7 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 3 - November 2010

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  • November
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  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Choir
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  • Choral

not a simple smorgasbord

not a simple smorgasbord of individuallyrecorded solo improvisations. It is ratherproject: to forge links between performers ofexperimental and traditional global musicallanguages. The inclusion of performers fromNorth and South America, Europe and Japanimplies a kind of emerging global communityof improvising musicians. For Sait’sfuture projects, I would like to propose theinclusion of musical voices from the rest ofthe world.The mind-boggling variety of instrumentationincluded on this CD already servesto blur traditional and experimental musicalgenres. Solos on church organ, “rubber-struments.Leading Toronto free improvis-and Joe Sorbara present characteristic virtuosogestures, but there are too many musicalhighlights and quirky moments to mention ina single review.Listening to this CD is a satisfying internationalarmchair sonic expedition. Thereseems to be something for almost everysomething too sonically trenchant, you canrelax knowing that in less then sixty secondsyou will be entering yet another new personalsound world to explore.—Andrew TimarTango BorealDenis Plante; David Jacques; Ian SimpsonATMA ACD2 2661POT POURRIThe bandoneonis one of the world’smost highly unlikelypopular instruments.Tricky to play, atuning nightmare,and a wheezy creakycontraption, this distantrelative of theaccordion has made its musical mark for themusicality that it emotes, and the composerswho have written for it.Quebec composer/bandoneonist DenisPlante combines the work of his predecessorsand his own musical sensibilities tocreate an interesting aural pastiche for hisTrio Boreal, comprised of himself, guitaristDavid Jacques and double bassist Ian Simpson.The music is wide ranging in its moods,with a little something for everyone’s taste.The mellower trio tracks are the weakest asthey run the risk of becoming too clichéd intheir laid-back sentiment. But all is forgottenDanza with its joltingrhythms and uplifting spirits. Ave Maria is abeautiful solo bandoneon number drawing onthe instrument’s religious music background.The guitar solo Vallée de la Lune is gorgeous.Most exciting is the group’s potentialthat can be heard in Prelude where there is aje ne sais quoi element of ensemble playingand compositional attributes that forecasts apromising future. can even hear the breathing of the bandoneon!But it is the fact that all three musi-they are playing which makes this release sospecial.—Tiina KiikCanadian Scenes 1Adi BraunIndependent (“This recordingis a dream-come-winning jazz vocalistAdi Braun of herrecently released a-stretched her already impressive talents toinclude songwriting with three originalstunes.In My Heart I Know begins with a softlyplucked acoustic guitar, and is soon joinedby an evocative arco bass, to set up thisbeautifully romantic ballad. Ocean Eyes isstyle, a mixture of cabaret and jazz. Her sultryvocals caress the lyrics, swooping andsoaring over the pulsing beat of Kevin Barrett’sguitar and the piano of Jordan Klapman.Grace “walks with a steady pace/good to hear that Braun has taken ShirleyEikhard’s encouragement to “put my song-hopefully harbingers of many more originalsto come.Braun is also noted for her determinationto bring Canadian songwriters to her audiences’attention, and she does so exquisitelywith Tony Quarrington’s collaboration withJordan Klapman, Rain on the Roof. SongwriterJulian Taylor joins Braun on his compositionIt’s Not Enough, a pop ballad rem-contributing artists on “Canadian ScenesAnderson on drums. The EP is availablethrough Braun’s website.—Bill MacLeanA Touch of SerenityEnsemble ChiaroscuroIndependent HAP3781( baroque music played on period instruments.Leslie Huggett, his wife, Margaret, and theirfour children wereknown across Canadafor their tastefulinterpretationsof music from themedieval, renaissanceand baroqueperiods. From Canada’sNational ArtsCentre to London’s Wigmore Hall and on theCBC and BBC the family performed in periodcostumes to the delight of audiences andafter several successful LP recordings, thegroup disbanded.In the mid 1980’s Leslie and Margaretestablished their Flute Studio in Markham,formingunder the name Ensemble Chiaroscuro,their stated aim is “to present musicis still there, but in a very different format.lesstransitions as the melodies are passedfrom one performer to the other with thetasteful, non intrusive accompaniment ofLeslie’s son Andrew. From traditional songslike Bonnie Doon to operatic arias includingDelibes’ Flower Song from Lakmé and Puccini’sO Mio Babbino Caro we are treatedto a broad spectrum of beautiful calm melodies.There are no bombastic displays oftechnique. These performers don’t have toprove anything. This recording is not just “ATo put the icing on the family cake,-TheVery Thought of You, accompanied by theensemble.—Jack MacQuarrieUrban Flute Project [RE:DefiningSpace with Sound]Jamie ThompsonIndependent UFPCD001( aim of theUrban Flute Project,the brainchild ofJamie Thompson,as I understand it,is to acquaint anyonewho is inter-like this one) with urban locations aroundthe world, not through the way they look butthrough their acoustical properties, conveyed Jamie Thompson playing in various locations.He was most successful in attainingtitle, in places where the acoustical environmentbecame a co-performer: the Manitoba66 thewholenote.comNovember 1 - December 7, 2010

