Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Andy got started by playing along with the Swing records at home-Glenn Miller classics, Woody Herman's Golden Wedding solo… But this was the late sixties so there was Free Jazz and Fusion in the air. And there was Coltrane.
By the early eighties Andy had entered the orbit of Australia's legendary saxophone soloist and educator Peter Clinch, then a recent president of the World Saxophone Congress. Peter's seminal role in Australian music-making mirrored in many respects that of Joe Allard in New York. Andy spent three years studying and at times performing with Peter.
Around the same time Andy teamed up with pianist Andy Vance in a fruitful partnership that spanned two decades, produced much original music and several albums. The most recent, Digital Flicks, is a fine example of their work as a duo. Through this partnership Andy developed a national profile, appearing at major festivals, on radio and television, and having his music used in hit TV dramas. In the mid-eighties he studied with Dave Liebman, George Coleman and Bill Evans in New York.
In the nineties Andy emerged as a leader in his own right with a series of acoustic and electric fusion bands. Of his recent projects, The Andy Sugg Group maintains the fusion direction. The Group's recent album, After Utopia, features David Liebman in his only recording with an Australian group in a twenty-five year association with this country.
Another ongoing project is the free jazz group, The Kris Wanders/Andy Sugg Unit. The Unit begins where the European (and American) avant-garde of the sixties left off. Kris was an important part of that European scene, having been, among other things, a member of Alexander von Schlippenbach's seminal group The Globe Unity Orchestra. The Unit has recorded On the Edges of Silence and has been at the core of such special events as the 2005 anniversary concert celebrating Coltrane's Ascension recording session. Its current release is The Unit: Live at 3PBS.
Andy's newest project is the modern bop group, TTTenor, which includes additional saxophone heavy-hitters Jamie Oehlers and Julien Wilson, and a rhythm section of Paul Grabowsky, Gary Costello and Andrew Gander. The music features hard-blowing post-Coltrane solo and collective improvisation. The release of TTTenor's recent ABC Radio recording session is pending.
Andy has always been active in music education and channelled his interest in jazz improvisation into a PhD on the music of John Coltrane, Jerry Bergonzi and David Liebman. Tracking the Trane was the first musicological study of its kind in Australia and was praised by its adjudicators who included the world's foremost Coltrane scholar, Lewis Porter.
“Andy Sugg has a rich tone, a rock solid technique and a sure attack that makes him one of the hottest tenor players in the country. Sugg is an outstanding soloist…” Rhythms Magazine.
“A dedicated warrior…” Dave Liebman.