NEW REVIEW: Sydney Morning Herald, October 2005
"Few listeners will not succumb to the spell cast by the fragile beauty of Bill Risby's 'Seek And You Will Find'. Risby weights each note with the assurance of an expert concert pianist performing a Satie Gymnopedie, yet loads them with such a tangible sense of vulnerability that the emotional power stops you dead.
We hear too little of Risby in such contexts. it was worth the 11 year wait since his lovely debut, STORIES, for this one, which, after that solo opening, is a collaboration with bassist Gary Holgate and drummer Hamish Stuart.
The gentle tentative beginning to 'Looking Up' heralds a slow motion, building intensity over the next 10 minutes into something like a full blown spiritual. The upward energy slant continues with the abrupt drum punctuations and racing bass riff of 'Let Me Off!!' A rather folorn ballad called 'Lost' flutters into freer territory in mid-stream. Risby leaves us with the Celtic melancholy of 'I'll Be Seeing You'.
If nothing quite rises to the heights of the first piece, this is still one fine album."
John Shand (SMH, Oct 8-9 2005)
Bill Risby Trio
I have always listened to piano trio music for as long as I can remember, and have gravitated towards playing the same through osmosis.
From my childhood I remember the Dudley Moore trio, the Bill Evans trio, the Chick Corea trio (Now He Sings, Now He Sobs), the trios of Herbie Hancock (with Billy Cobham and Ron Carter), Enrico Pieranunzi, Paul Bley, Warren Bernhardt, Michel Camillo, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chucho Valdes, Paul Grabowsky, Ahmed Jamal, Wynton Kelly, Keith Jarrett and many more (I have great parents).
Some of these groups have influenced my trio, and all of them have inspired it in some way.
I have been playing with Gary Holgate (double bass) for around 10 years in other people's bands, and in the last two years in my trio. Gary approaches music and his instrument in such a unique way that I couldn't imagine anyone else playing my songs. He has become part of them. If you shut your eyes and listen to just the bass, there is a whole orchestra happening beneath you, yet it is never out of place.
I also have been playing in bands with Hamish on drums for a long time (mostly with the great Sydney singer Darren Paul), and he also started playing with us as a trio in late 2003. I have only ever heard Hamish play music. When he plays you only hear the person, not the drums.
I think it's fair to say that you can hear each personality clearly in this group, yet it sounds like a single living organism that breathes together. It couldn't have been planned this way if I tried, and this is the reason I play regularly at the same place with the same people on a Wednesday night.
Bill has recorded six albums to date, including a new album for the record label Instinctive Travels called "Around The World" (see the CD page). He has also co-written and played on the newest Dale Barlow record for the same label entitled "Hopscotch". In between all of his own recordings Bill plays on other people's albums....
He has arranged, produced and played on many albums (piano and bass) from gospel, jazz, country, R&B, pop and beyond. The latest stand out recording is the track "Paper Aeroplanes" from Kasey Chambers' new album, "Wayward Angel".
Other notable recordings are: "De-Classified" by Leon Gaer and Tom Ferris; "Accentuate The Positive" with Mark Rivett & Emma Pask: "New Shadow" by Felicity, "The Way The World Is" by Tamara Stewart, and "Deeper & Deeper" by Geoff Bullock (with the Prague Symphony Orchestra); "Little Victories" and "Wild At Heart" by Beccy Cole; Most recently "Jazz" albums "Beautifully Mad" by Tony King and Kris Ralph (Makin' Whoopee), "Face the Music" by Anthony Warlow; "Unspoken" by Adrian Cunningham, and "Bright Window" by Rachel Gaudry.
Bill is responsible for many television commercials as well as recording for Australian TV dramas such as Wildside for the ABC, Young Lions on Channel 9, and live tv appearances. He has also recorded music for documentaries and film scores including "The Night They called It A Day", "A Man's Gotta Do..." and many others.
Bill has played with international artists such as the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, Bobby Shew, William Gallison, Kitty Margolis, Rob McConnell (Boss Brass), the Velotti Batiste Jazz Ensemble (Italy), Andre Crouch, and Doug Cameron, among others.
He has performed with many diverse Australian popular artists such as Tina Arena, Glen Shorrock, Barry Leef, Marcia Hines, Daryl Braithwaite, James Reyne, Ross Wilson, James Morrison, Gina Jeffreys, Vanessa Amorosi, Jon Stevens, Jenny Morris, Sharon O'Neill, Mark Williams, Erana Clark, Steve Clisby, Louise Perryman and Emma Pask to name but a few.
He has done supports for Dionne Warwick, Thelma Houston, Julio Iglesias, and US saxophone player Steve Lacy.
He has played with Radio NHK Symphony Orchestra (Tokyo), The Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and recorded with the Prague Symphony Orchestra.
Recent trips to Japan with The Jeff Duff Orchestra has seen Bill share more of his talents with yet again another audience. Travelling with just the core members of The Orchestra (Jeff Duff - vocals and Jane Rosenson, harpist with Opera Australia), Bill rehearsed and conducted the newer members through his string arrangements of both originals and covers which made for some interesting linguistic gymnastics. During dinner that night Bill accidentally let a whole restaurant know (with his chopsticks placement) that his whole family had passed away... A fine cultural experience.
Most recently Bill has been playing with the Elizabeth Carthew Group and this has been a very rewarding musical experience. He's also playing with Steve Clisby's HEAD BAND, and Bill and Steve will be going to Europe and the US for a stint of gigs in September 2006.