Quiet Sufficient is the debut release from Melbourne instrumental trio Antelodic. Led by composer/guitarist Robbie Melville, the unusual trio was formed in 2012 at a time when each member of the ensemble was immersed in the disarray of new family life.
Using saxophone players Gideon Brazil and Monty Mackenzie from his contemporary jazz ensemble cleverhorse, Melville designed a trio in which the woodwind became the rhythm section and the guitar became the melodic voice. For four years the trio has experimented with various compositional styles and arranging techniques, developing a unique sound that spans chamber jazz and contemporary classical.
The majority of the album was written in a six-month period following the birth of Melville’s second daughter. This time of joy and introspection, combined with the necessity of quietude, resulted in an album of of gentle, restrained reveries. Several of the pieces on the album deal with deeply personal events in Melville’s life, primarily the births and deaths of family members. Other themes are inspired by musical heroes Stephen Foster and Richard Rodgers, the turning of the seasons, and the simple joys of friendship. The album’s cover is an image by Czech photographer Viktor Kolář.
Quiet Sufficient also marks the first time Melville has included compositions by other artists on an album. “As a musician you spend a lot of time developing your own voice or sound, and sucking up these influences all around you”, says Melville. “Somewhere along the road, revisiting songs that had, and still have, such a profound effect on your own musical growth becomes really enjoyable. So as well as just having fun playing the songs you love, it has become important to me to kind of raise my hat to the artists who mean so much to me. The kind of music we were attempting to make with Antelodic lent itself well to an arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Blue”. I arranged the piano part for the guitar and tenor saxophone, with Monty playing the vocal line on alto”.
“We also did an arrangement of Krystle Warren’s “Sparkle and Fade” from her album “Circles”. I had the pleasure of playing a gig with her when she was out here on tour a few years back. After that, I pretty much listened to her albums every day for six months straight. She’s such a unique songwriter and singer”.
Recorded over three years at both Dog and Bear Studio by Steve Vella and at Red Room Studio by Mark Stanley, the completed songs were mixed at Red Room. Stanley’s sonically daring approach to mixing pushes the album further into a stylistic realm of its own.
The first single from the album is “Richard Rodgers’ $1 Piano”. Borrowing a rhythmic phrase from a Rodgers arrangement Melville heard during his time in the Australian Pops Orchestra, the melody was written on a toy piano bought in an op shop. Think chamber jazz/folk, gentle, optimistic,
lyrical and engaging.
All tracks composed by Robbie Melville, except "Blue Koi" by Brazil/Mackenzie/Melville, "Sparkle and Fade" by Krystle Warren, and "Blue" by Joni Mitchell
All arrangements by Antelodic
Recorded at Dog and Bear Studios by Steve Vella, and Red Room Studios by Mark Stanley between 2012 and 2016
Mixed by Mark Stanley at Red Room
Mastered by Simon Polanski
Produced by Antelodic and Mark Stanley
Cover image by Viktor Kolář
Antelodic photography by Elizabeth Schiavello