Australian Jazz and Blues

Jazz Musician Database C-L

The following information has been supplied by SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association), by bands, their record companies, and their management.

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Back to the music page. Clarion Fracture Zone, Steve Hunter.

    on rufus Sandy Evans

    aria award winning contemporary jazz ensemble

    "one of the greatest things ever to happen to Australian music. " Gail Brennan

    "Hilarious, diverse ... terrifically skilled ... these stars of New South Wales have something of their own. " 5 Star Rating Howard Mandel DOWN BEAT 719

    Clarion Fracture Zone are original, distinctive and brilliant. Five great Australian contemporary jazz musicians and composers.

    Co - leaders Sandy Evans, Tony Gorman, and Alister Spence share an imaginative flair, blending acoustic and electronically sampled sounds that results in powerful and evocative compositions. In performance, even though this group is made up of some of Australia's most accomplished soloists, it is their ensemble playing that sets them apart.

    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 top l 0 jazz albums produced in 1990 by The Jazz Times (USA) and Coda (Canada) magazines. Clarion Fracture Zone's second CD Zones on Parade received a coveted 5 star rating in Down Beat Magazine, July 1995 and was voted Editors Choice 1994 Record Poll Cadence Magazine (USA). What This Love Can Do, a suite of music by Sandy Evans, is released in Australia and a fourth CD was released in early 1996.

    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 Festival.

    SANDY EVANS: tenor and soprano saxophone, TONY GORMAN: alto and tenor saxophone, clarinet, ALISTER SPENCE: piano and keyboards, LLOYD SWANTON: double bass TOBY HALL: drums

    "A band of fascinating contrasts, whose special perspectives are an enrichment to the international jazz scene" A Schumacher - Germany

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    Steve Hunter Born and raised in Kent, South East England in 1960, Steve was picking out melodies on the family piano from an early age, but it wasn't until shortly after his family emigrated to Australia that he knew he'd found his 'calling' when at age 15 he picked up an electric bass at a party and immediately knew that creating music and playing bass was to be a huge slice of the rest of his life. He promptly bought a bass from a hock shop for $80 and progressed quickly teaching himself.

    His first gigs were playing in theatre restaurants and on cruise ships around the South Pacific, simultaneously sharpening his playing and compositional skills with 'Timeless', a jazz rock band he formed in 1978 with drummer Tony Buck. Around 1980 Steve started playing with more established players in the jazz and fusion scene in Sydney including: 'The Erroll Buddle Quartet', 'Ken James Quintet', 'Peter Boothman', Vince Genova' and 'Indra Lesmana' with whom Steve made his first album appearance on Lesmana's 'No Standing' album for MCA / Zebra in early 83.

    Between 83 and 85 he played and recorded mostly with Lesmana's band 'Nebula', including a tour to Indonesia. He also worked in the bands of guitarists Carl Orr and Guy Le Claire and toured Australia with Robyn Archer. In 86 Steve recorded 'Visa' his first album as leader and gigged with the 'Visa' band regularly in the year to follow. As well as recording an album and performing with ARIA award winning saxophonist Mark Simmonds. In 88 Steve recorded 'Homebase', his second outing as leader. The 'Homebase' band enjoyed 3 years of gigs with strong audience turnouts and established Steve as a band leader on the Australian music scene.

    The 90's started strongly for Steve, playing a series of concerts with jazz legend Chick Corea in a group that also featured composer / trumpeter Mark Isham and drummer Tommy Brechtlien. A few months later Steve was again sharing the stage with another of his early idols when he played with one of the founding fathers of electric jazz drumming Billy Cobham, on Cobham's first Australian tour. Steve also played on albums by guitarist Guy Le Claire and English singer / song-writer Jon Mark of 'Mark-Almond Band' fame in 1990.

    In 92 Steve formed a high energy jazz / rock group 'Playdiem' with co-leader Guy Le Claire and released the album 'Playdiem' on the Larrikin / Festival label. Around this period (92 /93) Steve co-led a lot of guitar / bass / drum trio gigs with guitarist Steve McKenna and various drummers in Sydney. He also co-led a Melbourne trio with guitarist Jack Jones and drummer Virgil Donati.

    In 94 Steve wanted to create a more 'acoustic / organic' setting in which to place his electric bass. Consequently he formed 'Local World', a band that featured acoustic guitar and trumpeter Phil Slater, a project he kept going for around a year. Also in 94 Steve recorded his solo and multi-tracked bass album 'Night People' for the Tall Poppies label. The album received an ARIA nomination and great reviews in the Australian, American, English, Japanese, and Canadian press and quotes from contemporary music pioneers Chick Corea and Steve Swallow: "Steve's produced a wonderful album of solo bass very artful and melodic" [Chick Corea] "It's exciting to hear so much of the bass guitar's potential exploited to such positive ends" [Steve Swallow]

    In 95 Steve toured Australia and recorded with a new incarnation of 'Mark Simmonds Free-Boppers'. He also played with artists and bands as varied as DIG, Jeff Duff, and Atma-Sphere, to Pulitzer prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, solo bass with dancers, and an invitation to perform a solo bass concert at Australia's most prestigious international jazz festival Wangaratta. In late 95, along with pianist / keyboardist Kevin Hunt and drummer David Jones, Steve formed the co-operative trio - 'Tree', a band that still continues and is a favourite on the Australian jazz festival circuit. 'Tree' have released two albums, the latest being 'Love & Logic' released in 99 on ABC / EMI.

    In 97 Steve joined guitarist / composer Guy Strazzullo's new band and with Strazzullo he has toured nationally and internationally and recorded two albums on the ABC / EMI label: 97's 'The Riddle'' and 99's 'Blue Phoenix' (both of which feature compositions by Steve). He also played on singer / song-writer Robyne Dunn's 97 album 'Spindrift'. Over the past decade Steve has gigged with many other bands and artists, as an aside to his main commitments, including: 'Dale Barlow's 13th Street Band', Kate Ceberano, Doug Parkinson, Maxine Nightingale, 'The Dream Kitchen', James Muller, and many other talented folks.

    99 (currently) - In 99 Steve played some concerts with US band leader / drummer / composer Bobby Previte in Previte's 'Bitches Brew Project' for the S.I.M.A. organisation, gigs and tours with both 'Tree' and the 'Guy Strazzullo Quartet' in support of their 99 album releases. He has also recorded a new Dale Barlow album (to be released early 2000) and a new Robyne Dunn album live at the Basement in Sydney. Steve will be going into the studio with his new nine piece band - 'Steve Hunter's Nine Lives Project' in late November, a recording which will be released on CD in 2000.

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