Sunday, 29 April 2012

Bush Theme/Lonely Australian Landscape - Sven Libaek (1966)

Here's another gem from Urban Bowerbird favourite Sven Libaek. These two tunes are taken from the nature documentary soundtrack Nature Walkabout, however these are quite different versions to the tracks that appear on the LP. These versions are shorter and have faster tempos than the album versions and a few changes in orchestration and arrangement. The two tracks also seem to be played by a more stripped-down version of Sven's usual ensemble - there are no saxophone, flute or trumpet parts, just piano, guitar, bass, vibes and harmonica on Bush Theme. I am unsure why different versions of these songs were released on the single - is this a standard practice? I have a 7" single from Libaek's Inner Space soundtrack (Thatcherie/Sounds Of The Deep) and it contains exactly the same versions as featured on the LP. Weird.

I always felt that Bush Theme was one of the weaker tracks on Nature Walkabout and I think the increase in tempo and the concision of this arrangement improves it immeasurably. Lonely Australian Landscape on the other hand is one of my favourite of Sven's compositions and I like it even better with this pacing and arrangement. It takes what is already a great melody and gives it an incredible urgency and energy.

Label: Festival
Released: 1966 (I assume; that's when the Nature Walkabout soundtrack was released.)
Players: Unsure, but here's an educated guess: Sven Libaek - piano
George Golla - guitar
John Sangster - vibes, percussion
Ed Gaston - bass
Derek Fairbrass - drums

Richard Brooks - harmonica



  1. Phenomenal! Mr. R you are doing a good thing here.

  2. Thanks do much for this Rohan, love this version of "Lonely Australian landscape". Great blog too, thanks for all the work - I came here via a trackback when you linked my rip of "Australia and all that jazz".

  3. Cool Simon, thanks for checking out U.B. I am very grateful for your work as well, as it was from your blog that I first obtained Australia And All That Jazz and a couple of Don Burrows LPs when I was first discovering seventies Oz jazz. And thanks for adding U.B. to your blogwatch, I really appreciate it.