East of West plays original music that primarily draws from the rich musical influences of the Balkans and the Mediterranean. With experience in jazz and Middle Eastern classical music forms, the band’s compositional focus is on creating beautiful story-telling melodies spun over rich traditional rhythms, allowing space for open solos and improvisation. Oud, double bass and percussion blend to create a sound that will awaken in the listener a sense of mystery and possibility.
The trio consists of Bosnian-born Goran Gajić (double bass), Philip Griffin (oud) and Malindi Morris (hand percussion). All three are active in professional music scenes (world, jazz, folk, baroque, to name a few).
Goran Gajić plays with and composes for the Queensland Music Award winning band Mzaza; Philip Griffin works or has worked with internationally renowned musicians such as Linsey Pollak, Tunji Beier, Frankie Armstrong and Ross Daly; Malindi Morris has worked with internationally known guitarists ‘Duo Aritmija’ in Slovenia, composing for and directing the project ‘Lastovka’ and was one of the founding band leaders of the Balkan brass band ‘The Transbalkan Express’.
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'Little Harbour' album review by Eugene Ulman - Sydney Morning Herald 24/02/2020
This debut release by Brisbane trio East of West evokes, as the title promises, the experience of meandering through the back streets and alleys of a Mediterranean port city, where a moment of solitude and tranquillity can suddenly be replaced, as one turns a corner, by bustle, debauchery and danger.
Bosnian-born bandleader, bassist and composer Goran Gajic, with oud player Philip Griffin and percussionist Malindi Morris, have crafted an album brimming with subtle touches and details, and replete with storytelling and imagery that's effective both mentally and viscerally.
The compositions are inspired by varied sounds, textures and rhythms from around the Balkans and the Mediterranean, with elements of funk and jazz (on the closing track Sleepy Giant, for example) and space for improvisation.
Several pieces, like the potent Fields and plaintive title track, completely change mood halfway through, adding to the overall sense of drama.
Gajic’s rich, warm bass sound drives the music, but the playing from all members is impressive, and exemplifies Brisbane's being a fertile environment for creative multicultural music. Accessible in the best sense of the word, this is very easy to enjoy.