6 years ago

Volume 12 - Issue 5 - February 2007

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  • February
  • Toronto
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performer, sounding as

performer, sounding as wonderful

you realize that, hell yes, Reich deservesto have these works re-examinedand discovered all over again.As an interesting aside, Nonesuchhas released a Reich re-mix album,highlighting some of these worksfrom a fresh perspective with suchartists as Tranquility Bass, DJSpooky that subliminal kid, Coldcutand Ken Ishii (Nonesuch 79552).Tom SekowskiCanada New Works for Fluteand HarpLorna McGhee; Heidi KrutzenSkylark SKY0603Lorna McGhee and Heidi Krutzen'ssecond CD on the Skylark label is anall-Canadian collection. Seven composers,three of them commissionedby the duo for this project, contributeworks.Marjan Mozetich's 1984 Flute Sonatais the major work on the programme,well-known to CBC listeners.This reading is deft, well-suitedto the Mozetich idiom and certain toplease you. Jocelyn Morlock's Vespertine,Owen Underhill's Canwnedi Petra and Cameron Wilson's arrangementof the traditional Woo.fin'the Cat suite are the three commissionedworks, well differentiatedfrom one another on several levels,and excellent pieces all.Milton Barnes' Anerca I is presentedin an arrangement of the bassoonoriginal, and I daresay Barneswould have approved, had he livedto hear it. Murray Schafer's WildBird is arranged from the violin andharp work, and sounds absolutelyright. A recent harp work by MarkArmanini makes a fitting companion.This is a CD that the late Bob Kerrwould surely have closed off his FridayAfternoon broadcast with. Theconnection is real enough; Off theRecord's old production team of DonHarder and Grant Rowledge wereon duty here, and they brought outthe best in the sound-field of St. Phillips'Anglican, with unyielding faithin the music. Krutzen and McGhee,so vibrant and young, have boldlyventured into territory originallystaked out by Robert Aitken and EricaGoodman and have emerged withwondrous stories to tell.John S. GrayFEB RU ARY 1 - M ARCH 7 2007JAZZ ANDIMPROVISEDSweet Love of MineJohn HicksHighNote Records HCD 7142I first heard John Hicks in early 1965on a then newly-released Art BlakeyLP called "'S Make It". Later, heshowed up on lots of great albums,and was Betty Carter's pianist onseveral releases, especially the great"An Audience With ... "Twenty years ago he started comingto Toronto to play at the old Cafedes Copains, then the Montreal Bistro.I often recorded John, loving hisrooted, bop stylings, and I got toknow him as a warm and gentle man,casual and somehow slightly amused,as though you couldn't bring him toanger. But paradoxically, he was apassionate player.I hadn't seen him for a couple ofyears when I heard of his passing lastMay 10, at age 64. If Hicks was illjust 35 days earlier when this materialwas recorded, it doesn't mar hisplaying. But, there is a melancholyair to much of this varied album,which begins with the original OnePeaceful Moment, and closes with aslow Sunset Blues. A couple of balladsare other intimate highlights, IGuess I'll Hang My Tears Out ToDry, a duet with tenorman JavonJackson, and The Things We Did InstSummer, again solo.Brighter times are on Latintracks with Hicks' wife Elise Woodadded on flute, and percussionistRay Mantilla. Curtis Lundy's solidbass anchors throughout, withfine drumming from Victor Jones.Benny Golson's threnody I RememberClifford seems autobiographicalin John Hicks' interpretation,with deeply-felt solos fromJackson and Wood matchingJohn's. He's so present here it'shard to believe he's gone.Ted O'ReillyMaximum Fire PowerLouis Hayes and theCannonball Legacy BandSavant SCD 2078Boy, could we ever use someone likeJulian "Cannonball" Adderley on thescene today. The late alto saxophonist/bandleaderbrought a special kindof joy to everything he did. And hismusic was not only readily accessibleto a wide audience but it delightedjazz aficionados as well. Adderleywas quite simply a total jazzrriaster. But he was definitely not anelitist. The altoist was as comfortableplaying a funky down-home bluesas he was lending his brilliance toMiles Davis' "Kind of Blue" or GilEvans' "New Bottle, Old Wine" .Adderley's long-time drummerLouis Hayes recently formed a grouphe calls the Cannonball Legacy Bandto pay tribute to his former leader. Ithas the fine young player VincentHerring on alto saxophone, JeremyPelt, trumpet, comet and flugelhom;either Rick Germanson or AnthonyWonsey on piano, Richie Goods,bass, and the leader on drums. Thesemusicians do a bang-up job of capturingthe essence of the originalAdderley band without resorting toimitation. Mind you, Herring doessound amazingly like Adderley inplaces. But then he's never deniedthat the older man's playing greatlyinfluenced his own.Nine of the set's ten selections arefrom the original Adderley bandbook. Highlights for this listener areJessica's Birthday, Sweet GeorgiaBright and Unit 7. Also noteworthyis Jeremy Pelt's original, TheTwo of Them, a dedication to Cannonballand his late brother Nat.demonstrates that this B3 OrganGroove, a staple on the "chitlin' circuit",can be convincingly played byfour white guys. Of course, they'veall played with the masters in the rib& chicken joints, and the greaserubbed off. Leader/organist Le­Donne has mastered the instrument,following the path laid down by JimmySmith, Charles Earland andCapt. Jack McDuff. His total commandof the organ's keys and drawbarsis on display on At Long LastLove. He knows how to play a properpedal bass, too!Tenorman Eric Alexander knowsthe language, as do Peter Bernsteinon guitar and drummer Joe Farnsworth.That they have a regular gigat Smoke helps the cohesiveness andcomfort level: it's a real quartet, nota recording band. (As a cavil, I'dhave liked a bit more of the audiencein the sound mix - make 'em the fifthmember of the group).The tunes are a good mix: someR&B (Could It Be I'm Falling InLove With You); a standard (At LongLast Love, by Cole Porter); jazzthings from Nat Adderley, DukePearson and Charles Earland; and acouple of originals from within theband, LeDonne's Prayer For Maryand Bones, and a blues by PeterBernstein which surprisingly, is theonly one on this good release.Ted O'ReillyThe group's warmth is infectious. Those Were the DaysDon Brown Heather Bambrick·n...MIKE LeDONNE4 ~~ '"·~~ ...:.·i''"·'.''"'"""'""·'·'·:. ~. ,., _,."~, ,1 '· ,~ ' ' . } i..... ., '..... - - h .' -.... ~ _ ·-.__ ------·,. -..•...On Fire (Live at Smoke, NYC)Mike LeDonne; Eric Alexander;Peter Bernstein; Joe FarnsworthSavant SCD 2080I've often thought that organ groupsare a separate genre in jazz, liketract bands or the avant garde. Ifso, there's going to be a built-inmarket for "On Fire", but it shouldalso be sought out by others whojust like a good time.And if you still need proof that jazzis universal, Mike LeDonne's crewIndie Pool(www've had a bit of a wait for HeatherBambrick's second CD, and it'sno wonder. As a jazz radio showhost, educator and in-demand singer,she's a busy girl. But "ThoseWere the Days" is well worth thewait, as it delivers an eclectic mixof tunes all executed masterfully.Bambrick is a perfect singer: spotonpitch, big range, inventive phrasingand a lovely tone. A personableperformer who injects humour andwarmth in her interpretations, shestays true to form with the lighthearted,swingy tunes that dominate thisdisc. So we get songs like It's a WonderfulWorld, I Feel So Smoochie,Tulip or Turnip and the title tune.(Yes, the theme song from All inthe Family, sans the hilarious,WWW.THEWHO LENOTE.COM 65

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