8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 2 - October 2005

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  • Toronto
  • Choir
  • October
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  • Jazz
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Shankar'sEnchantedMoming Raga, written originally for Grauwel's teacher Rampa!, is a fitting close to the disc. Performances are first rate, and the Naxos production values are up to their usual high standard. John Gray Concert Note: Marc Grauwels and Marie-Josee Simard will perform concerts in Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City during October. PHll ROONfY AlAN Let Me Tell You About My Day Phil Dwyer; Alan Jones; Rodney Whitaker ALMA ACD12442 For most jazz fans, a 'trio' is the combination of piano, bass and drums. But the history of the music includes other setups, most often a horn, piano and drums. Sonny Rollins made famous his version of a trio by not using a harmonic instrument, just bass and drums with his tenor. It's that model that has inspired reedman Phil Dwyer and his American friends on "Let Me Tell You About My Day", with Dwyer adding soprano sax to 64 GOLD RECORDS JUNO AWARDS 2" analog/24 bit digital recording & mastering Great live room in old movie theatre Yamaha Grand Piano Hammond M3 & Leslie Milestone Drums per hour Call for a coffee and tour Back to Ad Index the mix as well. Most of the dozen compositions are by Dwyer (five, plus an interesting arrangement of Rollins' Airegin), with two each by bassist Alan Jones and the drummer, Rodney Whitaker. A jazz standard, John Lewis' Afternoon In Paris opens the CD, and along the way there's the old-timer I Can't Believe That You 're in Love With Me. To my ears, Dwyer's saxophone work has owed more allegiance to John Coltrane (via Steve Grossman) than to Rollins, but there are lots of nods to Sonny here, especially rhythmically. I'll bet he would be an interesting drummer, to go along with his saxophone and piano work, as well as his more-recent endeavours as a composer and arranger. Phil has always acknowledged the late Toronto drummer Jerry Fuller as a major influence on his musical thinking, and Airegin's arrangement was written for Fuller. Jones' and Whitaker's work here, both as instrumentalists and composers add to the richness of the album, which overall has a lot more variety than one would suspect looking at the limited instrumentation. Ted O'Reilly One Take, Volume Two Terri Lyne Carrington; Robi Botos; Phil Dwyer; Marc Rogers ALMA Records ACD14382 (ADV14399 DVD) The jam session used to be a staple of the jazz world, for the players, the audience, and even (for a while) record companies. (Think of early Savoy and Prestige LPs). There was a time when the vocabulary, the dictionary of jazz was universal: everyone knew the standards and the blues, and the individual musicians' interpretation was paramount. Even when bebop came in, so many of the 'original' tunes were standard-based that it was not a problem for say, Buck Clayton, to play beside Sonny Stitt. Well, the commonly-known tunes may have changed a bit, but Toronto's Alma Records is making the old new again by asking selected players to go into a studio for an afternoon, and just play. Following last year's "One Take (Volume One)" featuring Guido Basso and Joey Defrancesco comes the second release in the series. It's an international band, with US players Terri Lyne Carrington on drums, and bassist Marc Rogers joining B. C. saxophonist Phil Dwyer and the Hungarian-born pianist Robi Botos, who is making a solid name for himself in Toronto. Don Grolnick's Nothing Personal may have replaced Honeysuckle Rose, and Freedom Jazz.Dance taken over for Undecided, but the spirit of the jam session is still there for these inventive musicians. The easy interplay is on view too, should you decide to pick up the DVD version of the one-day session. Highlights include the drum-tenor interplay on Surrey With The Fringe On Top and the relaxed, noncloned version of Bemsha Swing. For those who've not heard Robi Botos, this release is a good introduction to his many skills. WWW. THEWHOLENOTE. COM Time Flies P.J. Perry Justin TimenJST201-2 Ted O'Reilly P,J tt: •rv ·i Surprisingly, this isP.J. Perry's first live recording and what a treat it is. I'd think live recording would be the only logical way to capture this fiery , take-no-prisoners reedman. The music, from The Cellar in Vancouver, was recorded in the summers of 2003 and 2004 before appreciative audiences. Perry is heard on alto and tenor saxophones alongside his guest artist, trumpeter and flugelhornist Bobby Shew. Ross Taggart is the