7 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 3 - November 2006

  • Text
  • Theatre
  • Toronto
  • November
  • Jazz
  • Arts
  • Musical
  • Orchestra
  • December
  • Glenn
  • Gould

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...,..-'11, .••. ' _~~ ..--,_..,,,., .=-~ ~ -ing methods. It's also a good wayto find out what recordings areworth listening to, and which onesto take a pass on.When I saw a recording by TimothyMcAllister on the monthly listof new releases, I immediatelyknew I had to get this CD. McAllisteris one of the most reveredplayers of classical and contemporarymusic on the saxophone.The opening track, StreetlegalbyRoshanned Etezady grabbed meright away. The piece is audaciousand aggressive from the very firstnote. McAllister's range on thesoprano saxophone is incrediblypowerful, accurate, and well controlled.He's definitely the standardbearer on this instrument.The Sonata for alto saxophoneand piano by William Albright hasbecome one of the most importantand frequently performed works inthe saxophone repertoire, and Idoubt you '11 be able to find a betterperformance of it on record.The recording also includes MiltonBabbitt's Accompanied Recitative,Gregory Wanamaker's SonatDeus Sax Machinaand Mischa Zupko's In Transit.I'd consider this disc an essentiallisten for any saxophonist whowants to hear just what can be donewith the instrument, but I have nohesitation in recommending it toany listeners who'd like to hearsome new and marvellous music -everything was composed withinthe last 25 years, 4 of the composersare still with us, and 3 of themhave yet to enter their fourth decade.Merlin Williamswas a he a composer, but also a radioproducer, a teacher and a choralconductor. Like others in this Portraitsseries, this is a two disc set,the first being a biographical documentarywith musical excerpts, thesecond presenting three major works,all of them fine examples of Glick'slarge and varied output. The PianoConcerto from 1992 features soloistRalph Gothoni, who also directs theFinlandia Sinfonietta. It's a largescalepiece, characterized by broadsweeping lines, the piano writing notdissimilar to that of Prokofiev. Writtentwo years later, the String Quartet#2 played by the St. LawrenceQuartet, shows a much darker tone,its angular lines and more dissonantharmonies clearly the music of acomposer beset by difficulties in hispersonal life.During the late 1960s, Glick foundhimself drawn to a book of poetryand drawings written by children ina concentration camp. The result wasthe song cycle I Never Saw AnotherButterfly, completed in 1968. Here,Maureen Forrester (to whom the setwas dedicated) and pianist JohnNewmark admirably evoke thehaunting mood of the texts.My only disappointment in thisilluminating portrait is that Glick'schoral piece The Hour has Comewas not presented in its entirety. Tome, this uplifting work contains amessage of hope and forgiveness thatseems particularly poignant duringthese troubled times. Nevertheless,the documentary is a fine tribute to adistinguished Canadian composerwho quietly carved out his nichebefore leaving us far too soon.Richard HaskellJAZZ, BLUES ANDIMPROVISEDWorkin' With The MilesDavis QuintetMiles DavisPrestige PRCD-30080-2Tenor MadnessSonny Rollins QuartetPrestige PRCD 30044-2Best of Brubeck (1979-2004)Dave Brubeck QuartetConcord Jazz/TelarcCCD2-30075-2The Prestige label was an importantsource of jazz in the '50s, a kind ofCanadian Composer Portraits: 'farm team' that recorded artists onSrul Irving Glickthe way up, or sidemen with moreVarious Artistsfamous leaders. Most often, RudyCentrediscs CMCCD 11606 Van Gelder's studio was the record-Born in Toronto in 1934, Glick was ing venue, and the still-active engiatrue Renaissance man _ not only neer has been remastering his origi-7 2 WWW. THEWHOLENOTE .COMnal sessions for reissue. (EMI hasalso been putting out his Blue Notealbums in a special series.)To satisfy an agreement with Prestigebefore moving to ColumbiaRecords, Miles Davis' working quintet(John Coltrane, Red Garland, PaulChambers and Philly Joe Jones)made 4 standard-setting albums:"Cookin'"; "Relaxin'"; "Steamin'";and this one, "Workin'".It would seem that Miles approachedthe sessions as a typicalnight's club work, recordingFour,In Your Own Sweet Way and ItNever Entered My Mind (which isnearly as great as the earlier BlueNote