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Volume 10 Issue 9 - June 2005

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • Concerts
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
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  • Choral
  • Classical

it seems so very apt.

it seems so very apt. High praise is owed to producer Gibson ·and engineer Kevin Herring for their contributions. The accompanying booklet has notes by Karin Aurell herself, complete with a full French translation. The flute 1T1aker is credited. A fine, fine CD. Canadian Music for Flute and Piano Amy Hamilton; Beth Ann de Sousa John S. Gray CML Productions CD 101 (Canadian Music Centre Distri- . bution www.musiccentre.ca) Who could have imagined a collection of Canadian works giving so much pleasure? Hamilton and de Sousa chose the entire repertoire from within our own borders, and on this meretricious point alone they should be awarded a medal. One work that invites repeated hearings is Srul Irving Glick's 1983 Sonata. JaGques Hetu is represented twice, with his 1965 Quatre Pieces, Op. JO and his later Aria, Op. 27. The 1958 Sonatina is from the earliest part of R. Murray Schafer's output, and in view of later developments, it displays unusual allegiance to conventional tonality. Harry Freedman and Harry Somers also contribute exceptionally fine pieces. Popular composer Michael Conway Baker's Op. 2 Sonata is interesting as it comes from very early in the composer's canon, yet strongly foreshadows his later output. The balance between the instruments is, to my ear, weighted a just little too much in favour of the !lute, but it is well within the normally accepted practice of producers. The Maureen Forrester Recital Hall in Waterloo proves to be an excellent recording venue, and this to be an exceptionally fine disc. John S. Gray The Heart Has Its Reasons Sanctuary (Jeff Reilly; Peter Tog ni; Christoph Both) Sanctuary String Orchestra; Alain Trudel Warner Classics 2564 62019-2 New Age noodling has done serious damage to East-Wes·t musical crossovers. At issue is not so much the actual music as its structure and intent. We Westerners expect and prefer the statement-argument-conclusion approach to our music. It's linear, logical and takes us neatly from one point to the next. Remember, getting there is half the fun. The intent to dwell upon and explore the "moment" is where other musical forms become foreign and usually lose us. It takes really fine musicians to pull this off successfully and the ensemble "S.anctuary" fortunately has them. Reilly, Togni, Both and Trudel are creative and refreshing in their collaboration. Whether playing, composing or directing there is always a sense of purpose in the music. It's definitely contemporary and complex at times but frequently evokes a simpler past. There's good arranging with balanced and effective use of instrumental colour. Using jazz influences as tools to open periods of improvisation supported by both harmony and countermelody, this Suite for organ, cello, bass clarinet and strings is a deliberately and artfully crafted journey. Where? Best I can say is "there and back". You'll have to take it on your own to understand. The heart has its reasons is a risky project launched among countless floundering pseudo spiritual rec9rdings. Hon.est and serious musicianship is what keeps it afloat. It demands an honest listening and is worth hearing when you're in the right frame of mind. Alex Bara11 cLr'1E .. , ./, '' I U111 Rose Bolton - Elements Janice Jackson, soprano; Rose Bolton; . John Sherlock; Paul Stillwell; Michael Dobinson; Christopher Foley Independent RB0401 (Canadian Music Centre Distribution www.musiccentre.ca) Award-winning young composer Rose Bolton has finally produced her own CD. It is vintage Music Gallery in general idiom, but executed with the most exquisitely delicate poise. Instruments, many of them unconventionally played, whispered and/or spoken text, are the rule. The five tracks are movements of the work Elements, and as a whole it runs over 50 minutes. Poetry by Gwendolyn MacEwen and Marjorie Pickthall form the foundation of the vocalizations, with a guest appearance by singer Janice Jackson. Bolton's colleagues from the Canadian Electronic Ensemble all make contributions to this effort, notably Paul Stillwell and Michael Dobinson on electronic instruments. Pianist Christopher Foley's playing adds and supports at various intervals. If there's one criticism I can venture, it is only that Bolton's own fluid violin playing, so riveting in the CEE concerts, is seldom heard on Elements. Hats off to engineer Paul Hodge for this one: most of us have heard wonderful music at the Church of Saint George the Martyr, only to have a noisy car or truck interrupt the quietest passage in a concert. They must have blocked off Mccaul Street to record this, or done most of the work at 5 AM on a Tuesday. The cover drawing is striking. Congratulations, Rose! Joh11 S. Gray MUSIQUE ACTUELLE Estrapade Morceaux de Machines No Type IMNT 0413 (www.notype.com) I was warned - the music of Montreal duo Marceaux de Machines would be loud. What I wasn't told was just how unbearably surprising it could be. The duo made up of long-time radio collaborators on Montreal's CK.IA, Aime Dontigny and Erick D'Orion, obviously enjoy their noise with a side of the twitchings. Ever-shifting landscapes permeate their music from beginning of.the disc to its' closing 75 minutes later. Turntables, prepared CDs, live electronics, computers, samplers, drum machines - it's all here in its most primal glory. Sampling queen Diane Labrosse appears on three tracks, as do turntable artists Otomo Yoshihide and Martin Tetreault. I don't think the word noise does this duo proper justice. After all, what is defined as noise by one person is not necessarily noise to others. I found many of the pieces calming in their own bizarre way. The drones and highpitched squeaks are in some strange way oddly appealing. Weird structure actually exists in this madness if you're willing to listen. Feedback and ear-piercing sounds need not be your enemy. These can actually be your friends. The question remains, are you willing to take the first step towards cementing this relationship? If your answer is yes, then "Estrapade" [French word for a cruel form of torture used in medieval times] is waiting for your friendship now. JAZZ Norman Granz' Jazz In Montreux: Solo '75 Oscar Peterson Tom Sekowski Eagle Eye D _ EE39090-9 Oscar Peterson's power and energy at the piano has always come through on his records, and it has always sounded easily-done. To some, even glib. The hard work that was involved wasn't evident on disc, but this M JUNE 1 - JULY 7 2005

