The Andy Sugg Group is a Melbourne–based quartet that features Andy on tenor and soprano saxophones. It explores contemporary post-Trane improvisation in original compositions written for a small group setting.
While firmly grounded in its stylistic time and place, the Andy Sugg Group plays music that has left home. It’s music in the moment, played by highly articulate musicians with something to say both as soloists and as members of a collective. The Group’s music fuses an eclectic range of compositional influences, which include contemporary jazz, funk, R&B and avant-pop. It’s Andy’s “blowing band”; a vehicle for extended improvisation in the best tradition of contemporary jazz.
The Group’s current album, Grand & Union, recorded in Brooklyn (NY) in 2019 and released in 2020, features Brett Williams (piano/keys), Alex Claffy (bass) and Jonathan Barber (drums). Two previous albums, Tenorness and Wednesdays at M’s—also recorded in Brooklyn—feature Sean Wayland (piano/keys), Matt Clohesy (bass), Mark Whitfield Jnr and Nate Wood (drums).
An earlier album, The Berlin Session, was recorded in Germany in 2011. It explores a more avant-garde setting and features New York-based Kate Kelsey-Sugg (piano), and Berliners Jan Leipnitz (drums) and Sean Pentland (bass). Sugg’s other albums include, Brunswick Nights, recorded live in Melbourne (Australia), and After Utopia, featuring US saxophone legend David Liebman in his first ever recording with an Australian band over his thirty-odd year association with this country.