Spence to form a jazz quintet.
The band has had several different rhythm sections, beginning with drummer Andrew Dickeson and bassist Steve Elphick. Drummers Louis Burdett and Tony Buck played with the band in 1992.
Since 1993, the current line up of bassist Lloyd Swanton and drummer Toby Hall have been the engine room of the group.
“…the best band in the world…this is a band that unwind the unconscious in a manner that is nothing short of physically, emotionally and intellectually devastating. Their music possesses a grace and sensitivity that most musical artists can only dream of capturing.” Craig Pearce Drum Media 9/97
Their debut album Blue Shift received the 1990 ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album, a 5 star rating from JAZZTHETIK Magazine (Germany) and was voted among the top10 jazz albums produced in 1990 by The Jazz Times (USA) and Coda (Canada) magazines.
Following the success of ‘Blue Shift’, Clarion Fracture Zone released Zones on Parade reviewed in Down Beat Magazine, July 1995 with a coveted 5 star rating and voted Editors Choice 1994 Record Poll Cadence Magazine (USA).
What This Love Can Do, a suite of music by Sandy Evans, and the groups’ recent album Less Stable Elements are released on Rufus Records.
The originality and intelligence of Clarion Fracture Zone’s music has won them plaudits from jazz writers around the world and the energy and ensemble dynamic of their performances has enraptured audiences everywhere. The result has been invitations to many of the most prestigious festivals and venues world – wide including the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Brecon International Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the Leverkusener Jazztage, WOMAD, Jazz Yatra, the Taipei Jazz Festival, the Brisbane Biennial, the Wangaratta Jazz Festival, the Montsalvat Jazz Festival and the Manly Jazz Carnival.
The group’s most recent release is Canticle, a collaboration with The Martenitsa Choir. Canticle is based on an excerpt from the biblical love poem “Song of Songs” and was commissioned in 1997 by the Eastside Parish Uniting Church.
“Canticle had fluency and shape, and was astutely paced so that the hour long performance galloped past… Canticle was a celebration of the joy of making music without stylistic barriers; music which fosters that unique magic when improvising players are completely attuned to one another.” (SMH 17th June 97)
Canticle also features special guest Paul Cutlan on saxophones and bass clarinet.
“Discipline and spontaneity acting in connection with high ensemble density and brilliant soloistic parts….perfect arrangements and enormous musical charisma…” Kreiszeitung Syke, Germany 4/96
“a truly contemporary band sensitively mixing acoustic playing and electronic sampling to produce a confection of influences that sound as if they were meant to belong together rather than just thrown in a blender and spun” John Fordham – The Guardian London 9/94
Sadly, in 1997 Tony Gorman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This has led to a drastically reduced performance schedule for Clarion Fracture Zone.
However, Sandy and Tony are continuing their partnership as composers in the new ensemble Gest8.
Alister and Sandy continue to perform together in a duet setting.
Tony has released an exquisite solo clarinet CD Songs Of Hope which you can buy through Birdland Rercords >