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Volume 10 Issue 7 - April 2005

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JAZZ Glamour Rendezvous

JAZZ Glamour Rendezvous Various Artists Cristal Records CR31 l Here's a calming, not quite lace-night compilation of some great jazz from the '40s and '50s. Alcernating instrumental and vocal artists are offered in a mellow collection of twenty· well-chosen selections. The leadoff track by Sir Charles Thompson. Memories Of You sets the pace. featuring lovely trumpet work by Joe Newman. In France (the source of this release) Don Byas' Laura has the status of a classic like oleman Hawkins' Body And Soul, so is welcome here. Django Reinhardt is on electric guitar for I Cover The Wate1fro111; a small group Paris rewrding of Sweet Lorraine by Dizzy Gillespie shows what a wonderful trumpet player he was, while Chet Baker's horn is cushioned on strings for You Don't Know What Love ls A very young Sonny Rollins shows his promise with This Love Of Mine, and a slightly older Miles Davis caresses Yesterdays. His erstwhile boss, Charlie Parker has big band backing for I Can't Get Started. and tenor man Ben Webster plays Stardust in a rarely-heard version with Johnny Otis' band. In an MJQlike setting vibraphonist Milt Jackson sparkle on Love Me Pretty Bahy. Most of the ingers are women, and these superior artists put the capital D back in Diva. The under-recognized Dinah Washington does I Want To Be Loved; Billie Holiday sings There Is No Greater Love; Ella Fitzgerald interprets I 've Got The World On A String; Peggy Lee, (in a version long before Dean Martin put his tonsils on it) makes us be- 1 ieve £ve1ybody Loves Somebody Sometime. Anita O'Day's version of the familiar Memories Of You differs from Sir Charles' in almost every way, while Sarah Vaughan's After Hours is not the A very Parrish piano hit ol'the '40s but another song with the same title. Male singers are Nat King Cole with his original recording of Sweet Lorraine (compare it to Dizzy's); Frank Sinatra in a 1947 7ll Night And Day; and Al Hibbler's Do Nothing 'Tit You Hear From Me is done with the Ellington Orchestra. The '50s bopper Jackie Paris duecs wich one Tamara Hayes on I Miss You So. 1'"- Ted O'Reilly :: 1ri l, ' '• f:!J;••n.' •.·. · · ... " 'I r : , !\'_• \._;, A Tribute to Jack Johnson Miles Davis Columbia/Legacy CK 93599 Reissued yet again - chis time to take advantage of Ken Burns' recent Jack Johnson documentary - Miles Davis' 1970 classic still packs a punch. Assembled as a soundtrack for William Cayton's Jack Johnson documentary film, the final resulcs owe as much to producer Teo Macero as they do to Miles. Macera worked with scraps that Miles and his sidemen had recorded over a · 16-week period and crafted this roiling, hypnotic, two-part collage. Together, Righi Off and' Yesternow play for nearly·an hour. Miles' colleagues are Steve Grossman on soprano saxophone; Herbie Hancock, organ; John McLaughlin, electric guitar; Michael Henderson, electric bass, and Billy Cobham, drums. Annotator Bill Milkowski tells us that "some of the music was wriuen out and rehearsed ahead of time over at Miles' home, though most of it was spontaneously worked up in the studio in impromptu fashion." But Milkowski's study of the raw materials in Columbia's tape vaults clearly demonstrates that Teo Macera, a protege of electronic music pioneer Edgar Varese, had as much to do with the success of Jack Johnson.as Miles Davis did. (Interestingly enough, Macera even adds ·a snippet of music from Miles' very first electric album - l 969's In A Silem Way - about eleven minutes Justin Time JTR8512-2 into Right Off) I remember when the original album came out. Even those of us who didn't care for Miles' "electric" recordings were forced to admit that this one achieved its purpose. Mingus Erectus . · Don Brown Normand Guilbeault Ensemble Ambiances Magnetiques AM 134CD There aren't all that many fascinating tributes around being made to the great Charles Mingus, so when Canadian bassist ormand Guilbeault decides to record ''Mingus Erectus", there is only reason for celebration. Gathering an all-star [Quebec-based] cast, he tramples on competition to give us a heartfelt homage to the late great master of the bass. Sometimes you don't have to stretch or be on a