6 years ago

Volume 11 Issue 10 - July 2006

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serves the music well.

serves the music well. The band seeks and finds the essence of Basie and mainstream jazz, rather than slavishly following transcriptions of old arrangements. The tunes may be familiar (Blue And Sentimental richly played by Thilo; Moten Swing with Reinhart's trombone; Lady Be Good; Lester Leaps In et al.), but the performances are fresh and affectionate and always swinging. T he pacing of the album, and the_ variety offered by feature tunes 1s exemplary. This kind of timeless jazz is almost invisible on 'The Scene', ignored by the press and major record labels; shops don't stock it, and the very few radio outlets that play jazz don't find it "hip" enough for the 18-35 Diva-loving demographic they lust after. It seems the only people who like it are those who listen to it. Jaymz Bee Presents: Toronto Launch Pad Various singers; Royal Jelly Orchestra Timely Manor TMll 1-02 Jaymz Bee Presents: Babes in Jazzland Babes in Jazzland Timely Manor TM113-02 Ted O'Reilly Radio host, bandleader, music promoter and man-about-town, Jaymz Bee, has released 2 CDs designed to showcase some of Toronto's lesser known singers who are deserving of more recognition. On "Toronto Launch Pad" some of the singers have been on the scene for a while, others are a little greener but the performances are consi~tently good, and best of all , innovative. Nobody's covering Summertime or some equally overdone 56 Back to Ad Index standard. Instead, new, jazzy life is being injected into pop tunes like Fly Like an Eagle (Elizabeth Shepherd), 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (Julie Michels with beautiful guitar work by Kevin Barrett), and a bossa version of I'm Not in Love (Genevieve) . Michael Danso smokes After Midnight, while Marieve Herington sultries it up on a French version of 'Round Midnight (a . k.a. Autour de Minuit). Some songs come across more lounge-y than jazzy, like Nature's Way (Julie Michels) - or showtuneish, like Gotta Move (Serafin) or really uncategorizable, like Lyne Tremblay's unique version of Paint it Black and Jef Farquharson's theatrical take on Walking on the Moon. The horns - Colleen Allen, saxes, William Carn and R J Sacthinananthan, trombone, and Kevin Clark, trumpet - sound great on the fills and solos but when they play as an ensemble, it's a bit loose and uncentred. In general, this disc sounds more like a high quality demo rather than a polished studio production, which I suppose is apt given the purpose of the recording. This is a fine sampler of diverse Toronto talents. Available online through iTUNES as well as at regular ol' record stores. It is tempting to go easy on an artist when they are young and inexperienced, as is the case with the five singers and six instrumentalists who are "Babes in Jazzland". (They are also all female, in case the title didn't tip you off.) On the other hand, if an artist is going to be bold enough to put out a recording and expect people to spend their hard-earned cash and precious listening time on it, they had better deliver the goods. With that in mind, the best word to describe this disc is " uneven. " The most consistently good performances come from the piano, bass and drums, played by Ashley Wey, Lauren Falls and Jasmine Jones, respectively. The singers all have their charms and strengths: Janelle Monique is a standout, as is Elizabeth Shepherd ' s performance of her own tune , Start to Move . There are some very fun song choices here too: Sophia Perlman doing Sunshine Superman and Marieve Harington's take on Lies of Handsome Men . Once these artists log some more performance hours and polish their skills, we should all run out and by their recordings. Cathy Riches WWW. THEWHOLENOTE .COM AMMO Phil Minton; Roger Turner