The catholics

Selected Press Comments

THE BAND:

"An immensely pleasing band for our times"
"If you like joyful, seductive world music, you will like The catholics"
"Superb band of musicians from diverse backgrounds"
"Who has just breached the walls? None other than Lloyd Swanton and his brave catholics"
"I don't think I have ever encountered anyone familiar with The catholics
who doesn't like their music. The blend of happy-go-lucky melodies, bouncing rhythms,
clever arrangements and strong improvising seems to be irresistible.
The surprise is that one can find no obvious stylistic precursors or clones...
the combination of personalities lends the band its special spark of levity and celebration"

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"Proof incarnate that good Australian jazz is alive, well, and flourishing....
It's all there in the groove- sassy and hypnotic, subtle yet brazen"
"Without any sense of irony or cynicism,
The catholics' music comes out with a frightening ease"

DRUM MEDIA (SYDNEY)

"Some of the best jazz in the country"
ON THE STREET (SYDNEY)

"Uplifting and unique...every time they play,
they are proof that jazz is living, vibrant, compelling music"

THE JAZZ MESSENGER (SYDNEY)

“…Beguiling new repertoire…
evocative atmospheres and subtle textural detail”
"A memorable performance...The catholics proving to be a vibrant,
readily appealing ensemble with a truly distinctive sound"

THE AGE (MELBOURNE)

"...Their perky brand of freewheeling world music that cares little for origins
and has the distinct capacity to make you dance"

TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

"The groove was huge...Great tunes, too"
"It's easy to fall in love with the Australians' boiling rhythms,
jiving guitars and tart horn choruses, but there's more to the music"

CODA (CANADA)

"One of Australia's best bands"
GEORGIA STRAIT TIMES (CANADA)

"An antipodean musical delight"
SEE (CANADA)

"Seven jazz troublemakers from Australia...sprayed heaps of fire. A mighty debut"
WESER KURIER (GERMANY)


EIGHTH ALBUM "Yonder"

"This is what I'd consider a near-perfect jazz album...so clever yet simple...you really just want Yonder to go on and on, like the baked country roads in their cover shot... The depth, colour and life had me reaching for a glass of red - searching for some way to celebrate the creation of such a bold and unified jazz statement... I didn't find the wine, but I opened the windows so the neighbours could hear."
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD ONLINE

"A perfect extension to the finely crafted repertoire of these highly skilled professionals" (4 and 1/2 Stars)
THE AUSTRALIAN

"This intriguing recording brings a worldly musical texture to each track... The catholics always surprise their listeners and continue to explore their unique Australian roots" (4 and 1/2 Stars)
X-PRESS MAGAZINE

"Sophisticated cosmopolitanism... (Yonder) features the bright and breezy blowing, contrasting light and shade and wide ranging influences that characterises their music... covers a lot of territory both musically and stylistically, in its 67:05 minutes journey...arguably the pick of their catalogue"
RHYTHMS MAGAZINE

"I've just listened to Yonder twice and it's grand... So FRESH... I had the feeling that I was watching a film all about sunshine... really wonderful. With no idea what I was in the mood for, from the moment I hit Play there was the deep satisfaction of knowing Yonder was exactly it! Congrats!"
LENNY BARTULIN, author of A Deadly Business, The Black Russian, De Luxe, and Infamy.


SEVENTH ALBUM "Inter Vivos - Live in Concert"

(four stars, Listed in Ten Best Jazz Releases of 2009) "There's plenty to set toes tapping, but the ensemble also offers great depth...beauty encapsulated...Inter Vivos is two nights to remember"
HERALD SUN

(four stars) "Immediately makes itself the most indispensable item in The catholics' catalogue...the stand-out pieces (are) the more atmospheric ones, where the instruments form a loose weave over a wide sense of space...enchanting"
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

(four stars) "The catholics have been cultivating their own edifying brand of cultured cosmopolitanism in Australia for the best part of 20 years. Inter Vivos includes examples of the bright-and-breezy blowing that is their stock-in-trade. Besides showing off their sublime compositional and instrumental skills...the sets also reveal a deeper and darker side...intoxicating...the ensemble soars"
THE AUSTRALIAN