version).All these were in Davis' repertoire,so he didn't work up new material,and yet, at this time the groupwas developing a whole new wayof playing jazz, eschewing formulaicbebop and leading into modal jazz,to be most firmly exemplified on"Kind Of Blue" for Columbia.Be sure to get this one, as well asthe other three essential works.From the same series comes"Tenor Madness" from Sonny Rollins,who borrowed Miles' rhythmsection, and his tenorman on thetitle track. This blues is the onlyrecording of Sonny with Trane, themajor young, leading saxophonistsof the mid-50s, and I'd say that Rollinswas the more completely developedat this point. They treat"Tenor Madness" fraternally ratherthan as a cutting contest, it beinga casual, spur-of-the-momentmeeting.For the quartet selections, thejaunty Paul's Pal is the only original,alongside standards When Your LoverHas Gone; My Reverie and TheMost Beautiful Girl in the Worldwhich starts out as a waltz but endsup in decidedly swing time."Best ofBrubeck" (1979-2004) isa two-disc compilation of the pianist/composer'swork for two labels,Concord and Telarc, with one discfor each, a total of twenty tracks.Casual jazz fans still think ofBrubeckwith Paul Desmond, but in factDave's been playing sans Paul (otherthan special events) since 1967,longer than they did as a pair.Later reed men included JerryBergonzi on tenor, clarinettist BillSmith and most recently Buffalo'sBobby Militello on alto. RandyJones is on drums and Jack Six onbass for most of it, and some trackshave offspring Chris Brubeck onbass or bass trombone.I've always thought Brubeckmade his best music before an audience,and live recordings dominatethis selection of standards andDave's originals, all in all a worthypackage from a still-contributingartist.Ted 0 'ReillySliding DownMelissa StylianouSleeping Bee Music SBM 1002(Festival Distribution)Over the past few years, MelissaStylianou has developed into a frontrankjazz singer, stylish yet unmannered.Living in New York now,studying and performing, Melissa isready for a front-and-centre breakthroughto large audiences, as provenby her assured independent release"Sliding Down".The eleven tracks range from theearly '30s (Them There Eyes, donein a fun and flirty way) to the Beatles(Blackbird) and originals (includingThree Little Girls with lovely openvowelvocalise, rather than scat, andplayful Mary's in the Tub, as well asthe ethereal title tune).In her own compositions, there'sa penchant for less-common time signaturesbut she can do straight-aheadjazz 4/4, and does so on what aremy favourite tracks (I know, I'mold!). With Rob Piltch on guitar, JonMaharaj's bass and drummer DavideDirenzo, Melissa floats throughthe lesser-known That Old DevilCalled Love; East of the Sun and Allof You.NOVEMBER 1 - D ECEMBER 7 2006

On other tracks, she's accompaniedby a mix-and-match of Torontotalent, including Kim Ratcliffe onacoustic guitar, Kevin Breit on otherplectrum instruments, ArtieRoth's solid bass and drummer TedWarren. There's even a cellist(Kevin Fox) on a couple of trackswhere the promising young pianistJamie Reynolds is also heard.Missing from this release is thecalm stage presence that Melissaexhibits in live performances. Allthose apprentice years at Toronto'snoisy-but-charactered Rex Hotelgave her a chance to learn how tofocus, and win over an audience.She has certainly won me over ...Ted O'ReillyFrom This Moment OnDiana KrallVerve Records B0007323-02With this release, "crossover artist"Diana Krall solidly crossesback to her jazz roots, and showsthe maturation as an artist that I'vebeen waiting for since I first mether nearly two decades ago. She'sa shy person, without arroganceand pushiness, but there 's alwaysbeen tentativeness. Now, a playfulself-confidence is on display, andshe shows her great 'time' feel.Working with the Clayton IHamilton Jazz Orchestra on sevenof the twelve tracks (the sensuousquartet closer, The Boulevard ofBroken Dreams is a 'bonus track')Krall sings solid standards ratherthan the originals (written with husbandElvis Costello) of her previousalbum.I think she left behind some ofher fan base with that pop outing,but "From This Moment On"should reassure them, presentingswingers like Day In, Day Out andIsn't This A Lovely Day as well asthe title tune. Arranger John Claytonworks in a loose (if a touchbland) Basie style, adding nicewoodwinds and French