Golden Years GY 22 And finally, it's reissued. The legendary "Ammo" LP from 22 years ago has at last been seen as fit to be reissued by Leo Records on CD format. Scronchy vocalist Phil Minton and his long-time musical partner, percussionist Roger Turner started their duo off, with a proper bang with these 40 minutes of adventurous music. Pure improvised bliss is how someone familiar with the two individuals' work would describe this stuff. For those uninitiated, it's important to note a simple fact. Phil Minton is not just a vocalist; he's the premiere, topnotch innovator in the field. Same can be said about Roger Turner on percussion. Minton is famous for his warbled style of vocal improvisation. He doesn't just "sing". Make no mistake; he uses his entire body to spew out phrases, howls, grunts and farts of the highest calibre. Oftentimes, he'll do his infamous Donald Duck on helium impersonation that drives everyone to tears. Roger Turner colours the landscape by adding scrapes, brittle shades of stirring industrial-like pounding along with whooshes of hollowed-out percussion. The only downfall of the record is the poor sound quality. It seems the master tape has not been tweaked with at all, which is rather a shame, considering the momentous weight these documents capture. For those who are scared to enter the improvised music territory, I suggest starting with the duo 's off-key take on Monk's 'Round Midnight and working your way from there. Whether it's gurgling noises, droplet sounds or pure blissful sheets of noise you're after, the Minton­ Turner axis of fun has it all. Tom Sekowski Pando re Jocelyn Robert; Eric Gagnon; Laetitia Sonami; Louis Ouellet ambiences magnetiques AM903 CD Composer Jocelyn Robert's brief bio, pub! ished on the DAME website, states: "Jocelyn Robert stud- ied pharmacy then architecture. Went into art as one goes into the resistance. Put out recordings, written works, perpetrated installations here and there, performances across the country, in the USA and in Europe, in festivals, conferences, and in the street. Directs or is directed by Avatar. Still searching." Still searching he may be but he's done a lot of very solid, concrete work already . So much so, that he found a number of duo partners who were willing to collaborate with him to put together the 4 CD set "Pandore" . "SoukSouk" is a duo set with visual artists/electronics guru Eric Gagnon. Over a span of 45 minutes, the two musicians thoughtfully tackle field recordings, processed guitars and a ton of editing effects. The best part of the record is its ambience. Lacking any pretentiousness, 6 Drawers 4 Spoons remains firmly rooted in an urban landscape, advocating plenty of city noises - machines, buses, cars, people. While ominous passages are the norm, there are lighter moments, such as when melodic guitar lines intermingled with street traffic come shining through. Finely spliced and precisely executed, the only down side of "SoukSouk" is its all-out craziness. "Slow Sparks from the Splitvoiced Buddha" is Jocelyn's travel diary of a trek through the Lhassa in Tibet. This electroacoustic piece features chants from the locals along with mid-pitched, sustained metal sounds. I'm not sure whether these sounds are in fact derived from his actual journey but I feel the inspiration must have been in large part drawn from his trip to the Himalayas. In fact, these ambient sounds have a wind-like quality that strikes me as being rather cold . Who knows, perhaps this coldness was Jocelyn's take on the region? Perhaps the desolate remoteness of Tibet had a strong effect to make this music sound as inorganic and removed as it does. In contrast "Les Scaphandres" - a duet with French experimental vocalist Laetitia Sonami - is nothing short of a true shrank fest. Leaving no head unturned, Robert j ULY 1 - SE PTE M BER 7 2006