SIXTH ALBUM “Village”

(4 stars) "Village sees the septet firmly in the good-time groove... It's a glorious thing"
LIMELIGHT (AUSTRALIA)

"Acclaimed instrumentalists The catholics have returned to their trademark sound of fusing jazz with world music... An album packed with influences from African beats to island jive, and straight jazz. Perfect for a dinner party or a chilled afternoon on the couch"
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)

"On Village the songwriting and playing is very much a team effort, with the stars taking their turn to shine. Bruce Reid's Grace is outstanding: delicate and defined... Bright and breezy is the feel throughout Village... The catholics are a collection of great musicians who obviously enjoy each other's company and playing - and the ease with which they do this is the embodiment of teamwork"
CITY HUB (SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA)

"As in Global Village. (The catholics) take their intuitive feel for rhythm on a joyous globe-girdling tour, while opening up the palette to new writers from within the band and outside. Just the thing for playing on the verandah as the heat fades from the day"
M+M (AUSTRALIA)

"With Village (The catholics) return to the breezy rhythms and perky melodies that made the band so popular... Much to satisfy"
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD (AUSTRALIA)

"Brings typically infectious global rhythms and immediate accessibility...a brassy, boppy feel...It is hard to imagine anyone resisting the immediate charm and grace...It’s all rhythm and melody, with plenty of variety...Band leader and bassist Lloyd Swanton’s deft touch shows"
HERALD SUN


FIFTH ALBUM “Gondola”

“A change of direction and their finest album to date” ..."superb"
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

“Beautifully atmospheric”
THE AGE (MELBOURNE)

“It works beautifully…excellent solos that tell a story”
THE BULLETIN

“The septet achieves that magical quality…Gondola floats on a musical thermal”
CANBERRA TIMES

“The sound is big and the effects gorgeous – a beautiful release”
THE WIRE (UK)

“It's time to muse and to relish every lovely note, every exquisite phrase
- when it starts and when it stops and when just space will do fine. Gondola is a heavenly,
yet terrestrial breath; it revels in space, in duration and the exquisite emotions invoked
as each instrument delicately places its modest offering into each piece.
The solos are potent within tunes that show tenacity as much as they show grace.
Buy Gondola for someone you love.”

DRUM MEDIA (SYDNEY)

“Some Zen-like tracks…create meditative images and sounds that evoke the tranquillity
of mountain mists at dawn, or distant echoes from a serene foreshore.
Top quality solos in sympathetic spirit…A musical travelfest for transcendentalists.”

THE AUSTRALIAN

“An uplifting soundtrack that guides us around the tranquil ether”
JAZZ & TZAZ (GREECE)


FOURTH ALBUM "Barefoot":

"Australia should treasure its own jewels of jazz. Always up, always surprising,
The catholics are a prime example. They've never sounded better-
get ready for an uplifting experience."

SHE

"...a dream team of Sydney musicians...ambitious diversity...a remarkably relaxed and seamless
flow of ideas. Their knack is being able to put a jazz spin on grooves from around
the globe- South Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America- in a sunny, light-spirited way that
belies the killer status of the players. This is jazz in a straw hat and Hawaiian shirt
...sensuous and joyous music...a (barefoot) walk in the park."

AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW

"If you thought you had that jaunty jazz-groove mood sown up by owning a
previous catholics album, you were probably right- until this one popped up.
Barefoot proves the concept has yet to exhaust its shelf-life...The catholics' best to date"

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"...finds The catholics mining now-familiar territory, without a hint of tiredness...
the mood is sustained beautifully...a healthy variety of grooves...
the beat is insistent and irresistible"

THE BULLETIN


THIRD ALBUM "Life on Earth":

"...another charming gem. This tightly-focused group..takes multiple influences
and stirs them with a swizzle stick to produce a signature sound which somehow
makes perfect sense...an endlessly adventurous (and highly danceable) effort...
already on this critic's short list for the best of '98!"

JAZZ TIMES (USA)

"...will have you smiling and swaying. It's infectious, and their best yet" (4 stars)
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"This is a wonderful album, accessible and inviting,
with so much to offer further listening"

THE JAZZ MESSENGER (SYDNEY)

"The catholics deliver sensual delights on this, their palpably best album to date...
Life on Earth is an album that should have universal appeal"

RHYTHMS

"As with any good cocktail, this one goes down easily...(Life on Earth) finds The catholics
celebrating with exuberance...an effervescent recording that sparkles with life...
magnetically positive...infused with a strong sense of groove, textured dazzlingly
by brilliant horns, fluid guitar and charming bass playing"

ON THE STREET

"Bright and infectious as always...all catchy, but never trite,
this is some serious cooking"

THE AGE


SECOND ALBUM "Simple":

"A tremendous load of fun, a real feelgood album which faithful fans will treasure...
As always, leader Lloyd Swanton's almost impossibly catchy tunes and rhythms
are a delight to hear...songs such as Smoked Oysters, Gumboot, Home
and the favourite Brothers and Sisters are among the finer compositions in the
jazz idiom in many a year...There are, too, the immaculate performances
we have come to expect from such outstanding players..."

DAILY TELEGRAPH MIRROR (SYDNEY)

"Lloyd Swanton's spring-heeled and ridiculously infectious music
is the success story of Australian contemporary jazz...
If you are in a gloomy mood and want to stay there, do not play this"

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"There's probably no such thing as a faultless album,
but Simple comes pretty damn close"

SON OF BARFLY (CAIRNS)

"A skintight assemblage" (4 stars)
ROLLING STONE

"Instantly uplifting...One of the best jazz albums this year"
LISMORE ECHO

"This record is a knockout. There's jazz and joy, the rhythm of Africa
and the exuberance of Bondi Beach in the music of The catholics,
and the vitality doesn't let up for a minute...infectious, gravity-defying rhythm"

"SHE" MAGAZINE

"(The catholics) slide around in relaxed grooves that effortlessly mix African pop,
Latin music, reggae and American blues... The tunes cross boundaries
but in such a nonchalant way it never sounds jarring...
The result is a fun, enjoyable record"

OPTION (USA)

"It's such a rivetting experience when you slip a new disc into the CD player
and the music jumps through the speakers and grabs you. Such is the case with Simple...
The mixture of instruments and styles is refreshing. From beginning to end
the band is in a perpetual groove... Let the mind dance"

THE JAZZ REPORT (CANADA)

"Refreshingly different, absorbing all sorts of groovy influences
without being swamped by mechanistic high-tech"

TORONTO STAR (CANADA)

"At once charming, haunting and joyful, Simple is one of the most inventive albums
to come along in a very long time...
a thoroughly captivating and highly recommended collection. Find it"

JAZZ TIMES (USA)
(listed in Jazz Times Critics' Picks of '95)

"truly inspired playing...a beautiful experience"
CODA (CANADA)


DEBUT ALBUM "The catholics":

"The band's got a great sense of narrative and a set of chops to go with it.
Worth seeking out"

THE BEAT (USA)

"A jaunty juggernaut whose free-wheeling stylistic compass variously suggests
James Brown, Carla Bley, Tower of Power and Charlie Mingus"

JAZZ TIMES (USA)

"The catholics' long-awaited CD not only stops people,
it accompanies them out of the shops, according to retailers' reports....
Its infectious appeal is surely universal"

SYDNEY MORNING HERALD

"...the great thing about The catholics is that, no matter how diverse the musical ideas from
one track to the next, the whole seems organic. Strongly recommended"

THE AGE

"The richness, diversity and accessibility of The catholics suffuses every track.
It is their virtuosity, imagination and the inventiveness of Lloyd Swanton's writing....
which makes this music so successful....no written description can do justice
to this music. If you've heard the whisper,
which is now becoming a roar, that the new Australian jazz is great fun,
then search out a copy of this superb album"

ROLLING STONE

"This disc is a must"
ACOUSTIC MUSIC (USA)

"If multiculturalism's your shtick, you'll enjoy this danceable, toe-tappin' music
from Downunder. The six men and one woman who make up The catholics
produce a heady mix of funk, Afro-Cuban and Eastern influences"

WINNIPEG SUN (CANADA)

"The catholics twist sinuous winds and dense percussion around bass lines
bigger than Ayers Rock. Compelling and danceable"

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS (CANADA)