// Casey Golden Trio
Pianist Casey Golden was born in Sydney, Australia into a family of jazz musicians. He began studying classical piano from the age of five and was exposed to a wide variety of music during his childhood through his mother’s vast record collection and the rest of his musical family. At the age of 17 (2005), he won a BBM Jazz Award that sent him to study and play with musicians in London. On his return to Sydney, he completed a Bachelor of Music majoring in jazz piano, and a Bachelor of Arts, both degrees earned with Distinction, from the University of New South Wales.
In 2010, Golden released his debut album ‘Clarity’. The album was favourably received, and was well reviewed in publications including Jazzwise (UK), the Sydney Morning Herald and ABC’s Limelight magazine. Based on the strength of the album, Golden was chosen as a finalist for Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year in the 2011 Australian Jazz "Bell" Awards.
Golden started playing with the current trio line-up of Bill Williams and Ed Rodrigues just after the release of ‘Clarity’ in 2010.
‘I feel that there was a lot of luck and good fortune in the three of us getting together,’ says Golden. ‘I met Bill by chance in New York in 2009 and later that year, Bill and Ed happened to see some of my set at a jazz festival in Sydney.’
Williams and Rodrigues had spent the previous five years living together while completing their Masters degrees in music at ANU. During their time in Canberra, they were one of the most sought-after rhythm sections in town. ‘When Ed and Bill moved to Sydney in 2010, we organised to have a play. It felt great from the beginning and their rapport with one another struck me right away’ recalls Golden. ‘I had never played with a rhythm section that was such a unit.’ They started playing gigs together as a band and practising hard to build a strong rapport as a trio.
With diverse influences including Illmiliekki Quartet, Dillinger Escape Plan, Ambrose Akinmusire, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Animals as Leaders, Avishai Cohen and Vijay Iyer, Golden, Williams and Rodrigues shared a surprising amount of musical common ground. ‘Strangely, it turned out that Bill and I had both discovered Robert Glasper’s ‘Canvas’ and Aaron Goldberg’s ‘Worlds’ for the first time in music shop sale racks while we were both students in different cities. This was years before we met, and both those records were huge for all three of us,’ recalls Golden.
Since 2010, the Casey Golden Trio has consistently played around Australia and steadily built a reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the Australian scene. They regularly perform at venues such as 505 and Bennetts Lane and they have recorded feature sets and for ABC Classic FM, ABC Jazz and several other radio stations across the country. Based on the achievements of the trio, Golden was a finalist in the jazz category of the APRA Professional Development Awards in 2013 and a nominee for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship in 2015.
In 2015, the trio released two albums, the studio recording, ‘Outliers’ and 'Live at Bennetts Lane'. Although recorded only a month apart, the two albums are thoroughly unalike, with each displaying a different side of the trio’s sound. Both albums received notable attention, great reviews and airplay in Australia, Europe, the USA and Japan. The strength of these releases led to Golden being nominated for a 2015 Freedman Fellowship.
Whilst touring in support of the ‘Outliers’ and ‘Bennetts’ albums, the trio worked on a new project entitled ‘Miniature’. It is the first foray into extended composition for the trio and explores a wider range of influences while further blurring the lines between composition and improvisation. 2016 sees the release of ‘Miniature’ as an EP.
‘We’re excited about the new EP because it shows the next step in our progression as a band. We’ve worked hard to try and make something different from everything we’ve done in the past, not just in how we’ve all individually grown as musicians, but also in the composition itself and the overarching concept for this project.’
‘It is rare that a musical vision is so complete, and completely of its own world.’ Australianjazz.net
‘Golden further cements his reputation as a pianist of sheer class.’ Jazzwise (UK)
‘Golden's flowing lines unfold with a Bach-like logic.’ Ian Patterson - All About Jazz (US)
‘a soaring imagination at work - 4 stars’ Sydney Morning Herald
‘Enjoyable, intriguing and stimulating... Casey Golden would appear to be one of the brightest and most original young talents on the Australian jazz scene.’ The Jazz Mann (UK)
‘..so damn absorbing.’ Bird is the Worm (US)
‘The album ends with a few magical notes like a musical box closing. You will want to open it again and again to experience the class and exuberance of this very talented and mature trio.’ London Jazz News (UK)
‘EP’s are usually something an artist might put out to fill a void until a proper album is ready, but there’s nothing half-baked or transitory about Miniature. If anything, this affirms the Casey Golden Trio’s commitment to shake things up a bit with fresh approaches. The E.S.T. from Down Under? It’s sounding more like they are.’ Something Else! (US)
‘Dandy sitting down jazz, this crew knows their stuff.’ Midwest Record (US)
‘all tracks display a very intelligent approach to writing music, the art of knowing how not to overdo melodies or to clutter works of art.’ Jazzviews (UK)
'A trio that clearly don’t live in the past.' Marlbank (UK)
‘it’s nice to know the art of jazz piano composition is in good hands with Casey Golden.’ Music Web Express 3000 (US)
'Golden’s orchestrations wrest as much colour and variation out of the trio as one could conceivably hope for within the context.' The Music Trust (AU)
‘The level of interaction and cohesion from this three-piece outshines many in this field.’ UK Vibe
‘The compositions are effective and the group seems to be always developing their ideas, moving forward within the structures and giving a satisfying sense of progression and story telling.’ Jazz Australia
‘Contemporary chamber jazz from Australia may not be a phrase I've ever typed before, but I'm guessing that with Casey Golden Trio in the house, we may be talking about it again.’ Sea of Tranquility (UK)
'high-talent & high-energy.' Improvijazzation Nation (US)
‘The piano trio can be one of the great satisfactions, with its potential for intellectual interest, rhythmic excitement and harmonic colour play. This is one of the leaders in this field here in Australia and, I would imagine, in international forums.’ Loud Mouth (AU)
‘Golden may be the best thing to come out of Australia since, er, since, er, since Bradman's 1948 test team!’ Bebop Spoken Here (UK)
‘a lovely performance, more involving than the title "Miniature" implies.’ Mark Sullivan – All About Jazz (US)
‘Here’s a band that plays music of utter seriousness and the achievement shows, proud but never conceited. This is art as it’s made in modern Australia: unpretentious but skilled, informed and deeply serious.’ Canberra Jazz Blog (AU)
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