Before Now After

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Before Now After is a meditation upon time, a sonic homage to the evolutionary arc. Just as the coastline is shaped by tidal forces shifting the delicate balance of ocean and sand, The Java Quartet have sculpted a long form tryptic work from a singular cove.

Each song was composed through applying a different set of melodic parameters to the

Before Now After is a meditation upon time, a sonic homage to the evolutionary arc. Just as the coastline is shaped by tidal forces shifting the delicate balance of ocean and sand, The Java Quartet have sculpted a long form tryptic work from a singular cove.

Each song was composed through applying a different set of melodic parameters to the Dorian scale. Explored and crafted on the bass then arranged into three distinct pieces for the ensemble, each piece articulates the development of a new melody, mood and space from the same Dorian building block.

Simultaneously a macro (album) and micro (song) process of creation and evolution, the work reflects the Quartet’s 20 years of shared exploration. Before Now After beckons the listener to become a fellow traveler through this passage of time.

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    Before 14:19
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  2. 2
    Now 16:42
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  3. 3
    After 18:38
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Review of Before Now After in The Weekend Australian 2-3 July, 2022

This is the Java Quartet’s eighth album, its first since 2014, once again manifesting the unusual but unique vision of double bassist Michael Galeazzi. He is supported by three great musicians: Matthew Ottignon (tenor sax), Greg Coffin (piano), and Mike Quigley (drums). A relatively short album of 50 minutes, it has three compositions by Galeazzi exploring the Dorian scale, described as “a meditation upon time, a sonic homage to the evolutionary arc.” Minimalism is operating here, giving the album its dominant character, that of introspection. It’s a slow burn, with the musicians aiming for mood, if not a spiritual experience. Coffin’s approach is somewhat reminiscent of Matt McMahon’s constrained pianism in Phil Slater’s celebrated album The Dark Pattern. Each piece begins with a bass statement from Galeazzi, with subtle support from Coffin, and it’s an energising trip for the listener, as the music builds from that intimate space. Peaks are reached, particularly in the superb solos of Ottignon, but the overall ambience is contemplative. 

Eric Myers