Ugly Beauty

by Bernie McGann

supported by
John Henry
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John Henry The small group setting gives Bern the freedom to develop some of the tastiest solos in the entire Jazz repertoire -' Without a Song' is a favouriite of mine:This version I find equally as exciting as the famous Rollins 911 Concert rendition!
Desperados is a close second with control that is simply staggering in its' execution, dynamics and swing!

Toe-tapping stuff of the 'first water'! Favorite track: Without A Song.
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This is a major event in Rufus Records’ program of re-releasing outstanding Australian jazz CDs which have been deleted from catalogues elsewhere.

It is a great pleasure to release an album by The Bernie McGann Trio that was recorded in 1991 and has been out of circulation for several years. New artwork marks the occasion.

Ugly Beauty was the first of McGann’s three ARIA Awards for Best Jazz Recording, the first of his releases in CD format and one of only five full albums recorded as leader to date. It served to widen the beachhead for McGann critically while bringing him to a wider audience.

McGann continues to attract critical acclaim. After the US release of McGann and Playground and the Trio’s fine performance on the mainstage closing night of the Chicago Jazz Festival last August the respected US writer Art Lange wrote that he is ‘a major discovery waiting to happen’. Meanwhile, a biography Bernie McGann: A Life in Jazz by Geoff Page was published, McGann received a special award from the Australia Council for services to Australian music, unique for a jazz musician, Playground won the inaugural ABC Classic FM Best Jazz Recording 1997 and figured heavily in Coda’s (Canada) Best Albums list. In March the official war artist, George Gittoes entered a portrait of McGann in the Archibald Prize, a fitting acknowledgement of McGann’s place in Australian arts.

Seven years have passed since the original release of Ugly Beauty. Much has happened since then but it is still only a fraction of his long and distinguished career. The distinguishing marks are all present in this CD: tone, energy, light and shade, choice and treatment of material, and importantly the rapport with longtime confederates John Pochée and Lloyd Swanton.


released March 30, 1998

Bernie McGann alto sax
Lloyd Swanton acoustic bass
John Pochée drums

Produced by Bernie McGann, Lloyd Swanton and Matt Dickson
Recorded by Adam at Electric Ave Studio, Sydney January 1991

Painting 'Head/Red Tie' by Dave Brewer 1992



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Bernie McGann Sydney, Australia

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