6 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 1 - September 2004

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  • September
  • Jazz
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sensationally. Though

sensationally. Though the remastering at Abbey Road studios may have something to do with it, the balance between piano and orchestra is perfect and Argerich pushes and pulls the tempos and offers her accompanying figures in a beautifully conspiratorial spirit. Howeve,r, when she assumes the spotlight she is capable of getting into the keys and playing with grand and awesome power. She takes control of the last movement from its opening measures and sets a tone of wild abandonment with which the orchestra takes up and runs. The disc also features Beethoven's Triple Concerto in a lively performance, also from Argerich 's Lugano Festival, but the Schumann is the highlight and more than worth the price of the CD. Larry Beckwith City Night - Haiku for the 21st century Janice Jackson; Simon Docking Inependent Janice Jackson is a soprano who seeks contemporary repertoire with a passion. We remember her inspired Array Music performance in 2001, and Les franais witnessed her recent IRCAM performance. By coincidence, she arrived in Halifax around the same time as Simon Docking. Of course Dockir:ig has been the new music pianist to keep your eye on for several years now, since his breathtaking performances with Toca Loca and his solo rendition of Sculthorpe's Dijile at Glenn Gould Studio. So it was a natural pairing of these two, which gave rise to a CD of haiku settings. A host of composers contributed to the project, from across Canada. Earlier works in the genre came from Ton De Leeuw, Julian Yu, Colin Matthews and John Cage. The settings are fiendishly difficult for both singer and pianist. Jackson and Docking navigate these tortuous twists and turns with an apparent ease nonetheless. Special mention goes to Rose Bolton for her Urban Haiku: the pianist recites along with the singer, playing all the while. There are several in- 62 stances of inside-the-piano effects, particularly in Alice Ho's City Night. The recording is very immediate, with no appreciable ambience, as if you have your ear under the piano lid, and Jackson is singing to you from 4 feet away. The notes tell us that they used a Steinway, but the jacket photographs show the pair with a Yamaha. A tour de force. John S. Gray Concert Note: Janice Jackson and Simon Docking will celebrate the Ontario launch of the CD with a performance at the Music Gallery on November 25. This month Jackson will perform with the Canadian Electronic Ensemble at the Music Gallery on September 18. She will also perform a solo program entitled Angst at the Canadia dell'arte Theatre here in Toronto November 17 through 20. Simon Docking is among the featured performers in Sound streams' presentation of the music of Pou! Ruders and Harry Freedman on September 27 at Glenn Gould Studio. Des Passages de Charniere Michelle Boudreau Musiques Itenerantes mi Ltee. (Independent) Composer Michelle Boudreau's charniere is the musical element of the artwork 'sculpture/ object' of the same name by Luc Bourbonnais. Comprised 9f five pieces (four of which appear on this release), the aural element of this music-theatre work succeeds independently. The bilingual liner notes support the listener's ability to navigate this fascinating work. Though it may require 'repeated listenings to fully understand the musical nuances, this effort is certainly time not wasted. Having never seen this work live, I can only assume that with the accompanying visuals, this would not be the case. Boudreau's work utilizes both electroacoustic elements with live performance; her work is especially moving when she employs the human voice. The first track, charniere: langage oublie, is mesmerizing. Over 17 minutes in length, the work opens with a sound reminiscent of a squeaky wooden door at a remote cottage. Referred to as "a piece with its own complete universe", the accompanying vocal chants, performed superlatively by soprano Daniele Forget, create an hypnotic 'universal' ambiance and the strongest example of Boudreau's 'charniere' recordings on this release. Of the two other works, berte litice, la suite (introduction), for four cellos, is a compelling piece that shows another side of Boudreau's musical vision. Michelle Boudreau's work here remains an enigma for me. My initial difficulty in listening quickly changed to fascination. charniere is a learning and mind opening experience worth every effort. ' Tiina Kiik I JAZZ and BLUES Heavy Juice Scott Hamilton & Harry Allen Concord Jazz CCD-2258-2 The two-tenor sax group has long been a jazz, and now you can add Scott Hamilton and Harry Allen to the distinguished list. There's no new ground broken on "Heavy Juice" (nor need there be), but the enjoyment level is high with a tidy mix of.blues, ballads and jazz standards. A compatible rhythm section features the elegant pianist John Bunch, with Dennis Irwin and Chuck Riggs on bass and drums. The material at hand comes stylistically from the border-time of swing to bop, when new ideas were in the air. There was no rejection of older ways, just evolutionary changes. WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM The disc gets right to the business at hand .(swinging!) with the title track, a Tiny Bradshaw blues from 1953. From the same era, Blues Up And Down (from predecessors Ammons and Stitt) romps from its call-to-order opening through stop-time tradeoffs. Uptempo items include If Dreams Come True and a bright version of If I Should Lose You. From the bop si

