7 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 4 - December 2004

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mainframe sounds from acoustic instrumems. The resultant sonorities are a marvel. The tracks on "Selected Works" were origmally issued on LP by the Frog Peak composers' collective. You will want to spin this disk on the best available! S1)und system to catch all that Ten- 1H::y conjures from a mainframe. Here Tenney begins the unfolding stochastic structures. percussive pulses. microtonalities and anemion to psychoacoustics that arc his hallmark. My favourite track is the acoustic Music for Pla)'er Piano (1963), which anticipates symbiosis between Tenney's reigning expertise on Conlon Nancarrow and his own vocabulary. The place to start on .. Postal P1e1.:es" is a composition for solo contrabass. Beast. The intense range of wholly new contrabass !>Ounds, rhythmic drive and the riveting auemion that Tenney auracts within a gradually flowering structure are beyond imagination until one first hears them. Performing Tenney's music is no walk in the park. The musicians of the Barton Workshop rise to the challenge with great aplomb. "Postal Pieces" is important, provocative and altogether a sheer pleasure. JAZZ Phil Ehre11saft The Centennial Collection (CD+ DVD) Coleman Hawkins Bluebird 82876-60086-2' The Centennial Collection (CO+ DVD) Artie Shaw Bluebird 82876-60092-2 The Centennial Collection (CD+DVO) Benny Goodman Bluebird 82876-60088-2 Swing Music was Popular Music in the 1930s. and Hollywood jumped on trends even then. so many artists appeared in films and shore sub· jects. These clips are the source of most of the 30-40 minute DVD special extra added free bonus gifts". It's interesting, though, that it's CD packaging, with the visuals tossed in. Other than Ellington and maybe Basie, black anists fared less well. and the Hawkins material is from TV in the '50s. A slight drawback in preparing Belgian concert. "greatest performances" packages is that you 're restricted to the vault of one company, which means that label-hopping artists leave their offerings scauered about. Still, in the swing era there were fewer labels, and RCA and Bluebird were major, so things aren't too bad wi1h this series. Coleman Hawkins is the most-affected, but his smash Body and Soul of 1939 is here. along with a strings-laden 1956 vers . ion. Solos with McKinney·s Couon Pickers, Mound City Blut: Blowers (a great integrated studio jam from 1929), Fletcher Henderson and all-star sessions add up to a 70-minute feast of the first great tenor man of jazz. As "The King of Swing'' Benny Goodman was a huge star in the '30s and '40s with his earliest success documented by RCA, and good choices were made for this release. Big band hits prevail (King Porter Sromp, Goodbye. Bugle Call Rag). but there are small group things (Body and Soul, Opus) and guest appearances on sideman sessions by Gene Krupa and Lionel Hampton. The accompanying DVD for this one is the most diverse, with movie and TV clips and even some documentary footage of a 1966 Another clarinetist, Artie Shaw, bumped Goodman from the top by the late 1930s by virtue of his smoother style, both musically and personally. Begin The Beguine. Frenesi and Swr Dusr represent the big band hits, and the Gramercy Five is represented by Summit Ridge Drive and The Grabtown Grapple. Radio airchecks stand beside srudio recordings, showing how jazz can come alive with an audience. A handsome and intelligent man, he was a prototype for today's tabloid stars: successful, rich and oflmarried. However, he walked away from fame and fortune by the mid- I 950s, unsatisfied in most every way, it would seem from his life-long crankiness. An interesting 2001 interview taped to accompany an earlier boxed-set release is the most interesting part of the video, as he honestly discusses art vs. popularity and success itself. The whole "Centennial Collection" is nicely packaged with de· tailed and informative booklets. and excellent sound transfers. If you're looking for overviews of artists' careers you'll be satisfied with this series. The Piano Hcrbie Hancock Ted O'Reilly Columbia/Legacy CK 87083 This lovely release, making its first appearance outside of Japan, is pretty much self-describing: Herbie Hancock, and a piano. Recorded direct-Lo-disc 26 years ago, "The Piano" is transitional technically, commercially and personally, for Hancock. On Lhe technical side, analog tape and vinyl had prelly much reached its limitations, yet digital recording was not yet perfected and the CD was still in the future. On the business side, corporations were looking for a Sales Hook. Direct-to-disc, even with all irs limitations had one benefit: only the best musicians were wanted on the studio side of the glass. Enter Hancock, ready to take on a new challenge after years with Miles Davis, leader projects, the all-star VSOP band and duets with Chick Corea. He was ultra familiar with the material, having played My F111111y Vale111i11e. On Green Dolphin Streer and Someday My Prince Will Come so often with Davis. Originals made up side rwo: Harvesr Time, Sonrisa, Manha11a11 Island and Blue Orarzi. This was Herbie's lirst real solo piano album, and he came through shiningly, meeting all the measures. The music's bluesy, boum;y or beautiful as needed. Four alternative takes (the three Davis selections and Harvest Time) are wor- Remote Recortling Recording Truck Portable Recording Systems Record Anywhere, Anytime Call Bruce @ PRB 647-272-3674 84 __ _ WWW. THEWHOlENOTE.COM DECEMBER 1 2004 - FESl\UARY 7 2005