pianist. The 2003 titles have Andre LaChance on bass and Dave Robbins on drums. Those from 2004 have Neil Swainson and Joe LaBarbera. An all-round saxophonist, Perry is equally adept at ballads and barnburners. But what makes this CD so special for this listener is Perry's choice of material. There are countless great tunes out there that just don't get played as often as they should. You know what I mean - the "jazz standards" - compositions written by the great jazz instrumentalists. Perry, a master jazzman, together with his friend and colleague Bobby Shew, a superb brass player from the U.S., have made some bril- liant choices here. The set opens, for example, with a bracing version of Horace Silver's St. Vitus' Dance. Then there's Ellington's Warm Valley. It's fascinating to hear this Johnny Hodges showcase played by an altoist with Perry's edginess. Other highlights include the title tune, Bud Powell's Tempus Fugit, Gigi Gryce's delightful Social Call, and Blue Mitchell's Melody For Thelma. Nourishing music. A keeper. Don Brown LiveatMCG Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Manchester Craftsmen's Guild MCGJ1017 Bassist John Clayton and reed-man brother Jeff have worked together as co-leaders, along with drummer Jeff Hamilton since 1985. This CD was recorded last year during a four day engagement at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, a nonprofit arts institution in Pittsburgh. There are compositions by Hoagy Carmichael, Horace Silver, Sonny Stitt, and Thelonious Monk, among others, as well as Silver Celebration, a John Clayton tribute to Horace Silver. The music shows influences of Oliver Nelson, Quincy Jones and Gil Evans along with echoes of Basie and Duke, but John Clayton's arrangements give the group a personality of its own. Right from the start the big tenor sound of Ricky Woodard, (wrongly spelled as Woodward in the CD notes), is strongly featured on an upbeat version of Georgia. He and pianist Tamir Hendelman have the bulk of the solo space, but "Snooky" Young, always a huge asset to anything he graces, makes a telling contribution on Like A Lover. There is an interesting re-working of the Johnny Hodges number, Squatty Roo, a romping arrangement of Stitt's Eternal Triangle and some pretty special arco bass playing on Nature Boy, the haunting Eden Ahbez song which Nat "King" Cole made into a hit. But it is the overall spirit of the band that really comes across, aided by the fact that it is a live, rather than a studio, recording, confirming the band's position as one of very best big bands in the business. Jim Galloway O CTOBER 1 - N OVEMBE R 7 2005

J J When She Dreams Nancy Walker w/Kieran Overs; Kirk MacDonald; Barry Romberg; Anthony Michelli Justin Time JTR 8505-2 I'm not sure who the "she" is in the title of this CD, but if it's Nancy Walker herself, the dream is about music. This new release (her fourth) is the outcome of Nancy's band winning the 2003 Montreal International Jazz Festival's Prix de Jazz. The basic trio with Kieran Overs on bass and drummer Barry Romberg (Anthony Michelli replaces him on two of the tracks) has been a working group for many years. Kirk MacDonald is a band regular too, and is heard on most of this release playing tenor and alto. While this is unquestionably a band record, there's no doubt that the leader is Walker: all compositions are by her, and she's a commanding presence at the piano. Her solos are strong and personal, and she's a wonderful accompanist, always offering appropriate support. For example, Nancy's control of dynamics is true, not just made in the post-recording mix ("Piano's a bit loud there- bring it down a bit. ") From previous experience, I find 'all-original' albums a bit uninteresting, as most players aren't really composers. Walker is a real writer, and memorable tracks here include the opener Vigil, which calmly welcomes the listener. June is a jaunty, optimistic line, with solid bass work by Overs. A tune dedicated to tenorman Wayne Shorter, Thirty, is a knotty thing which has Kirk Mac­ Donald avoiding comparisons by playing alto sax. I've never been one for prizes in music - it isn't a contest - but if it takes a competition to come up with this CD, we're all winners. East- West Bill Frisell Nonesuch 79863-2 Ted O'Reilly This is a 2 CD package featuring guitarist Bill Frisell's two working trios. The difference between the two groups is quite noticeable. Bass players Viktor Krauss and Tony Scherr differ in their approach and drum- O CTO BER 1 - N OVEMB ER 7 200 5 Back to Ad Index mer Kenny Wollesen adapts beautifully to both settings. Frisell has a great feel for the shape of songs - the