source of the only previously-unavailable selection, a '55 Miles Davis reading of 'Rowul About Midnight with Thelonious Monk at the piano. Wein notes "Miles came off and whispered 'Tell Monk he played the wrong changes.' I said 'Tell him yourself. He wrote the song.'" While this is the only new item, some tracks have not been on CD before, including a lovely Ben Webster/Billy Strayhorn version of Chelsea Bridge. Of course, every major jazz star has played Newport, and they're represented here, at vary­ ·ing lengths: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane (My Favorite Things runs 17'24"), Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Muddy Waters, Dave Brubeck (who has appeared at NJF more than any other artist), Buck Clayton, Coleman Hawkins, Herbie Hancock and on and on. Singers include Billie Holiday Uust 2'05"), Ella, Sarah, Dinah Washington apd Mahalia Jackson. Happy Birthday Newport! is a celebration of the Festival primarily, but as you'd expect, and Wein would no doubt want, it's the musical talent that ends up demanding your attention. This release should be on your stereo ... Ted O'Reilly Highlights from the Blue Classic Line Various Artists Blue Classic Line (Brilliant Classics) This series of budget-priced recordings comes from the EEC, where copyright laws allow release of 50-year-old material as public domain. Each CD is simply titled "Portrait", with the artist's name. While discographical info is included, source labels are not. As a general rule the sound transfers - are very good, if a little 'boxy' sounding, and on some CDs the endings sound a little clipped, with no ring-off. We'll look at eight of the forty or so available. Dizzy Gillespie (BCL 7257) has the bop trumpeter's important 1946 to 1948 big band recordings done for the Musicraft and RCA Victor labels. Titles include Cubano Be and Cubano Bop, Manteca, Ool Ya Cool, Good Bait and others, together with my favourite, Lover Come Back To Me, which shows just how great a trumpet player Dizzy was. His sidemen in this.period include rhythm men John Lewis, Ray Brown, Chano Pozo (this was the beginning of Afro-Cuban jazz), Sonny Stitt, Milt Jackson and James Moody. The first modern jazz piano player was Earl 'Fatha' Hines (BCL 7263) and his Portrait release· includes his very first solo recordings for the QRS company in 1928 when he laid down classics like Caution Blues and A Monday Date, as well as later solos for. Okeh and Victor. There's a trio with Sidney Bechet and Baby Dodds (Blues In Thirds) and seven selections with Hines' Chicago big band from the '30s into the '40s. Given his importance in jazz, it's a shame he has been so overlooked lately. Perhaps this 23-track release will put him into a few more homes. Little need be said, especially in Canada, about the masterful pianist Oscar Peterson (BCL7264). All but one track of this material is home-grown: Montreal transcriptions by the pianist for CBC radio, with bassist Auston (the label has it as Austin) Roberts. From two 1951 sessions come 20 short versions of standards like Tea For Two, I've Got Rhythm, Yesterdays and Rose Room. From Clef comes a single 1950 track with Ray Brown, Oscar's Blues. Peterson is at his youthful best here, all exuberant and joyful and full of chops. Coleman Hawkins (BCL 7265) is one of the most important figures in jazz. I've always thought that the tenor sax is [fil'.jazz instrument, and as Jon Hendricks said, "Coleman Hawkins is the man for whom Adolph Sax invented the instrument". Hawkins certainly created the way to use it in jazz and popular music, and that's not hyperbole. With a career that lasted 50 years, there were remarkably few less productive periods. Sessions on this release come from the late '40s and early '50s with orchestral accompaniments, and small swinging groups, from Paris and New York. His mastery of ballads shows on cinema themes like Ruby and Where ls Your Heart (theme from Moulin Rouge). Five tracks with drummer/ leader Cozy Cole from 1950 are most welcome, with players like SEPTEMBER 1 ·OCTOBER 7 2004

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