All of the artists that have performed at Bennetts Lane.
James Annesley's group plays a unique style of contemporary jazz with elements of rock and folk music. Performances are energetic and spontaneous, with the sort of group interplay that only comes from musicians who have been playing together for several years.
The group was conceived in early 2007, as a trio featuring James Annesley on soprano and tenor saxophones, Tom Lee on double bass and Hugh Harvey on drums. In early 2008 they were joined by acclaimed guitarist Hugh Stuckey.
They have developed a distinctive group sound and the kind of synergy that can only come from years of experience together.
Their music is a unique style of contemporary jazz which draws influence from serene, earthy folk music as well as hard hitting rock. Annesley's compositions are rich in dynamic contrast and varied textures, with an emphasis on strong melodic themes. The open structures of the tunes allow for adventurous, freewheeling improvisations.
Their first two albums Idle Hands do the Devil's Work and Vicious Cycle have received international airplay and favourable reviews. They have recently released a live album in digital format only, available for free download.
The group performs regularly throughout Melbourne, at venues such as Bennett's Lane, The Paris Cat, Uptown and 303. They have played high profile festivals such as the Stonnington Jazz Festival, Queenstown Jazz Festival (NZ), Melba Festival, and the Melbourne Jazz Fringe. They have also toured nationally, performing in some of the country's top jazz venues, including 505, The Ellington, Jazzworx and Jazzgroove.
"Annesley is a bold saxophonist who will not leave you debating his conviction and his pieces push everyone into interesting places, notably on Out of the Darkness, into the Light, where his soprano sax solo is transfixing." - John Shand, SMH