Galaxstare – A Time, Times and Half a Time Review
Sydney-based tenor saxophonist and bandleader Richard Maegraith returns with another modern jazz outing with Galaxstare (formerly The Richard Maegraith Band) in the form of A Time, Times and Half a Time. It has been five years since Maegraith and co. recorded their first album, Free Running, to critical praise and they have not lost their touch in this rousing collection of jazz pieces. Recorded live at The Sound Lounge in Sydney, A Time, Times and Half a Time takes influence from traditional jazz as well as soul, world music and even avant-garde to form a coherent, enjoyable album. The opening track, Romans VII, is a minimalist jazz odyssey before the talented but underused vocalist Kristin Berardi takes charge in Job’s deliverer. Smooth saxophone tones flow throughout the album while sporadic percussion drives the rhythm, the later most apparent on the rollicking Waiting. Unfortunately, the longer songs tend to meander, plugging away with little aim instead of gaining momentum for the end of the track. Despite that, the album doesn’t drag for the most part and engages the listener well. Overall, A Time, Times and Half a Time is a solid piece of contemporary jazz performed by a tight, well-honed band.