sense of the melody is there all the time - especially on standards. Frisell was once quoted in an interview as saying - "I like to keep that melody going. When you hear Thelonious Monk's piano playing - or horn players like Ben Webster, Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter - you always hear the melody in there." This, with his use of delays and distortion gives his music an unmistakably unique touch. Disc 1: "West" featuring Frisell with Krauss and Wollesen, was recorded at Yoshi's in Oakland and includes some originals as well as versions of I Heard it Through the Grapevine and A Hard Rain 's A-Gonna Fall. His comments about shape and melody are clearly shown when you listen to his extended interpretation Shenandoah. Disc 2: "East", featuring Frisell 's other trio with Scherr and Wollesen was recorded at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Six of the ten pieces are explorations of a wide variety of popular melodies ranging from Mancini's Days of Wine and Roses to Crazy by Willie Nelson! There are plenty of great note improvisers and plenty of great sound improvisers, but very few, like Frisell, have a true mastery of both, and it can be awe-inspiring to hear him manipulating his sound with such creativity while simultaneously playing a solo that Jim Hall , one of his early influences, would be proud to have formulated. Jim Galloway The Rules of the Game Adi Braun Blue Rider Records ( www Toronto singer Adi Braun has released her second CD The Rules of the Game, and for people who like their jazz sung straight - Braun does not have the typical sound or phrasing and improvisational abilities normally associated with jazz singing - this is a good disc. Braun has a strong voice, big range and a theatrical approach that owes a lot to her classical training and cabaret background. She has chosen an interesting mix of tunes for this disc with Canadian composers taking a front seat. Gordon Lightfoot's BeC1Utijul lives up to its name, and Shirley Eikhard contributes 2 Vz songs - the Vz being a collaboration with Andree Bernard on the lovely, bossa-ish Guanabara Bay. Don and Jeff Breithaupt also contribute two previously unrecorded tunes, to round out the Canadian contingent. The standards include the Duke's I Got it Bad and That Ain't Good and Porter's You do Something to Me. I can't say enough about the skill and beauty of Doug Riley's piano playing. He and the other musicians add much, while never overwhelming the singing. Steve Wallace is solid and inventive on acoustic bass and Terry Clarke turns in his usual steady and sensitive performance on drums. Tenor player Perry White is a perhaps lesser-known musician who has been on the Toronto scene for a while, who lately seems to be cropping up on more recordings. I hope we get to hear more of him in the future. Cathy Riches Concert Note: Adi Braun will celebrate the launch of "The Rules of the Game" with three nights at the Montreal Bistro October 6-8. !Lockri:dge ; Hi Fi Lockridge Hi-Fi Has a Gift for you! POT POURRI Twenty for One Cadence (Toronto a cappella quartet) Independent CCD2041 ( www It's hard to write a CD review when you're singing along with every song. Despite the challenging arrangements and often complex harmonies, Cadence's new CD "Twenty for One" has just that effect. While some of the songs are originals, such as the upbeat Don 't Fix 1Wuzt 's Broken, the romantic Perfect Kiss, and the funky Sittin' in the Cellar, the band also covers songs by other great songwriters including Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and, of course, the band Cake. "All sounds produced by mouth, voice and body. No other instruments used" proudly states the liner notes, and in their diverse choice of music, the a cappella group demonstrates their ability to imitate every instrument imaginable; harmonica on 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, rock guitar on The Perfect Kiss, and trumpet on the jazzier Dry Cleaner For a limited time, purchase two CDs from these labels: Atma Classique, Chandos, Channel Classics, Harmonia Mundi and Hyperion at our store and receive a free copy of this SPECIAL GRAMMOPHON AWARD WINNER EDITION SCHUMANN PIANO TRIOS HYPERION CD, performed by the critically acclaimed FLORESTAN TRIO. You can also choose among Hyperion's Grammophon Award Winner Series for a CD as our gift for you. Terms and conditions apply. Visit for more information on this offer. Don't miss this incredible chance to discover all the wonderful things Lockridge Hi-Fi has to offer! " 0) 16th Ave > , ,: c: :.0 cl N I 0 0 ~ T * 0) CONTINUES 0) > >

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