8 years ago

Volume 15 Issue 1 - September 2009

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Colours
  • Trio
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre

arpeggios and

arpeggios and contrapuntal strumming fromLéandre.But perhaps the most palpable testimony toLéandre’s sonic versatility is the tracks sheshares with oud player/vocalist Sameer Makhoulon “Live in Israel”. Despite the oud’sfive pairs of strings compared to her four,she manages to advance buzzing timbres thatperfectly match his breakneck finger-picking.Not only that, but her rhythmic breaths andfree-form chanting complement his vocalizedglossolalia so that the two sound as if they’reperforming a Middle Eastern operetta.Concert Notes: Joëlle Léandre performs atthe Guelph Jazz Festival on September 10 aspart of The Stone Quartet and on September12 in a solo recital.POT POURRIClassical Fairy Tales - Patrick Cardy’sThe Snow Queen & The Little MermaidAngela Fusco; Alex Baran; ChamberMusic Society of Mississauga; Peggy HillCMSM Concert Theatre for Kids( compositions by the late and much lovedCarleton University music professor PatrickCardy are featured on this new release. Basedon two familiarHans ChristianAnderson children’sstories,Cardy has wovenhis narrative andmusic into a paletteof word andsound painting,suspense, and musical colours.The Snow Queen is scored for string quartetand narrator. Angela Fusco gives a convincingperformance in telling the saga of lostlittle boy, and the little girl who loves himso. Her clear diction and amusing charactervoices highlight her rendering of eternal loveto a backdrop of strings. On occasion the musicis a wee bit too commercial for my liking,but thankfully these instances are few and farbetween.The Little Mermaid has Fusco joined by theexcellent Alex Baran in narration. The musicalscore is stronger here, with the mixedmusical ensemble more in the forefront, especiallyin the gripping track The Sea Witch.The narration and music are equal partnershere, probably creating rejoicing in “the distantrealms of heaven”, the powerful closingline of this interesting work.Applause to violinist, producer and CMSMConcert Theatre of Kids Artistic DirectorPeggy Hills for fulfilling her promise to thelate composer that she would record TheSnow Queen. Along with The Little Mermaid,this is music for both the young and young atheart.Tiina KiikMy One and Only ThrillMelody GardotVerve B001256302 Melody Gardot is a powerfulnew presence on the North Americanjazz/pop scene. I was enchanted by her liveperformance at the Toronto jazz festival (seemy blog at and ampleased to hear that her charisma and abilityto draw in a listener with her intimatevocal delivery has translated beautifully torecording. Her strong songwriting skills —developed while recovering from a serioustraffic accident that left her sensitive to lightand relying on a cane to walk — are whatset her apart from the herd of young jazzsingers content to rework old standards. Herunique voiceis a contrast ofstyles with itsfast vibrato hintingat the oldworld, à la Piaf,and her controlled,up closeon the mic nuanceadding anof-the-momentLeslie Feist style. Her phrasing is all herown, especially on the gorgeous title track,with its laid bare, confessional lyrics: “Birdsmay cease to spread their wings / Wintersmay envelope springs / But it don’t matter,it don’t matter ‘cause / When I’m with you /My whole world stands still / You’re my oneand only thrill.”It’s interesting to note what a little recordlabel clout can do for a girl, as a long line-upof horn, string and rhythm section playersgrace the album, including such heavyweightsas Vinnie Colaiuta and Larry Klein. Harmonicallyrich strings, masterfully arrangedand conducted by Vince Mendoza, provide asoundscape that enhances without overpowering.But Gardot holds her own by doing allthe guitar and piano work on the disc, andadds some charming bossa nova-style lilt tothe only cover on the recording, Over theRainbow. Expect big things from Ms. Gardot.Cathy Riches 56 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM September 1 - October 7, 2009


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