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Dawn Is A Melody

Rees Finn

Dawn Is A Melody

Label: Mr Bongo

Genre: Jazz / Avant Garde


  • LP x2 €29.99
    In Stock
Mr Bongo proudly presents the debut album from Tasmania-born, Melbourne-based, Finn Rees. Gliding across a swirling palette of saturated hues, Dawn Is A Melody feels vintage yet vibrant, new but familiar at the same time. A spiritual, deep and textured jazz record, tipping its hat to greats from the past, capturing memories and reformulating them into new ideas with the help of some of Melbourne’s finest talent.

Expert keys player for the likes of 30/70 and Elle Shimada, alongside one-half of Close Counters, this debut LP was Finn’s conscious departure from the realm of groove-based jazz. Instead, Dawn Is A Melody places the piano and arrangements centre stage, giving Finn and his fellow Melbourne crew freedom to explore the spaces in between, new emotions and alternate soundscapes.

In Finn’s own words: “My intention with Dawn Is A Melody was to create a world; a microcosm of colour. Something rich and beautiful that allowed the melodies and compositions to reach their full potential. It was driven by hope, curiosity and the search for beauty and reassurance in this ever-changing world. The emotion behind the music is really about the journey of life, growing up and changing, as well as my relationship with Tasmania’s natural landscapes where I grew up, a part of the world that is incredibly unique and beautiful.”

The album arcs between opening, middle and end. Beginning with the optimism of ‘Looking Up’ and ‘Lagoon’, the former a celestial, string and harp marbled slice of positivity, the latter a spiritual journey of exuberance and hope, Finn’s fingers dancing across the ‘70s Yamaha grand piano. From there the songs blossom outwards with the cinematic soulful journey of ‘It’s Behind Me Now’ and Brazilian-inspired ‘Expansion’, as the divine ‘Crossing’ signals a transition to a new realm. The energy is transformed from the rich cosmic textures to a more intimate and personal feeling with ‘Ablaze’, ‘Between Spaces’ and ‘As It Passes’ which blissfully fades down to simply piano and strings to close out the record.

Recorded at Rolling Stock in Collingwood, Melbourne, Henry Jenkins was drafted in as recording and mix engineer, his minimal vintage mic setups giving a live aesthetic and warmth to the arrangements. Lucky Pereira and Blakely McLean Davies form the rock-solid rhythm section, with a hand-picked line-up of other Melbourne talent on display, including Cheryl Durongpitikul on tenor sax, Siwei Wong on harp, Audrey Powne on trumpet and Allysha Joy on vocals to name only a few.

Plotting a course from Alice Coltrane, through Herbie Hancock, to Arthur Verocai, this is a debut nourished by the past but firmly made in the present. A record unable to be age-stamped, casting ambiguity as to when, what era and by whom it has been crafted. Like a vintage lens capturing a current scene, Dawn Is A Melody is warm and familiar yet focused on the here now.