Recommended: Australian Art Orchestra – “Water Pushes Sand”


There is so much vibrancy and life to this embrace between the folk music of China’s Sichuan Province and that of Melbourne, Australia.  Framed in a context of jazz and classical expressionism, Water Pushes Sand has a rich voice that takes to the skies and soars.  This project began after Erik Griswold and Vanessa Tomlinson of the Australian Art Orchestra became captivated by the culture of Chengdu and began collaborating with local musicians.  Collaborations became live performances and those, in turn, led to this 2017 release.

At times a jazz-classical epic, other times a jaunty operatic stage show, this music’s range of expressions spans as much distance as the lands from which the music originates.  And as thrilling and dramatic as it grows at times, there are just as many instances when it’s whimsical and catchy.

Just an absolutely gorgeous recording.

Your album personnel:  Zheng Sheng Li (Voice), Shi Lei (bamboo flute), Zhou Yu (suona, Chinese violin, bamboo flute), Timothy O’Dwyer (saxophones), Peter Knight (trumpet, laptop electronics), Zhou Tao Tao (gu zheng), Erik Griswold (piano), Vanessa Tomlinson (percussion), Zhong Kai Zhi (percussion) and Samuel Pankhurst (contrabass).

Released on Jazzhead Records.

Listen to more of the album at the label’s Bandcamp page.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic