Exposed Bone has been exciting crowds around Australia for over eight years and has released two high energy albums to much critical acclaim. Jeremy Borthwick is one of Australia’s most experienced young trombone players and band leaders and has assembled a group of the finest and hippest musicians in the country. The band have been regular performers at great jazz festivals such as Thredbo Jazz Fest, Darling Harbour Jazz Fest, Manly Jazz Fest, Magnetic Island Jazz Party, Palmer st Jazz Fest, Mackay Jazz Fest, Brisbane Valley Jazz Fest and continue to perform regularly at the most popular venues around Australia.
It features Jeremy's originals and an extensive repertoire of high energy music from many genres. The band draws on jazz, African, funk, blues and rock roots to create it's fun and unique sound.
The band comprises of Jeremy Borthwick who has established himself as one of the finest jazz trombonists in the country. Brendan Clarke who was the National jazz awards winner in 2003 and has played with some of the finest international jazz musicians of today and introduces Ben and James Hauptmann who have taken the Sydney jazz scene by storm, and are in demand from artists and groups as diverse as James
Morrison, Wanderlust, the alchohotlicks, Elana Stone,the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra and Steve Hunter.
"Exposed Bone" released its' first album "Smokin da Bone" to widespread acclaim and features ten original tracks including two conch shell numbers and two bonus audio visual tracks. The bands second album, "Plugged", is due to be released at the end of July and Cairns audiences will be among the first to hear the new music.
Liner Notes from Llyod Swanton: the catholics, the necks, presenter Eastside Radio 89.7 FM (Sydney)
"I have always know Jeremy Borthwick as an articulate, innately
musical trombonist, through the many gigs he's done with my band
"the catholics." This album, however, has revealed to me what a fine
composer he is too. He clearly has a knack for the memorable riff
and a fine sense of structure to boot.
The music on this record is pointing towards one of the places where
i think jazz should be going. There's a strong jazz core to "Smokin'
da Bone", but it also pays more than lip service to some lovely
grooves of the world - a lot off funk (particularly of the southern
variety), surf music, African, jazz-rock - and check out the
haunting folkiness of Jeremy's conch shell playing on "Tune 4 Carls"
and "Tugboat Luv Affair."
Exposed Bone Vol II, Plugged
Jan Limelight ABC
By Peter Wockner
Laced with weighty potent passages of unashamed rock and funk, this trombone and guitar-led recording exposes the groove and grunge sound of the younger Sydney jazz set. The wailing and growling trombone of Jeremy Borthwick also shows piston-like agility especially on the Indian and African flavoured pieces along with ferocious guitar work from Ben Hauptmann. Most compositions use sections of jamming and overdubbed trombone harmonies hanging above repetitive guitar motifs, but pendulum swings and momentum shifts surprise when roles reverse and melody takes over. There's also the rare taste of Brendan Clarke on electric base utilising synthesised effects.
Exposed Bone Vol II : Plugged.
John Clare. Spectrum, Sydney Morning Herald 22/09/07
Exposed Bone's first disc, "Smokin da bone", set the band creditably alongside Sydney jazz-world music - rock outfits such as the catholics and Wanderlust. With the band's latest release, i missed some of the first volume's tropical feeling. This is harder, punchier and needs to be played much louder. As soon as that penny dropped it was a different story.
Turn up the volume of the Afro drum clatter on the opening track and you are on the right wavelength. Then turn up the volume on the third track, where a jaunty bounce somewhere between trad jazz and the Monkees is interrupted by a powerful trombone outburst from the leader Jeremy Borthwick and swamped in an orchestral rush of boiling rock guitar.
Guitarist Ben Hauptmann is a fine jazz player and a brilliant exponent of all guitar idioms. Borthwick weaves agile lines around lazy trombone yawns and raking blasts. Turn it up! A superb cast of players on a satisfying disc.
Bones exposed at Hippo's
Exposed Bone’s performance at Hippo’s last night reminded me of why I love jazz. It was an energetic show, with humour and intelligence and great skill covering a range of modern, popular styles (rock, blues, groove, calypso, klezmer, etc) in various standard and odd times. It’s so much not just history (although, at times, there’s reverence to traditions) or a defined and endlessly repeated canon (despite continued exploration of the standards repertoire). Jazz today is a melange of influences explored by highly trained and skilled artists, with energy and joy to boot.
Exposed Bone is Jeremy Borthwick’s band. It plays original music in a world/groove vein. I missed their last performance at Hippo’s, when Jeremy played with the Hauptmann family (Zoe on bass, James on drums and Ben on guitar). This time, EB comprised Jeremy (trombone), James Muller (guitar), Brendan Clarke (electric bass) and James Hauptmann (drums). The fact that the band can change almost totally and still play these difficult arrangements (some even read by sight on the night) is just more proof of the skill levels in modern jazz.
Jeremy plays trombone with fast, post-bop and bluesy lines which seem so hard on this instrument. I’ve mentioned before the current interest in trombones in front lines and EB are a perfect example. It’s a smooth, lithe sound and I guess this matches the modern, sophisticated, lounge/groove audience. I wonder whether synths have brought about the resurgence of the trom, because they do have similar sounds … just a thought. But Jeremy is a master.
James Muller is now an Australian guitarist of world stature, given his recent sojourn in New York, and his recording with Bill Stewart, John Scofield’s drummer. He lifted the band (as guitarists are so capable of doing) every time he started a solo. What amazed me was how he displayed expertise in so many styles. There was rock guitar to die for, sleezy and down-home with wah, volume and other effects, but then he’d morph to fast, clean dissonant pentatonic jazz lines or the broad arpeggios and sweeps of fusion. And to end the night, he played a blues tune with the minor pentatonics and bends you expect in that form. He raised a great flourish of cheers after every solo. I was just a bit disappointed when each solo ended, so I would have liked them to be longer. But what displays of expertise they were!
And the rest of the rhythm section was right there with the front line. It was the first time I’d seen Brendan Clarke on electric bass. He had a fat, soft tone with a high-mid edge and it reminded me of his sound on double bass. But it was that syncopated right hand finger work that propelled the band so strongly. He was obviously having a good time, frequently smiling to James’ flash soloing. He also had a great knack with building tension – eighth notes on one note for one whole chorus at one time, and several other high tension segments with the whole band. And he was no slouch at solos.
James Hauptmann on drums was no slouch, either. He plays a soft rather than sharp sound, and a non-intrusive style. To me, this is a more traditional style, viz. his trading fours in an early tune. But again, he was exciting and energetic with plenty of busy solos and he pushed the band along with incessant rhythms in a style reminiscent of early Weather Report. Great stuff.
BTW, Brendan and James H are local boys made good: both are products of the local jazz school.
I had an interesting discovery. I found when I was tapping along with the beat, it was always on 1-3 rather than 2-4 as in swinging jazz, so I guess that’s a feature of these more popular or world styles. I’d welcome any comments on the theory behind this, and whether the musos out there agree. Just add comments under this post.
In summary, the players were superb, the audience had a great time, the tunes were presumably original, and the vibe was energetic and fun. So, another great display of Australian modern jazz-groove at Hippo Bar.