7 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 6 - March 2005

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  • Toronto
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Sunny Gets Blue he

Sunny Gets Blue he brings in subtle hints of a pulsating "four feel n, but never really digs in, so to speak. This may be disconcerting to some, but his intention to not sound like anyone else is undeniable. Horace Silver's Peace, Jerome Kem's Yesterday's, and Bill Evans' Re, A Person I Knew, are included in this twelve song work. Almost fifty minutes of careful listening is required, but those with a keen ear for innovation will be impressed and maybe even ... captivated. Eli Eisenberg In The Moment Pat Collins Quartet Cornerstone CRST CD 126 Pat Collins is a rarity these days, having waited until his forties to present himself as a leader/composer. Not that he's without recording experience: he's appeared on five or six dozen discs, working with Moe Koffman, Don Thompson (a pretty good bassist himselt1), Jimmy Cobb, Pat La.Barbera and many others. A BC native as are so many other top Canadian players - think Phil Dwyer, Diana Krall, Renee Rosnes, Thompson - Pat is a first-call bassist and teacher, but previously unknown as a leader or composer. His partners on "In The Moment" are the cream of the crop: Mike Murley on tenor and soprano saxes; Reg Schwager, guitar; and drummer Barry Elmes, who coproduced the release. Having heard Collins in many situations over the last couple of decades, I appreciate his wonderful instrumental technique and warm, full sound. He plays cleanly and clearly with musical intelligence to the front, and he seems to know "all the tunes" for the gig. I wish he had found room for compositions other than his own, however. It's hard for soloists to overcome unfamiliarity with the material, and they play tentatively. There's a generic quality to the material, and as a result it seems no one has anything to bite into, nothing to leap from. As a result, what could have been an exciting debut 76 becomes a display of craftsmanship. New Danzon Ted O'Reilly Hilario Duran Trio Alma Records ACD14622 The Cusp Roberto Occhipinti Alma Records ACD12502 Drums of Avila Vito Rezza and 5 after 4 Alma Records ACD14302 When Norman Granz first invited Oscar Peterson to participate in Jazz at the Philharmonic in the late 1940s, he opened a door for Canadian and American talent to work together in concert, recording and touring situations. Now, almost sixty years later drummer Vito Rezza, with the help of bassist/producer Peter Cardinali, has assembled an impressive lineup of American and lnternat i o na l players for the album "Drums of Avila". The difference between these two examples is that Peterson's star was on the rise and Rezza's hired guns are all long-standing jazz legends. Americans Michael Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Joey Defrancesco, Belgian harmonica player Toots Thielemans, and Cameroon bassist Richard Bona are all part of Rezza's extravaganza. Local veterans include Guido Basso, John Johnson and Rick Lazar, among others. In keeping with the roster's international theme, the album's compositions are equally varied, with neo­ Weather Report jazz to Brazilian, West African, R&B, and Latin styles all part of the mix. Aspiring drummers will love the album's second track, Manhattan Bounce, which has Rezza and Vinnie Colaiuta doing a left channel, right channel dual drum solo. The disc's liner notes make mention of the Canadian Government's Sound Recording Development Program, which, no doubt, assisted a great deal in bringing together Rezza with the jazz royalty that appear on "Drums of Avila". Eli Eisenberg Concert Note: Michael Brecker joins Herbie Hancock and Roy Hargrove at Massey Hall on March 4. Students from the studio of Rick Lazar are featured at a Latin Jazz Night co-presented by Jazz.FM91 Sound of Toronto and the Humber Music Jazz Series on March 16. Alma Records has released two jazz discs with a Latin twist that are sure to get our frozen Canadian hips swiveling. Expatriate Cuban piano player, Hilario Duran, with his trio, gives us New Danzon, which has been nominated for a 2005 Juno award in the Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year category. The Danzon genre was born in Europe, mamboed its way through Haiti and ended up in Cuba. By incorporating jazz harmonies and extensive soloing, Duran has updated the style, but its roots are still firmly planted in Afro-Caribbean soil. Duran is perhaps best known for his work with the great Cuban­ American trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, with whom he honed his composing and arranging skills throughout the 80's. In the 90's, Duran collaborated with Toronto saxophone and flute player Jane Bunnett in the group Spirits of Havana. For this disc, Toronto bassist and composer Roberto Occhipinti, also known for his work with Spirits of Havana, does bass and producer duty with Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums. Duran has composed two of the nine tracks, and Charlie Parker's bop classic Segment and the standard All of Me also turn up, all treated to Cuban styling and torrential soloing from Duran. Duran guests, along with a who's who of Toronto players, on Roberto Occhipinti's The Cusp. ln sharp contrast to Duran's trio work, which relies heavily on the piano work, WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM Occhipinti doesn't skimp on the woodwinds and horns, making The Cusp a rich listening experience. Phil Dwyer and John Johnson on saxes, Les Allt on Cubanesque flute parts and Kevin Turcotte on flugel and trumpet, Alistair Kay on trombone and James MacDonald on French horn, are all used effectively in both solo and ensemble work. The centrepiece of the disc is a three-part suite that Occhipinti was inspired to write after a trip to Mali. The suite engages with its West African and Cuban influences and moves from 7 /4 time to a moderate 4/4 for the lovely title track and ends with an exuberant mix of Afro-Caribbean sounds featuring Hugh Marsh on violin and Pedro Martinez on congas. Although the majority of the tunes are written by Occhipinti, he's picked some very interesting compositions to cover: Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Chile, with a treatment reminiscent of Gil Evans, Wayne Shorter's beautiful Ana Maria and Puccini's Tosca (six-minutes worth) round out "The Cusp". Cathy Riches Concert Note: Hilaro Duran's student ensemble is featured at a Latin Jazz Night co-presented by Jazz.FM91 Sound of Toronto and the Humber Music Jazz Series on March 16. POT POURRI Grandes succes du deuxieme millenaire Musique Franaise 1000-2000 Skye Consort Ombu 1006 This disc is subtitled Musique Franfaise 1000-2000, and, indeed, the disc carries us from early troubadour dance songs through to late eighteenth century Quebecois folk songs. The "2000" in the title seems to come into play with the pieces' arrangements. The members of the group have arranged every piece on the album, and have brought a far more modern feel to the works. This mission is stated clearly in the inside cover of the MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2005

