8 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 3 - November 2005

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • November
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Musical
  • Index
  • Concerto
  • Ensemble
  • Choir


DISCS OF THE MONTH ~,./ ~ Town Hall, New York City, June 22, 1945 Dizzy Gillespie; Charlie Parker Uptown Records UPCD 27.51 ( Imagine traveling back in time sixty years. You ' re seated front row center in New York City's Town Hall. It's getting late but the concert still hasn't started. The unctuous disc jockey and M.C., Symphony Sid, is stalling for time. Dizzy Gillespie, Al Haig, Curley Russell and Max Roach are all on stage but Charlie Parker, the group's saxophonist, hasn't shown up. Finally, Gillespie decides to begin without him. Tenorman Don Byas has been conscripted to take the delinquent altoist's place. But then, halfway through Bebop, the concert's opening selection, Parker appears from the wings in full flight. The interplay between Gillespie and Parker is breathtaking. It's as if the two players shared a single brain. And the magic continues through five more selections. The music these men are making is so new part of the audience seems unsure just what to make of it. Oh sure, there's applause, but when the great swing drummer Sidney Catlett sits in on a couple of numbers he gets a much bigger hand. A pipe dream? Hardly. It turns out Uptown Records acquired acetate recordings that had mysteriously turned up in a Connecticut antique shop. These discs contained all the music performed by Dizzy's quintet the evening of June 22, 1945. But, even better, the concert had been professionally recorded using Town Hall's equipment. After years of having to listen to Charlie Parker's live performances through the noise and distortion of amateur recordings and broadcast airchecks, it's a rare treat to hear him in excellent sound and in the company of his musical 84 Back to Ad Index soulmate Dizzy Gillespie. In l 945 bebop truly was "new" music. In fact two pieces heard at this concert, Salt Peanuts and Hot House , had only been recorded by Gillespie and Parker a mere six weeks earlier. This is probably as close as we' ll ever get to the birth of bebop. Whatever you do, don' t miss this one. Don Brown miiffl ... Imm' n Canadian Composer Portraits - Phil Nimmons Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra Centrediscs CMCCD 11005 Brobdingnagian-like, Phil Nimmons has spread his talents across Canada's musical landscape for six decades. He has earned his unofficial title as The Dean of Canadian Jazz with his efforts as a clarinetist, bandleader, recording artist, arranger, composer and teacher. This new production from the Canadian Music Centre is part of a series dedicated to Canadian Composers, and is the Centre's first foray into jazz. A more appropriate subject would be impossible to find, given Nimmons' interests, wellexplored in the first of three discs in the package, a fifty-minute documentary produced by Eitan Cornfield. Deftly woven in with Phil ' s memories (in a rich baritone voice) are examples of his influences - Goodman, Basie, Ellington - and items from airchecks of his classical and dramatic writing, CBC Radio appearances , and his various commercial recordings. It's an excellent item on its own, and serves here as an introduction to the music on the next two CDs. Dave McMurdo, a former member Clarinetist Phil, still highly active in of "Nimmons ' N' Nine+ Six" and a his early 80s, joins the orchestra on fine writer in his own right, happily four tracks and proves to be as takes up an acolyte role as his Jazz contemporary as those less than half Orchestra is turned over entirely to his age. The talent-laden band a programme of 17 examples of includes tenormen, Alex Dean (who Nimmons creations, mostly drawn studied with Phil), and Quinsin from his 1970s work for his big band. Nacho ff (who studied with Alex!). Special guest altoist Campbell Ryga In the classical world the composer is a standout, especially on ballads. is king, and the soloist an interpreter, Dave McMurdo is a fine trombonist but in jazz the soloist is expected to who generously shares solo space be part of the creative process, with the fiery Terry Pro mane, and adding one's own concept. One of further brass work comes from Phil ' s best talents is to offer a trumpeters Mike Malone, a longtime framework which goes beyond McMurdo and Nimmons associate, mere backgrounds: one could listen and Chase Sanborn. to his work sans soloist and still marvel. The sparkplug rhythm section is full of great soloists-pianist Brian Fortunately, the McMurdo band is Dickinson, Reg Schwageron guitar, full of great individual players who bassist Paul Novotny and drummer love to play this music, and it shows Kevin Dempsey, who has developed in these performance recordings into the perfect drummer for this from Toronto's Montreal Bistro and group. Jazz Club in late October 2004. As the bandleader remarks in the Phil Nimmons' musical range is vast, detailed booklet "Everyone comes yet I've always felt his formidable to play every night. The intensity is technical talents are best used on the al ways there, even when the blues, one of the simplest forms of occasional wheel is falling off. " It's music. He has consistently shown that NOW! factor of the band that his creativity on the music most in led to the decision to record live, and need of pure 'soul ' and emotion, the sound is well-captured by something at the heart of this mostengineer William Van Ree, taping modest man. It's all on display on under the cramped conditions of a this release, which should be on normal band stage setup. speakers all over the world. Ted O'Reilly Richard Underhill - moment in time 'Moment in Time' is the excting new release from 2003 Juno Award winner Richard Underhill. This magnificent new allJum showcases 11 original compositions that reference swing, hard IJop, IJossa and modern rhythms. 'Moment in Time' features effortlessly singalJle Underhill melodies placed in a modern context by the deft piano work of Luis Guerra and played with passion by a great band. Original, creative intrumental jazz at it's IJest! Record Release Party - Tues. November 15th, 8pm - Montreal Bistro Holiday Party - Thurs. December 8th, 9pm - The Rex Hotel ··, PA. j Canada ~OF? M For info and to buy online, go to or We acknowledge the financial support of the government of Canada through the Canada Music Fund for this project. WWW. TH EWHOLENOTE.COM N OV EMB ER 1 - D EC EMBER 7 2005

I RUSSELL WATSON Amore Musica NOVEMBER 15 NOVEMBER 20 CASINO DU LAC-LEAMY,QUEBEC ROYAL THEATRE, VICTORIA NOVEMBER 17 NOVEMBER 25 JACK SINGER HALL, CALGARY ROY THOMSON HALL, TORONTO NOVEMBER 19 NOVEMBER 27 THE CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, PLACE DES ARTS, MONTREAL VANCOUVER THE VOICE RETURNS! "The People's Tenor" is back with his fourth album of arias and love songs. - AVAILABLE NOW 8000443902 RENEE f lEM I NG Sacred Songs Renee Fleming has recorded sublimely beautiful and poignant interpretations of the best loved sacred arias, along with some less well known 20th Century compositions, which may become new classics of the genre. Renee Fleming has unquestionably become the most celebrated soprano of her day. AVAILABLE NOW 8000519302

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