Originally from Wollongong, a town on the South Coast of NSW Keith Shadwick, Gary Norwell, Henry Correy, Ian Smith and blues guitarist Allan Vander Linden formed a blues band called King Biscuit which play the universities and nightclub circuit in Sydney in 1968-71. King Biscuit played predominantly the music of Muddy Waters, BB King, Howlin Wolf, Sunnyland Slim,Buddy Guy and other urban Chicago blues musician as well as covers of psychedelic rock and soul songs of the late 1960s.
King Biscuit changed its name to Sun with the departure of Vander Linden. Sun evolved into a jazz rock band that played the wine bars and many other major venues in Sydney, Australia during the early 1970s. Sun's repertoire in live performances was a strange mixture of psychedelic rock and blues and music strongly inspired by John Coltrane, Archie Shepp and the Art Ensemble of Chicago. All these styles were played with varying degrees of success but with much enthusiasm and peer interest. Their rise to attention was largely due the fact that they were one of the first jazz-rock groups in Australia, challenging musical moulds of the day and garnering critical acclaim from the arts world. As a result, they were featured on ABC TV's arts show GTK.
Sun 1972, their only commercial recording, which featured all original material by the band and one past member, and was released by the Australian subsidiary of RCA Records and produced by jazz entrepreneur Horst Liepolt, who later moved to New York and founded the famous Sweet Basil nightclub. The LP was financially unsuccessful yet.
After Ian Smith left the band, Renée Geyer was the singer for twelve months of the band's existence and performed on the album. Starlee Ford took Geyer"s place in the band and under the influence of Shadwick and Norwell the band explored the outer limits of free improvisation, retaining a strong blues connection as well. Starlee Ford's extraoardinary vocal range and openness to all styles of music proved to be a great crowd pleaser. George Almanza left the band and talented keyboardist and guitarist/ songwriter Tony Slavich joined the band. Slavich went on to perform with leading rock band in Australia. Norwell and Shadwick left the band shortly after citing a difference in musical direction. Sun continued for a couple of years with Correy, Ford, Slavich and drummer Ian McLennan. This lineup played a more progrock style and toured Australia extensively but Sun finally folded as an entity after a couple more years.
Keith Shadwick, one of the founding members, went on to record his album Free Time which was released on Candid Records just prior to his death in 2008. The proceeds from the Free Time album are donated to cancer research at Barts Hospital in London. Keith Shadwick's "Free Time" album was launched at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London five days after Keith's death. Young lions of the London jazz scene jammed into the night as a tribute to Shadwick. The "Free Time" album consists of Shadwick on piano and reeds playing his own compositions and features Robert Lucky, and Justin Mcoy on bass guitar with some incendiary drumming by original partner Gary Norwell. Shadwick's music on this album continues the adventurous tradition of the Sun live gigs. The label candidrecords.com.uk have sold out the first pressing of "Free Time".
Sun bass player Henry Correy has released several successful blues albums. Guitarist Chris Sonnenberg returned to the USA in 1973 and continues to be musically active. Pianist George Almanza had a distinguished career in music and died some years ago.
Many talented musicians played in Sun during the bands brief existence, notably Ian Smith from Thirroul in NSW, who contributed a song to the Sun album, and well known Sydney singer Steve Philipson. Singer-songwriter Richard Clapton had a six-week stint as lead vocalist in early 1973, followed by Starlee Ford, a singer who appeared in the original Australian production of the rock musical Hair and made a major contribution as Geyer's permanent replacement. Pianist Victor Nicholson replaced Almanza before being replaced himself by Tony Slavich. Renée Geyer went on to become a figure in the popular music scene.