attacks the listener with grating noise through pure-glistening attack. During the first two pieces, it seems there is no relief in sight as the entire landscape is obliterated with bursts of unfiltered, rhythmic noise. Industrial in parts, the recording turns for a few moments into what resembles a field recording . Later on, as Sonami improvises vocal equivalents of a pond full of frogs, Robert adds minute effects and splices her vocals into brief, manageable bits. As we dig deeper, we ti nd a beautifully tex - tured Sonami track processed in such a way as to resemble a dark, wet, echo-filled cavern. The final track returns to the noise feast Robert wants to push on the listener, but in the long run, the more subtle pieces, where Sonami's haunting vocal is heard, are a better option. Teaming up with Louis Ouellet for "24 Exercises de Parallaxe", Robert delivers 24 variations pour piano mecanique. Each variation, clocking in at nearly precisely the two minute mark, represents a different take on a theme. Philosophy teacher Oulette re-designed classically composed piano pieces to make them fit the 2 minute timeframe. The mechanical piano which is used for these pieces has been "programmed" in such a way as to make all external processes invisible. Delicately poignant lines are delivered from beginning to end and subtlety is at the forefront. For those looking for a challenging listen, this piece of the puzzle gives an interesting study of man, software and machine. Like a business card, "Pandore" showcases four different but highly fulfilling aspects of Jocelyn Robert's current resume. Tom Sekowski POT POURRI Love Stories DKlbomeka Wychwood Park WWPK CD2006004 "Love Stories", the debut effort from Toronto vocalist DK Ibomeka, fuses jazz with soul, gospel and pop influences to create a sound uniquely his own. The original tunes, many of which were penned with producer Haydain Neale, are at turns moving - as on the Latin inspired Consolation Prize, contrasted by the offbeat I'll Be Anybody. Ibomeka also offers up his take on some standard and new standard material -including a wonderfully laid-back version of the Nina Simone classic Sugar in My Bowl, and a soulful treatment of the Lennon/ McCartney classic Oh! Darling. Ibomeka, who stands 6'7", sings with his characteristically rich baritone. Found Around the Blues is sung mostly in an upper register, which conveys a sweet innocence that takes one almost by surprise, while he practically wails on the bluesy So Long (It's Alright) . Ibomeka is backed by a solid group of musicians which includes George Koller on bass, Davide Direnzo on drums and percussion, Ron Lopata on various keyboards and Justin Abedin on guitar. Roger Travassos, John "JK" Kanakis, Kevin Barrett and Alistair Robertson all also make guest appearances. Abedin, who co-wrote So Long (It's Alright), also plays some beautiful accompaniment on the Chaplin/Kahn/Zarett standard Dedicated to You. Sophia Perlman vacation, because playing "Love's Philosophy" instantly transports us to the sunny South. Where in the South exactly is a little nebulous, because although there are touches of flamenco, which evoke Spain, France also asserts itself with the addition of accordian ( or the accordian setting on the keyboard), as does South America with the bossa nova influence. We even veer into the Middle East, briefly. All of this adds up to a breezy, rhythmical journey. Guitarist and songwriter, Esteban Figueroa is the heart of the band, with his flamenco background, which we get a nice taste of on his authentic flamenco solo piece Casa del Carmen. Susanna DiGuiseppe is literally and figuratively the voice of the band. Although she is a skilled keyboard player and songwriter, it is her beautiful singing that underlines the sound of this band. The soft, breathy tone she uses on most of the tunes never loses focus, and when she gets to let the reins out a bit, her power and range are impressive. The third key member of the band is Tony Agostino who does double duty as songwriter and sol- Hi Fi id rhythm guitarist. Percussion by Alberto Figueroa and bass by Tom Boshcoff round out this ecelctic, easygoing ensemble. Cathy Riches When you and I were young, Maggie Lawrence House, trumpet; Aurora Dokken, piano Independent n/a Departs - 14 chansons traditionnelles acadiennes Bruno Cormier; Aurelie Cormier; Ana Maria Nunes Independent CDOOl-B With summer upon us there is no better time to explore Canada than now. Can't leave home? Then why not explore a bit of our Canadian musical heritage with these two new releases. "When You and I Were Young Maggie" is a refreshing recording of 19th Century Canadian salon music. I must admit I was somewhat cynical at first about the idea of trumpet and piano arrangements of popular Canadiana. But in the capable hands of trumpeter Lawrence House and piano accompa- SUMMER SALE CD,XRCD SACD, DSD LP & Used LP (Lots) Up to 25% Off All Genres Canadian oboist LOUISE PELLERIN presents a program of Bach transcriptions, with DOM ANDRE LABERGE on the organ at the Abbey of Saint-Benoit-du-Lac. 1 • 1 ... :.. _,,_ Canada J ULY 1 - SEPTEMBER 7 2 006 Back to Ad Index =·=­ Q~ .. b~c:::= Love's Philosophy Flamenco Caravan Independent FC-001 ( Flamenco Caravan is an incongruity . Based in one of the winteriest cities in Canada, this band has managed to produce music that feels like it's straight out of the Mediterranean. Perhaps it's precisely because they're from Thunder Bay that they've been motivated to make this lovely, little digital WWW.TH EWHOLENOTE. COM Select Stereo Components are On Sale as well. Call Now for Details. (905) 4 75-6300 i§©,li) Q) 16th Ave Q) >

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