mission to prove something in order to come up with a great recording. Playing it straight can be an adventure in itself. All the pieces here don't sound all too different from their original selves. Jean Derome's saxophone playing is joyful as ever, rising Lo the occasion at all the right moments. Trumpet playing courtesy of Ivanhoe Jolicoeur is riveting as he scales those high notes and blows them sky high. Finally, the bass playing of Normand Guilbeault himself is driven, precise, but too often it just falls a little flat. There are moments when I don't quite hear the bass as high up in the mix as it should be. But then again, this is a technical aspect of the record. Let's face it; you can't really recreate the music that Mingus made. You can only bring your own two cents into the pot, and for now "Mingus Erectus" is as good an homage as you're likely to hear. Tom Sekowski Editor's note: At the time we received "Mingus Erectus" for review we were not aware of Dave Young's "Mainly Mingus" (see next review) which arrived just in time (no pun intended) for inclusion in this issue. Mainly Mingus Dave Young Quintet WWW.TH£WHOL£NOT£.COM I've never believed the maxim that "every jazz player is a composer" (too many bad tunes for that), but there are some who have created real jazz compositions: Jelly Roll, Ellington, Monk. Mingus and few others. Dave Young is to be congratulated for keeping the music of Mingus' alive in performances and recordings. (This disc is both: the source is a well-recorded live CBC taping from Toronto's Top O' The Senator on January 24, 2002). Young & Co. don't try to slavishly copy the great bassist's style, but they do achieve the passion - almost rudeness - of one of jazz' great creators. Young is one of the best bassists in jazz. Stylistically far-removed from Mingus' prayer-meeting abandon I would have thought. but he shows here he can dig deeply and whiplash a band along as effectively as anyone. Young doesn't hog the solo space but takes a dexterous spin on (appropriately) Bass Clef. and plays a lovely noble introduction to Self-Portrait In Three Co/ors. Young presents a classic quintet with younger stars Kevin Turcotte on trumpet and reedman Perry White in the front line, with powerful drummer Terry Clarke (this music needs a strong drummer). and the under-recognized master pianist Gary Williamson, who shines everywhere, especially in Wham Bam Thank You Ma'am. The requiem to Lester Young, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is a highlight for Turcotte's way of caressing a ballad; and the rhythmically-sure Perry White rollicks on the opening Oscar Pelliford and throughout. It's unfortunate that the last selection, Cherokee, Revisited, is only a mere wisp of a deftly-played head. faded out. At just 641/2 minutes, the disc has room for the complete performance. Swingin' Trenet Alain Brunet Cristal Records CDM09 Ted O'Reilly Though barely known in North America, Charles Trenet is one of the world's great songwriters, perhaps France's equivalent to George Gershwin. Cabaret singer, actor, creator of about a thousand songs, films, novels and paintings in his long life, Trenet is a French treasure. His APRIL 1 - MAY 7 2005

music is light and lovely, optimistic with a soup(on of melancholy. Melody is upfront on this import by trumpeter Alain Brunet's quintet with strings. Probably the bestknown (over here) composition is La Mer, heard here in a medley with Douce France; or possibly Que reste-t-il de nos amours (known as I Wish You Lave in English). For most of us, melody is music, and unfamiliar Trenet tunes.will stick in your mind after the first hearing, making it easy to appreciate the improvisations of Brunet and crew. The leader plays open and muted trumpet and tlugelhom, with reedman Jean-Jacques Taib on clarinet and alto, tenor and baritone saxes. The pianist, Alain Mayeras has done the tasty arrangements, giving the strings of the classical orchestra La Camerata de France (directed by Daniel Tosi) more to· do than just play sustaining whole notes: there are even a couple of violin solos. If you've perhaps thought you've heard all the great songwriters of the 20th Century, the Gershwins, Berlin, Kern, Arlen, and Rodgers, you'll be delighted with these sunny contributions from their Gallic counterpart. Ted O'Reilly