Review by Shelley Lockyer, Mental Health Division

Geoff Kluke and his wife Jan have gathered together a group of musicians to produce a very personal album dedicated to Jan’s son Luke, who suffered from bipolar disorder and at the age of 28 took his own life.

And what a fine tribute this has turned out to be. It certainly did it for me, especially Bridget Allen’s hauntingly beautiful interpretation of The Beatles’ 'Blackbird.' The improvisation in 'Nature Boy' is a jazz lover’s delight and 'Tears in Heaven' is superb. But the standout for me is the heartfelt 'One Day I’ll Fly Away.'

While the songs may be connected by a thread of sadness, I found the album as a whole to be uplifting, because this is truly something borne of great love. What’s more, proceeds from sales go to SANE Australia.

Sunny Singer Music Blog 03.08.09
The Jazz:Review: Like it is: A Dedication

In the states, we don’t get much exposure to the Australian jazz scene. But this small, tight knit group of Aussie musicians create some pretty good jazz.

One example is this cd by Geoff Kluke & The Changes, which ranges from straight ahead to modern, and several other genres in between, across its 15 tracks. The bridge is the musicianship, which is top notch.

The constant through the majority of the album is bassist Kluke and the rest of his rhythm section: Drummer Mike Jordan and the outstanding pianist Bob Sedergreen, who in particular seldom puts a foot wrong.

Along the way are appearances by trumpeters Gil Askey and Russell Smith, and saxophonist Paul Williamson, all of whom also provide delightful vocal tracks in addition to their instrumentals. Also along for the ride are vocalists Bridgette Allen and Julia Messenger, and clarinetist Alex Hutchinson, who provides a nice feature on Stardust.

Kluke says the sessions were very loose, he just booked the studio and let the musicians go. The result, in my opinion, was a good one. Good music unencumbered by over arrangement. It is a testament to the pedigree of the personnel.

It is important to note how this cd came to my attention: Through Briony Walker, media contact for SANE, an Australian charity working for a better life for people affected by mental illness.

The album was recorded in dedication by Kluke and his wife Jan in memory of Jan’s son Luke who took his own life in 1999 at the age of 28. All proceeds from the sale of the album go to support SANE Australia’s work on suicide prevention. And the artwork on the album features drawings by Luke, who suffered from bipolar disorder. Musicians coming together for a cause, and creating beautiful music along the way. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Adrian Jackson in July 2009, Rhythms magazine

Geoff Kluke has been one of the leading jazz bassists in Melbourne for some twenty-five years now. This is his first album as a leader, and it is clearly a labour of love, dedicated to his stepson Luke, who committed suicide after suffering from bipolar disorder. Proceeds from sales of the album will go to SANE Australia (

Kluke gathered some of his closest musical friends for the session. Joining him in the rhythm section are Bob Sedergreen (piano, electric piano) and Mike Jordan (drums), while Paul Williamson adds his robust saxophone on eight tracks and vocals on three; former Motown arranger Gil Askey plays trumpet on two tracks and sings on one, while Russell Smith plays trumpet on three songs and sings on three. Other featured vocalists are Jordan, Bridgette Allen and Julia Messenger, while Alex Hutchinson's clarinet is featured on 'Stardust'.

With those names, you might expect a very straight-ahead, swinging session. That is the case on several tracks, but the album is varied stylistically, covering pop, cabaret and R&B bases, along the way. For example, Allen sings Randy Crawford's hit 'One Day I'll Fly Away' and on the final track Kluke switches to bass guitar for a workout on Eric Clapton's 'Tears In Heaven'. Everyone will have their preferred tracks; for mine, the standout is Smith's heartfelt, subtly understated vocal on 'I'll Be Seeing You'.