gina;track the Soldiers’ Tower at Universityof Toronto; Singhampton Bridge; Laird Lair;and the Millennium Centre in Winnipeg.The reverberation of these spaces became hisperforming partner. The ambient sound con-thingfrom moving water, birds, industrialmachinery, horses’ hooves, the voices ofcame across, alas, not as musical partnersbut as contrived impositions, reminiscentof the naïve sound effects of 1940s and 50sradio dramas.No doubt, live at the time, every one ofthese musical moments would have been surprisingand magical. Capturing the magic,the surprise and the spontaneity in an audiorecording, has proven here to be very dif-but did not translate well into CD format. Iistand I hope he continues to record. I lookforward to hearing a recording that does himjustice.—Allan PulkerIt’s Our JazzGEOFF CHAPMANEach year in Torontoand environsa handfulof homegrownand happily for fansthere’s more than ahandful of up-andcomerstrying hardbeis pianist Matt Newton, who displays hiswares on Push (Firetown Music 905 in a quartet setting on eighttunes. He’s a cooler version of keyboard aceroute highlighting his own material, but thegramis in good company with slick tenorPetr Cancura, bass Mark McIntyre and always-busydrummer Ethan Ardelli. Theleader allows plenty of space for colleagues,lines and the tuneful bassist supporting hisneat single-note runs, disciplined explorationsand carefully crafted notions with inventiveideas of their own. The title song isa knotty piece with subtle rhythms that givesa sense of the emerging group persona, Ardellikicks off Where To? with style, the impressionisticsoundscape that is Blue (the colour)Tides Of TheMainland).Expatriate AndrewRathbun is askilled factor in thecontemporary NewYork scene, but stilland shows it. In thepast he’s used MargaretAtwood poetryas his muse, and now it’s Glenn Gould whoin the 1960s made a CBC documentary titledThe Idea of North. That’s led to The Idea OfNorth (Steeplechase SCCD 31695,an eight-track portrait ofCanadianaSuiteof Wayne Shorter’s whispering Teru and awork by Gluck, but the rest is original sophisticatedimages, highlighting his great,radesincluding excellent trumpeter TaylorHaskins and precise pianist Frank Carlberg,has a unique way of putting elements togetherthat work well on tunes like Arctic, Decemberand Harsh by employing supple approachesthat are vigorous but not overstatedand fascinating, well-executed ideas. Rockiesis just one seriously catchy piece on a recordingwell worth seeking out.It’s the tenth anniversary of tough-mindedimprovisers BarryRomberg’s RandomAccess whosestreamlined line-upThe Gods Must BeSmiling (RomhogRecords; the mood established quickly withthe rockish, spooky romp 1 st Things Firstthat keeps building while mixing in whimsicalexchanges and Botos examining his innerJoe Zawinul. Yet these free pieces alwayssomehow stay in the groove, fuelled as everby bucolic drumming with unexpected accents.A Christmas Song is raucous with intricaterhythm rather than seasonably sappyberg’syoung son its extreme romanticismchanges before halfway to extreme crazinesspunctuated by squealing guest saxes. Lowell’sBowel Young’s questing dominating, the secondwith tenorman Kirk MacDonald seeking apersonal whirling grail and the third withhard-driving sax pursued hotly by rumblingelectric bass. The closing Epilogue is aBotos solo taped live at Humber with drumsbookending.Perhaps it’s the current economics of thebusiness, but jazz duo discs seem to be on-Mike Herriott and American guitarist SeanHarkness, a session democratically dividedwith half the 10 originals recorded inToronto, half in theBig Apple. The resultis Flights: VolumeOne ( is said to bemore joint ventures.That’s good news,because Toronto-based Herriott’s horn andHarkness’s strings work on a very intimatebasis, with elegant sounds abounding in aningvibe, but one that commands attention bepaid to the polished accomplishments of theperformers. Four of the original tunes bene-trombonist Mark Miller adds sonorities toLeap Year. There’s much sleek unison playing,almost always followed by soloing that’svery impressive technically with attentioncarefully paid to varying melodic line in anongoing, alert dialogue of musical opinion.Just two instruments does tend to limit possibilitieshowever, and thus the emphasis logicallyleans more to restraint than abandonwhile sometimes what’s mellow is overdone.cellentchamber jazz.OLD WINE, NEW BOTTLESFine Old RecordingsRe-ReleasedBRUCE SURTEESWhen Klaus Tennstedt defected from Eastclaimedmaestro. He was granted asylum inSweden and accepted engagements in Goth-camegeneral music director of the Kiel-Massey Hall. I remember to this day a gan-atedan unforgettable Beethoven violin concertowith Itzhak Perlman. Soon he was indemand worldwide and he followed Solti asconductor of the London Philharmonic fromconcerts over 14 years. Karajan, it is said,November 1 - December 7, 2010 67

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