is an ongoing collaboration b/w pianist Matt and guitarist Guy that started in 2008. They have also collaborated on Blue Phoenix and Frangipane, two ABC jazz releases that received a Jazz APRA, and an APRA nomination. Their debut CD “2@1” was released on Birdland Records and was nominated for ‘Best jazz album of the year’ at the AIR Awards 2009. More recently, the duo recorded a piano/guitar version DVD of Guy’s Silk Road Concerto for guitar, piano and jazz chamber group.
The music from the earlier part of the collaboration is jazz peppered intercultural elements – as with the flamenco nuanced Silk Road
or the 7/8 Brazilian jazz-samba fusion of Steps
In 2014, 2@1’s synergy is growing to new heights as they explore more dense Brazilian-jazz works by such greats as Gismonti and Hermeto, but the greater focus is on their own new originals – these works will be recorded throughout 2015 live on tour. Here’s is the elegant Bossame by McMahon
“Amongst the most lyrical players in the land – It is easy for piano and guitar to trip over each other harmonically, but these two sing from the same hymn book” Sydney Morning Herald
Matt, the recipient of a National Jazz Piano Awards and the Freedman Fellowship, is a main force is Australian jazz and Guy, the recipient of the Australia Council Music Fellowship, a Jazz APRA, and multiple album nominations, is a recognised jazz guitar virtuoso and innovative composer. Matt teaches jazz piano at Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Guy teaches guitar at UNSW and Macquarie University where he holds a PhD in Media Music Communication and Cultural Studies on the subject of spatiotemporal perspectives in improvisation.
Together they have collaborated with a host of national and international musicians such as Vince Jones, Dale Barlow, Sandy Evans, Roger Frampton, Phil Slater, and Mike Stern, performing at The Basement, Bennetts Lane, Jazz Yatra, Jakarta Jazz, Perth and Adelaide Arts Festivals, Clusone Jazz Festival, Japan World Expo, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Jazz Festival and the Adelaide International Guitar Festival.
“The recording quality of local albums continues to surge. You’d swear Guy Strazz was with you in the room playing the opening notes of this radiant album on his nylon and steel string guitars.That illusion is sustained when he is joined by pianist Matt McMahon, a regular in Strazz’s fluid bands for the past decade, Thereafter these two – amongst the most lyrical players in the land – concentrate on the unadorned beauty of melody. Most of the repertoire is self-penned, ranging happily across the frontier where jazz greets influences from India, Brazil (including an exquisitesolo piano reading of Milton Nascimento’s Tarde) and West Africa (including a solo guitar ode to Ali Farka Toure). There are tingling trademark Strazz unison runs on Silk Road and a typically limpid McMahon melody on Odysseus. It is easy for piano and guitar to trip over each other harmonically, but these two sing from the same hymn book”. John Shand SMH, 2@1 Birdland/Creative Vibes 4/5 stars
“It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a recording of piano and guitar duo by Australian jazz performers, especially such talented players as Sydney pianist Matt McMahon and guitarist Guy Strazz. Eight of the ten tracks on 2@1 are originals, and from the CD opening notes on Silk Road, it is obvious that the style and genre have been sidelined in favour of musical interaction and infuences as diverse as Africa, India, Brazil and the Middle East. Most passages adopt a neo-classical approach, enhanced by Strazz’s use of nylon strings and McMahon fugue-like piano. One of the numerous beautiful themes is Zawi, an ode to pianist Jo Zawinul [by Strazz] , where a flowing, unobtrusive melody achieves a carefully cultivated sense of peacefull relaxation. A blusey out of tempo Late Night employe ideas from the jazz canon yet mantains the album’s characteristically delicate and rarified atmosphere”. John McBeath, The Australian 2@1 Birdland/Creative Vibes 3.5/5 stars
TOUR TECH SPECS/REQUIREMENTS
1 x tuned grand piano such as: Yamaha, Steinway or Kawai.
1 x AER Compact 60 Acoustic Guitar Amp
1 x Fender guitar amp – 4-Model choices: Hot Rod Blues Junior III/Hot Rod Blues Junior SE/ 65 Deluxe Reverb/65 Princeton Reverb.
2 x fold-back wedges
1 x chair without armrest
Strazz plays Godin chambered classical and steel string guitars