ecordedf or - TV DVD from July 17, '75 shows you the sweatinghard work playing that well takes. The thousands of hours of study, etudes, practice and rehearsal that made the pianist are on screen in this programme of standards and jazz tunes. At 39, looking fit in a cream-coloured suit, and at his playing peak, a relaxed Peterson absolutely cruises through an hour of highlights. On display is his greatest quality, knowledge: of the piano, and the music. You want range?: the delicacy of The More I See You or"the unmaudlin If I Had You is matched by the stompingly authentic 8 Bar Boogie Blues (his own composition), or the stride of Indiana. Oscar's overview of the arc of a composition is displayed on At Long Lost Love. He starts slowly, accelerates into overdrive and comes full circle to end calmly. Two great musical minds are at work on a medley of seven tunes from the world of Ellington which includes the rarely-heard beauty Lady Of The lavender Mist. Minor caveats: The source is thirty years old, so the sharpness of the video is not up to current standards; the sound is sometimes a little'fluttery on sustained notes. Ted O'Reilly Solos and Duets JayMcShann Sackville SK2CD-5012 Another in Sackville's welcome reissue series, this two-CD set contains all the music from the three solo (and duet) albums Jay McShann made for the label. The original LPs were A Tribute to Fats Waller, Kansas City Hustle and Tuxedo Junction. (The latter's the one with the duets: Don Thompson plays bass on four titles.) Most interesting is the Fats Waller tribute. This one offers a fascinating take on Wailer's own compositions, and an assortment of tunes associated with the Harlem stride UN.E 1 - ULY 7 2005 master. Jazz pianists of every school have played Wailer's pieces but generally the powerful influence of Fats himself has coloured their interpretations. Not so with Jay McShann. His mastery of the southwestem piano style frees him to play Wailer's music in a forthright, bluesy manner that displays Wailer's music in a fresh light. It's sort of like Harlem stride with a Kansas City accent. Most of the performances from the Kansas City Hustle and Tuxedo Junction albums are steeped in the blues. But while McShann is a consummate master of blues piano, he also happens to be a highly sophisticated jazz musician, for too many years stereotyped as "just another blues player". Check out his explorations of 'Round Midnight, Rockin' Chair, and Willow Weep For Me to hear the full breadth ofMcShann's talent. And the veteran's duet performances with Don Thompson are pure delight. Mary Lou Williams would be delighted with their treatment of Froggie Bottom. Don Brown Al Cohn Quintet featuring Bob Brookmeyer Al Cohn Verve 80003935-02 Sweets Harry Edison and his Orchestra Verve 80003936-02 Sittin' In Dizzy Gillespie Verve 80003937-02 Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements Gene Krupa Verve 80002022-02 These four CDs, replica reissues of the original LPs, are a good indication of the depth of the vaults of the Universal Records monolith. This group of albums draws on the catalogues of the Coral, Clef and Verve labels. (We'll look at four more from the current release next month). From the east coast Coral Records firm, originally a part of Decca, comes Al Cohn Quintet, a late 1956 set of a dozen tunes under the helm of a master musician, Al Cohn: The tenor man did half the arrangements, including three originals; and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer did the same. A great sense of humour is on display here,. from the entire band, which includes Mose Allison's thentrio as the rhythm section. Can you 'ease along briskly'? That's the feeling I get from this enjoyable set. · "Sweets" may have been r \ corded in Los Angeles (in 1956 for Clef, a Norman Granz label), but it is pure KC style blues-jazz with the puckish trumpeter Harry 'Sweets' Edison leading a great sextet highlighting Ben Webster's excellent tenor. The rhythm section keeps great relaxed time, and contributes great solos from guitarist Barney Kessel and Jimmy Rowles on piano. The band's also comfortable with the three Marshall and that fine swing-to-bop drummer J.C. Heard. There are only 4 tracks, but 12 tunes: two ballad medleys of five tunes each; and two lengthy burners, Gillespie's riffy Dizzy Atmosphere and The Way You Look Tonight. For many, Gene Krupa was the first name that came to mind as a standards, heard alongside the six drummer. His breakthrough with blues compositions. (That balance seems j-u-s-s-t right!) While "Sittin' In" has trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's name on it as leader this time around, it's a pure Jazz­ At-The-Philharmonic-style jam session for Verve from mid-1957 with tenors abounding. Included is Paul Gonsalves, rarely heard outside the Ellington orchestra, and often disappointing in those different circumstances. Not this time: he seems to have taken a look at the other saxes - merely Coleman Hawkins and Stan Getz - and distinguishes himself. There's a solid trio featuring a young Wynton Kelly (how under-acknowledged he remains!), Wendell Benny Goodman at the beginning of the swing era as a flashy entertainer launched a thousand drum solos, for" better or worse. His own big bands from the late '30s through the early 1950s were very popular, and · fairly successful at keeping up to date with some boppish arrangements by a young Gerry Mulligan in the late '40s. Those charts were dug out again for a Verve stereo taping in late 1958. "Gene Krupa Plays Gerry Mulligan Arrangements" has Mulligan directing a top-line big band of New York players, ihe Hkes of Phil Woods, Hank Jones, Doc Severinsen, Marky Markowitz, Jimmy DIGITAL EDITING • CD MASTERING • OPEN REEL TRANSFERS· 96/24 CAPABILITY CONTACT: KARL MACHAT 416 503 3060 OR 647 227 KARL MISTERS.MASTERS@SYMPATICO.CA

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