Introducing the Laila Biali Trio Laili Biali Trio Independent ILBT 000401 Like a Lover Emilie-Claire Barlow Independent EMG 441 Concert note: Laila Bialia plays A new performer on the Toronto regularly with her trio and special scene, by way of Vancouver, is Laila Biali. More piano player than sing­ Yorkville (www.thepilot.ca) eve­ guests at the Pilot Tavern in er, Ms. Biali's debut CD, lmroducing the Laila Biali Trio, is impres­ arn;l 24th) from 3:30 - 6:00. ry other Sunday (in April the lOth sive for its range of emotion and tech­ nique. Biali composed the majority The Winds of Change of the tracks and there's a modern Mike Downes; Dave Restivo; edginess to many of them. The cov- Ted Warren er Softly as in a Morning Sunrise is TopF.rog (Independent) TF0401 given a similar treatment, with driv- cially for her friend. As is typical of Biali's compositions, it moves through various tempos and moods from slow, sparse, ballad to bright up-tempo swing and back again. Brandi Disterheft on bass and Sly Juhas on drums ably keep up with the varying demands of the tunes. slavian folk music make up the majority of the CD. "Winds of Change", contains · lush arrangements and compositions that require careful listening and maybe some familiarity with less traditional jazz formats. Downes does a decent job of assembling the diverse repertoire in Emilie-Claire Barlow, another young Toronto performer with one of the a cohesive package while allowing cohorts Restivo and Warren to finest jazz voices in Canada today, just released her 4th CD like a Laver. Not only is she singing and play­ Restivo's effortless melodic solo­ stretch out and even shine at times. ing keyboard on it, but she performed ing skills are a particular highlight producer and arranger duty, as well. of the recording. Pretty impressive stuff for someone The total running time of 72 of her tender years. She's enlisted minutes seems a little excessive excellent support iii the form of and Downes might have considered trimming ,the overall content, Mark Kelso on drums, Rob Piltch on guitar and Mark Rogers on bass. however it's obvious from listening to the music and reading As well, Guido Basso, John Johnson and Kelly Jefferson turn in beautiful Downes' personal liner notes that solo work on horns. The composers 'bumping' repertoire may not have she covers are Gershwin, Jobim, been the easiest decision to make. Sammy Cahn & Jule Styne, etc. All A quick visit to Mike Downes' greats. So why isn't this a great website offers information on his record? It is, without doubt, a very work as a jazz sideman in Toronto, having recorded with Canadi­ good record, but with Ms. Barlow's talents - huge range, beautiful tone, an celebrity Molly Johnson, jazz flexibility for days and impeccable veterans Pat LaBarbera, Mark Eisenman, and even legendary pitch - I expect more. Perhaps that's unfair, because I can think of many American drummer Peter Erskine local singers who, if they turned out of Weather Report fame. With a disc this fine, I'd be standing and Mike Downes' position as a local cheering. It's just that I look forward jazz bassist and educator firmly in to the day when Ms. Barlow finds a place, a third solo CD probably producer/arranger to work with who isn't too far away. will bring spark and originality to her Eli Eisenberg great gifts. Cathy Riches f!l/l'I I I .I .l/l"I I I I ,I/I I/I I I Ị/' I 314 Churchill Ave Toronto, Ontario I, M2R 1 E7 Canada ; Tel: 416-224-1956' Fax: 416-224-2964 MIKROKOSMOS www.mlkrokosmos.com ' ' , We buy your classical LP ' collection ,, ' ' . (classical, su ch as ; ., , Beethoven, Mozart, ' " Stockhausen) ., ' ' ; ,, we tra vel anywhere for good colle ctions 1111111,,,,, , ., ing bass and drums and dark harrno- Jazz bassist and Humber College nies. But it's not all hard-driving. The instructor Mike Downes' second band swings on a Lambert/Hen- CD release "Winds of Change" is dricks/Ross-like Glory Days and a personal, introspective trio recroons on Body & Soul. Tara Dav- cording that includes pianist Dave idson is featured on soprano sax on Restivo and drummer Ted Warren. The Good Earth, which is a pretty, · Original compositions and a little moody piece that Biali wrote spe- eclecticism in the form of Yugo- APRIL 1 - MAY 7 2005

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