horns on thesmokier selections like WillowWeep For Me. Soloists from theband are given good room - theberries in the muffins.Diana's quartet working group iswell-represented here, both bright(I Was Doing Alright) and melancholic(Little Girl Blue). AnthonyWilson's guitar is upfront, and thework's co-leaders John Clayton andJeff Hamilton are on bass and drums.To my ears this is Diana's bestalbum to date: well-chosen, wellpaced,and well-recorded. Perhaps, if she's reclaiming her jazzroots, the confident Ms. Krallshould now ask Rob McConnell toWhat's Going Onwrite her a more adventurous album.Dirty Dozen Brass BandTed O'Reilly Shout 826663-10178At St. Andrews ChurchHot Five JazzmakersIndependent BTCD 2012Recorded on the 10th ofFebruary ofthis year, this musical outing with theHot Five Jazzmakers, (all seven ofthem on this recording!), is dedicatedto the music and spirit of earlyNew Orleans jazz. The Jazzmakershave been a fixture on the Canadianscene for almost 20 years and theirJove of the music clearly shows.The programme, recorded beforean audibly enthusiastic audience -perhaps I should say congregation -is a familiar mix of traditional jazzand gospel songs ranging from TheOld Rugged Cross to Joshua Fit TheBattle Of Jericho and a couple of lesserknown songs, In The Garden andWhen I Move To The Sky.The band plays with an honesty andenthusiasm which captures thecharm of the music from that era.The soloists play comfortably withinthe idiom and everybody has a chanceto stretch out, but the band also shinesin its ensemble playing, an essentialingredient of this music. Eight of thetwelve selections feature vocals byvarious members of the band and Imust confess that to my ears they playbetter than they sing! But it does nottake away from the fact that this isan enjoyable and entertaining strolldown the Bourbon Street that used tobe.The musicians having and givinga good time are Jordan Klapman,piano, Glenn Anderson, drums,Janet Shaw, reeds/vocals, AndrejSaradin, trumpet, Bryan Day,string bass/vocals, JamieMacpherson, banjo and Brian Towers,leader/trombone/vocals.Jim GallowayThe New Orleans-based The DirtyDozen Brass Band CD "What'sGoing On" is a remake of the classicMarvin Gaye recording of thesame name. Released on August29th to coincide with the one-yearanniversary of Hurricane Katrina,the band members, along withguests Chuck D, Bettye LaVette,G Love, Guru and Ivan Neville,perform with a soulful love of musicthat has been forever touchedby the horrific impact of MotherNature's devastating onslaught.The Dirty Dozen Brass Band"rocks" through the songs with musicalaplomb and an underlying determinationof the human spirit. Theirwebsite notes that they just got togetherto play and record this project,with each musician being given thespace to express their emotions musically.(Several members of theband lost their homes to the storm.)The longer group improvisationalsections are especially moving, withthe players expertly exchanging anddeveloping musical ideas. My highlightis the title track What's Going~Lockridge .HiFiOn. The original musical messagefrom 35 years ago remains intactas the tight ensemble playing and acharged performance by guestChuck D (Public Enemy) add acontemporary slant to the classicsong.As with the original vinyl release,the CD is just under 40 minutesin length but worth everyminute of it! A portion of proceedswill be donated to the Tipitina'sFoundation, a non-profit organizationworking to rebuild the musicculture of New Orleans.This is an excellent musical experiencefor a very worthy cause.Tiina Kiikcharles gayle ulo'"''" '"''"Jt;tal ~lcn nm l!l tJtllt micbaclw1mbcr11Live at the Glenn Miller CafeCharles GayleAyler Records ayl 015Playing alto saxophone rather thanhis usual tenor, this live set encapsulatesNew York-based CharlesGayle's art bruit. Often describedas a throwback to the no-holdsbarredEnergy Music of the I 960s,the reedist invests his performanceswith enough verve and perspicacitythat it's as if that exploratorydecade never ended.Experience the thrill of a live performancein your own home.-,0 •IExposure 201 OS IntegratedAmplifier & CD PlayerLl(:~-:-11 e d t cH (1 LI s L Ii: sNeat Motive 2 SpeakersCome visit our music nighton November 9, 7-9 pm*Q)16th AveQJ Q)~>" >- :c NQ);::'O'O'E'I 0~0 u0s s "'_JWWW. TH EWHOLENOH. COM 73T

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