jewel case, and the ensemble uses the aesthetic openly and boldly. The blend of the ensemble is pleasant, and the musicians (Alex Kehler, Amanda Keesmaat, Andrew Horton and Sean Dagher) seem to have a profound connection, which makes the recording lively. I began to think, while listening to this disc, that this is what would happen if one put la Bottine Souriante and Les Voix Humaines in the same pot and stirred. The vocals (unattributed, but I deduce that the voice belongs to Sean Dagher) are reminiscent of folky calling songs, and the underlying instrumental work is subtle and fluid. There are a few guest musicians on this recording, and the hurdygurdy-curn-percussion player, Ben Grossman, is truly a delight. Not only is his playing distinct and beautiful, but his arrangement of la uitime estampie real is haunting and exciting to hear. I highly recommend this disc to Early Music fans who are really just square-dancers at heart. Gabrielle McLaughlin Editor's Note: The record label has confirmed Gabrielle McLaughlin's surmise regarding vocalist Sean Dagher. temir and Zakharia Khanendeh, to a traditional Arab-Andalusian muwashah (poetic setting), and a new composition by Kiya Tabassian (cofounder of Constantinople) that sets a lyrical text by the great Persian poet, Hafez. Every piece is a fine performance. The attention to detail, the skill of individual players, the cohesion of the ensemble and their passion for the music are truly inspiring. Noteworthy are the two vocalists: Drosos Koutsokostas' deep and rich voice is perfect for the Byzantine chant; while the improvised and highly ornamental passages by Ghada Shbeir add a delicacy and elegance to pieces from the Arab/Persian traditions. As well, the oud and setar (Arab & Persian lutes), qanun, and various percussion feature prominently. The liner notes, in English and French, are informative and extensive, adding greatly to the listener's appreciation of the music and musicians. All in all, a highly recommended CD. Annette Sanger Carrefour de la Meditarranee Constantinople ATMA ACD2 2316 The city of Constantinople (also the name of this group) brings to mind a refined and cosmopolitan place where many religious and cultural traditions, from the Mediterranean to the Middle East, converge. On this particular CD Constantinople is joined by En Chordais, who specialize in Byzantine and Greek music, as well as two outstanding Lebanese soloists: vocalist Ghada Shbeir and qanun (zither) player, lmane Homsy. There is tremendous variety in the songs, their instrumentation and sentiments. They range from Byzantine sacred music and works by renowned 17th and 18th century Greek composers Dirnitrius Can- Atlas Epileptic (enhanced CD) Pierre-Andre Arcand Ambiences Magnetiques AM 127CD Another in the excellent series of recordings by Ambiances Magnetiques, this recording "offers several faces of [Pierre-Andre] Arcand: sonosaurus, singer, performer, DJ, visual poet and installer." The package contains both audio and video CDs. Arcand is a multi-media mage whose soundworld is a colourful and often mesmerizing one, and the nine tracks on the audio CD are a testimony to his ever-curious, constantly adventurous approach to music creation. Using a visual and sonic evolution generator (Macchina Ricardi) to manipulate the sounds of his voice and "found/invented" instruments, Arcand weaves a remarkable and ever-changing web of sound. As for the video component of this project, it's a frequently- MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 2005

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