1hy. proving rha1 1he anisr did not work out his solos or even his approach to the music ahead of time. The sound quality is intimate, yet rich, showing the pianists' lovely 1ouch. h makes a piano fan wonder why Hancock ever embraced electronic keyboards. Ted O'Reilly Transparency Lenny Solomon Independent (www After listening to Canadian jazz violinist Lenny Solomon's "Transparency" I was both entertained and even a little surprised by the album's stylistic diversity. What really stood out, in addition lo great playing, was the range of styles, from standards and bebop, ro more recent. impressionistic forms. Traditional works, such as Oh Susanna are treated with respeci and sensitivity, while producer Shelly Berger's The Reel Thing and Oliver Nelson's Hoe Down bring in subtle elements of American folk. country, and bluegrass. The title track Transparency, composed by Solomon, allows for some effective improvisational interplay between Solomon, pianist Phil Dwyer, and guitarist Geoff Young. Don't Tell Me What To Do, a Solomon-Berger collaboration, bears testimony to the violinist's firm grounding in traditional jazz performance and composition. while renditions of Sweet Georgia Brown, 1 Got Rhythm (with a hint on Anthropology). and The Nearness of You gives further even evidence of Lenny Solomon's jazz mastery. It is rare for virtually any instrumentalist 10 be able to play convincingly and authentically in as many different genres as Lenny Solomon does. The only uncertainty that one might have after listening to "Transparency" is whether or not Solomon, in future endeavours. will attempt to hone in on a signature style and/or sound, or if he will continue to explore the multitude of musical forms, jazz. classical. and otherwise. that he has at his fingertips. My guess is the larrer. Eli Eisenberg Play it Loud! S Mos Quintet Cristal Records CRCD04-13 Imagine just for a moment the classic jazz quintet of piano. bass, drums, trumpet. and saxophone. Then slowly trace the evolution of jazz from bebop to post-bop to avant-garde, to modern jazz to fusion and add a dash of popular dance music forms and you pretty much have the ingredients of a new band out of Montreal called the S Mos Quintet. S Mos is the keyboardist, composer and bandleader, and in spite of his traditional instrumentation, his debut album "Play It Loud" is anything but tri\ditional. All ten tracks on the disc are written by Mr. Mos and they combine a very funkified sound of upbeat, keyboard driven grooves with Brecker Brothers style horn arrangements. Soloing is plentiful yet well managed throughout. Two of my favourite moments on the disc occur early on. The second track. Energic contains impressive Latin-style blowing by trumpeter Brice Moscardini, and track number three. Up To The Top, goes back and forth between a fast funk and a slow half-time groove with very little warning. Although S Mos is the obvious leader. bandmates Moscard ini. saxophonist Adrien Daoud. bass guitarist Yann Gourhand. and drummer Julien Serie contribute a great deal to the band's sound. It might be nice in future recordings to hear bassist Gourhand explore some of his instrument's subtleties during his solos. but overall the CD is a fine effort by a great group of young Montreal musicians. New York Forever - Jazz in the Big Apple Various Artists Cristal Records CR 304 Eli Eisenberg As more and more recordings move out of copyright' in Europe anything over fifty years old is considered public domain - record companies continue to take full advantage of the situation. In the jazz and blues field this vast treasure trove is being pillaged to assemble complete editions of the work of various artists as well as collections showcasing schools and styles. Then there are those ubiquitous theme sets: the "Joe Blow Plays Jazz For Lovers" kind of thing. · "New York Forever", while not really a historical overview. at least manages to display the wide range of jazz heard over the years in New York City. It contains recordings made between 1930 and 1953. The artists range from Fletcher Henderson to Milt Jackson. Included are a fine 1945 version of Harlem Air Shafr by Duke Ellington as well as a delightful romp - 46 West 52 - by Chu Berry and Roy Eldridge. Then there are vocal selections b"y Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Ethel Waters. Billie Holiday. Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinarra. And Cab Calloway. Nat Cole, Luis Russell. Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker. Louis Armstrong, Chick Webb, Teddy Wilson, Wardell Gray, Lester Young. Clifford Brown and Illinois Jacquet all make appearances. But what makes the set more interesting than most is the excellent choice of material. The CD's producer has managed to pick outstanding, yet not obvious, performances by all concerned. Don Brown CONTINUES NEXT P ... CE Paul Hodge Design • Recording • Editing • Live Sound l11Eulllodge!(u.dio.co111 v'-10 phone 416-409-1081 web h11p;// email info@paulho

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