February 2, 2021
September 24, 2019
So, we put out the first Spirograph Studies album this year, and we've started receiving some reviews! This one appeared in The Australian, written by Eric Myers on August
April 7, 2019
March 7, 2019
Spirograph Studies have gotten around to filming a few select tracks from our up and coming release, Kindness Not Courtesy. We had a super fun day at Lorna Practice Rooms in
October 24, 2016
It is getting to the business end of the year now...
This weekend is the wonderful Wangaratta Jazz Festival 2016, and it proves to be a great one! On Saturday, I'm playing with four different
May 15, 2016
So, I'm not very good at posting regularly. Is this a disclaimer? It looks like one.
However, what I'm really doing (right this second) is letting you know that even though I don't blog my every
April 5, 2015
Hi Everyone! Welcome to the new Tamara Murphy website, the HQ of Murphy's Law and many other projects, old and new (more of that to come).
Have a look around: check out some music, upcoming gigs,
May 4, 2014
Well, it’s been a busy couple of months! We’ve been gearing up for our upcoming show:
This Saturday, May 10th, Murphy’s Law are performing Big Creatures & Little Creatures at the
January 8, 2014
Happy New Year everyone! I’ve just come off a nice little tour with Canadian singer, Ben Caplan. We started at the Woodford Folk Festival just after Christmas and played at a bunch of places on
May 13, 2013
Thanks to Roger Mitchell for taking these lovely pics!
I was playing with Cannonball – here is the link to the full article in Roger’s blog:
January 23, 2013
Here’s a lovely review of the Keller-Murphy-Browne gig on Monday night at bennett’s lane, by Eric Pozza, from his blog, Canberra Jazz…
To see it live, go to:
January 14, 2013
We are very honoured by Eastside radio in Sydney, who have made Big Creatures & Little Creatures album of the week!! Go
January 8, 2013
It’s a new year and here at Murphy’s Law HQ, we are trying to fulfil our resolutions by getting a bit more organised and putting all of our albums up on Bandcamp for all of our local supporters
November 13, 2012
We just saw today’s copy of The Age, with a great review of our CD launch!
November 11, 2012
Our CD launch is tonight!!! Hope to see lots of friendly folk down at Bennett’s Lane!!
And in other news, we are now live on Bandcamp!! You can purchase our new album ‘Big Creatures &
October 16, 2012
Hey All! We’re very excited as our new CD is currently in production! We’ll have pics up here soon of the amazing artwork (by local artist, Jacqueline Murphy), plus we’re doing 100 special
Spirograph Studies @ CJC Auckland - Live Review
The Melbourne group Spirograph Studies was exactly as described, modern and eclectic. In this quartet, there were no horns to carve out melodic lines. Instead, a guitar and piano spun intricate layers one on the other, focussing more on well-crafted motifs and harmonic development. There was melody but it was mostly implied, nestling comfortably among richly dissonant textures and emerging out of the subtle interplay. It was often voice-led but not as we know it and the overall effect was beguiling.
The playing was great but what also stood out were the compositions. What we experienced was an unmistakable Jazz Americana vibe. There were no actual Frisell tunes played but the great man’s essence hung in the air; residing most strongly in the interactions between leader Tamara Murphy and her bandmate Fran Swinn; Murphy the enabler and Swinn the ideal vehicle for realisation. As Swinn stroked the chords, the soulful utterances reeled us in; urged on by the bass. With music as delicately layered as this, no band member can afford veer off coarse and none did. This was a disciplined ensemble but in spite of that, the music flowed effortlessly. Their overall sound was warm and yet it tugged on the heartstrings, hinting at a distant sadness. The signature sound of Americana, where every note is weighted with nostalgia.
The other core band member was drummer James McLean. A drummer who showed his ability by responding appropriately to the textural subtleties and propelling the gentle swing feel. His brushwork was crisp and his stick-work understated so as to reside inside the music and not all over it. The pianist on the ‘Kindness not Courtesy’ album was Luke Howard, but on their Australasian tour, his role was alternated with Sam Keevers. I have heard Keevers before as he is a well respected Australian pianist. For a long period, he held the piano chair in the Vince Jones group (a coveted position held before him by Barney McAll). Having Keevers onboard during the New Zealand leg worked a treat. A skilled accompanist who knows a lot about supportive playing and comping. The piano and guitar interacting seamlessly and moving in and around each other’s phrases like dance partners.
The album titled ‘Kindness Not Courtesy’ is available from Bandcamp and the link can be followed here (spirographstudies.bandcamp.com/).The Auckland gig was at Anthology for the CJC Creative Jazz Club, 11 September 2019.
Spirograph Studies: Tamara Murphy (bass, compositions), Sam Keevers (piano), Fran Swinn (guitar), James McLean (drums).
Jazzlocal32.com September 18, 2019
KINDNESS, NOT COURTESY
Published in the Weekend Australian, August 24, 2019
Jazz of startling originality, difficult to categorize, has been streaming out of Melbourne for years. Kindness, Not Courtesy is an example. Seven originals by bassist Tamara Murphy and one by drummer James McLean are generally ruminative and minimalist, featuring beautiful harmonic changes. One might call this genre “textural jazz”, whereby no particular soloist dominates the sound mix with technical virtuosity. This is a collaborative venture with four players contributing sensitively to the whole. Still, there is individuality here. Lyrical pianist Luke Howard, while often unobtrusive, can also project strongly, with a very clear voice. Guitarist Fran Swinn, with a pleasing Bill Frisell influence, is a skilled conversationalist in the mix. While there is an appealing stillness here, the music also flares out, showing the influence of rock elements, while its inner music retains the majesty of jazz.
The Weekend Australian, August 24, 2019