Digital booklet:  View · Download

The Last Will and Testament of John Sangster

Tony Gould, Len Barnard, Graeme Lyall and friends. A fitting musical tribute to one of Australia's unsung heroes of jazz - John Sangster - by some of this country's top performers.

Nominated for the 2003 Australian Jazz Awards!

According to Sangster's long-time colleague and jazz drummer Len Barnard, the music herein was written in Brisbane, when John knew he was on borrowed time and the cancer could no longer be pacified - yet there is no inkling of self pity. The old humour, optimism, and the knowledge that he had given life a hell of a shake anyway shines through these pieces. Some may have developed into something John hadn't meant them to, but one can imagine him chortling and nodding approval. There was an honesty about all of them, and they add to his fine works of other years.


Tony Gould

Pianist and composer Tony Gould is one of Australia’s most respected musicians. His career has embraced many styles of music, not least jazz and other improvisatory musics in addition to traditional and contemporary classical musics. He gives many concerts each year and for 50 years he has been involved in an extraordinary number of recording projects both as pianist and composer and has been at the forefront of music education in Australia via various tertiary institutions in Melbourne and throughout Australia.

Len Barnard

Forceful though his playing is in the more extrovert traditional jazz setting of much of his work, Barnard's discreet and propulsive swing, and his able use of brushes, show him to be an accomplished mainstream drummer.

Graeme Lyall

Graeme is widely regarded as one of the greatest jazz saxophone players and arrangers Australia has produced. As well as performing, writing, arranging and teaching at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, he is also the Artistic Director of the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra and musical director of the 50 strong WAYJO Composers Ensemble.

John Sangster

John Sangster was one of the most talented Australian jazz musicians of all time, a technician and creator who embraced and understood more styles of music than any other.

Press quotes

“A long overdue tribute to this wonderful man's joyous, genre-crossing, larrikin and very Australian contribution to jazz ... The presentation of the CD is beautiful ...” ★★★★★

— Glen Henrich, Jazz Action Society Sydney

“A stellar line-up ... Covering a range of styles, Sangster's pieces are written and arranged in a way that's almost Ellingtonian - a strong sense of narrative, movement and structure showcases the artists.” ★★★★½

— Leon Gettler, The Age - Green Guide

“[The musicians] do him more than proud, with music that taps the emotions from exhilaration to sadness ... but Sangster never lost his sense of humour and much of this disc transcends that joy. It's a fitting finale.” ★★★★½

— Kevin Jones, The Weekend Australian

“a welcome addition to anyone's collection ... outstanding throughout ... the rhythm could not be better ... deserves to be up there among the classics of Australian jazz.”

— Roger Carpenter, KLFM

“What is understood and enjoyed is the great playing and energy of the musicians on this album ... their love and connection with John Sangster and respect for his music shows in the playing.”

— Sandro Donati, ArtStreams

“this album will do nicely as a teaser ... delightful ... every track has a sunny, swinging mien and genre-blending originality that stamps it as not just fine jazz but classic Australian jazz.”

— Kenny Weir, Sunday Herald Sun

“a memorable recording to grace anyone's collection. The liner notes are worth a mention for their slick presentation and tributes from Dick Hughes, Len Barnard and Tony Gould.”

— Lew Smith, Jazz Fremantle Newsletter

“ecelctic, joyous and playful.”

— Adrian Jackson, Rhythms

“Three things stand out: an inherent swing, ... joy and humanity ... It is absorbing, variegated music that takes its place in Australian jazz history.”

— Shane Nicols, Australian Financial Review

“a fitting tribute to John Sangster and (the late) Tom Baker”

— Sid Marsh, Heritage FM

“This assured album is a fitting musical tribute to one of Australia's unsung heroes of jazz.”

New Classics, UK

“a wonderful tribute to a significant figure in Australia's cultural history.”

— John Topper, 3RRR FM

“a pleasant album”

— Michael Webb, 3MGB FM

“Unmistakably Sangster - and some of his best ... If only there was more Aussie jazz of this quality.”


“a winning collection ... The music itself is as cool as it is joyful ... It really is happy and full of life, as well as being a warm reflection of experience it has some very hot moments. Great stuff.”

Read full review

— David Jobling, Qstage

Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. Sunup John Sangster 7:40
  2. Mistlestone John Sangster 3:33
  3. Raggedy Ann Doll John Sangster 7:06
  4. A Little While Longer John Sangster 5:36
  5. Rivera Mountain John Sangster 2:38
  6. Dead On the Level John Sangster 4:17
  7. A Posy for Petra John Sangster 4:09
  8. Blues John Sangster 4:58
  9. Fallin' Out the Window John Sangster 3:57
  10. Scrub up John Sangster 3:08
  11. Bist Du Es Mon Brave John Sangster 4:18
  12. Last Pound of Flour John Sangster 3:54
  13. Rain On the Roof John Sangster 5:47
  14. Out the Window John Sangster 8:21
  15. Sundown John Sangster 4:15


Where to buy

The Last Will and Testament of John Sangster is available for download from the iTunes Music Store.
It's available for streaming through Spotify and Apple Music.

The Last Will and Testament of John Sangster is available as as CD. It can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

Move CDs can be ordered through music retailers across Australia including Readings.

Product details

This recording project has been assisted by the Commonwealth Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.

List price
$25.00 AUD
Total playing time
73 minutes 37 seconds
Martin Wright
ABC Recording Studios Sydney
Thanks to
Australia Council
Release date
April 2002
© 2002 Move Records
℗ 2002 Move Records
Australian, Jazz
Catalogue number
MD 3255
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574325522