6 years ago

Volume 13 - Issue 4 - December 2007

while David Braid proves

while David Braid proves yet again that he isone of the finest pianists on the scene. AndAnthony Michelli's subtle percussion suitsCam's music to perfection. This fine setmakes me eager to hear more from WilliamCarn. (But I'd still love to hear his quintet'stake on a Monk or a Mingus composition.)Highly recommended.Subarashi Live; Ron DavisDavinor Records 89144( met Ron Davis a fewyears ago at a party.He's the kind of guywhose life force justradiates around himand you can 't help butbe drawn to his positiveenergy. Lucky for jazzconnoisseurs and dabblersalike, Ron 's music has all the same qualities.This album is an eclectic mix that provides anemotional salve for what ails you. Moreover, thecast of characters gels to such a degree, that theusual "pass the baton" relay race that typifiesstandardjazz charts is so seamless, it's hardlyeven there. In some cases the piece titles tell itlike it is: Mio Latino is a cheerful upbeat salsa/samba with just the right spices; ApplausableExcuse literally gets the audience going in aparticipatory fervour; Reel du Pointe-au-Pie is alittle more obscure - it's a brilliant take on Dixielandfeaturing Sasha Boychouk on clarinet andproviding Ron a chance to strut his inimitablepiano prowess. One of my favourites is D 'Hora.It builds to such a tizzy that it pushes the limits ofvirtual disintegration - pushes but doesn't breach,the group is too tight to actually ever lose it.The climax of the album is an eleven-minutetrack called Thomachonga. You ' ll likely recognizethe tune. The improv that Ted Warrenbrings to the drum solo is outstanding. His finesseand sensitivity melt under the other band members'sizzle - notably the wizardry of Mike66AN 2 87'25Fairy Tale"The most beautiful disc of tileir career'C. Huss, l e Devoiren~J< ~ ~analeld:a.comDownes on bass. l would be remiss if l didn 'tmention Richard Underhill 's sax work - it's theglue that binds. Overall rating: awesome!Heidi McKenzieVision Towards EssenceMuha! Richard AbramsPi Recordins Pi23 ( Brown Recorded at l 998 'sGuelph Jazz Festival,"Vision Towards Essence"captures NewYork-based pianistMuha! RichardAbrams' triumphantsolo concert there. Acomposer and orchestratoras well as a pianist, Abrams invests thenearly 40-minute, three-part recital with enoughsonic excursions and augmentations to challengeany notated composition.Along the way he alludes to practically theentire history of piano music. At various junctionshe touches on the airy coloring of rococo recapitulation;andante classical-styled patterning plusstaccato interpolations; the double-paced rhythmicgait and ringing bass notes of Swing andboogie woogie; plus the dynamic pulse and rubatoinventiveness of free-form jazz.Initially exploring those polyphonic patternsthat can be raised from cascading pulsations -which utilize the soundboard and brass lugs asmuch as the keyboard - he slides into gentle keyfluffing with configurations that, as call-andresponsevamping is exposed, also become morefortissimo and harder-edged. Eventually, portamentonote cluster sluices transform into ripplingtimbres that are as descriptively ornamental asHard Bop comping and as out-and-out swingingas Stride piano patterns. Succeeding a penultimatevariation that unites string-friction stopswith a waterfall of ringing allegro patterns,Abrams ends the recital with double-handed keysmacks and echoes melding higher and lowerpitches into unexpected rhythmic resonation. Thisclimax-cum-resolution confirms his talents.Ken WaxmanPOT POURRIVidas; Eliana CuevasIndependent EC 002( steeped in themusical traditions of hernative Venezuela,Eliana Cuevas cameto Canada to studyhistory at the UniversityofToronto. In themeantime, she continuedher musical studieshere and sang with a variety of pop, Latin-jazz,reggae, salsa, Brazilian and flamenco ensembles.Performing at venues like Lula Lounge, the RexHotel and the Top O' The Senator, she soonmade a name for herself as one of Toronto 'spremier Latin singers. In March of2003 she wasfeatured as one of the Global Divas and at Lon-WWW, THEWHOLENOTE. COMdon 's first Fiesta de! Sol she was given the LatinAmerican Achievement Award for Vocal Artistof the Year.With a stellar band behind her, and highlysophisticated arrangements by members of herensemble as well as other artists such as AaronDavis, this CD serves as a tribute to her accomplishmentsas a gifted songwriter. From a bitingportrayal of homelessness in the Toronto winterto the trials and celebrations oflife and love tohumour, innuendo and vivid fantasy, her lyrics andrhythms are absolutely engaging. Her hypnoticinterpretation of Alfonsina and the Sea (Ramirez/Luna)is prefaced by George Koller's eerieimprovisation evoking the allure of the sea as aperfect alternative to a life of pain. The last songon the album, Infinite Solitude (Cuevas) is asheart-wrenching as it is a poetic mystery.Dianne WellsConcert Note: Eliana Cuevas launches her newCD with a performance featuring her quintet andguests at Glenn Gould Studio on December 5.Tarana; Bageshree VazeIndependent n/a ( head liner of"Tarana",a Hindustani(North Indian) musicalform featuring spokensyllables based on thesounds of the tabla andpakhawaj drums, is themulti-talented BageshreeVaze, a secondgeneration Inda-Canadiandancer, choreographer and singer-a realtriple threat. In her notes she indicates that herwork "strives to preserve the integrity of traditional[Indian] dance and music, to create newwork that is reflective of her second-generationexperience ... [and] attempts to fuse music anddance into one genre, according to principles ofIndian aesthetics ... ".How does her music live up to these loftyideals? To these ears, remarkably well. From thepercussive-forward compositions Vinayak andTarana, and the new-age-y sensibility of Yoga , tothe lyrical Dhoot (Messenger), they are clearlykeyed to the Indian dances Kathak and Bharatanatyam- and what assured and unvarnishedsinging by the dancer herself!Ms Vaze is admirably assisted throughout byVineet Vyas, the Toronto-based tabla virtuosoand producer of the album, and by a pool ofskillful musicians on various North and SouthIndian classical instruments. We must include forpraise the bamboo flute player who offers severaleloquent and musically satisfying solos.Bageshree s Thillana, with a South Indianmetric twist, is one ofmy favorites here. You toocan get interactive, involved in the fun, by countingalong with its unusual ten-and-a-half beat tala(rhythmic cycle). Clap 9 quarter notes + 3 eighthnotes, equaling a total of I 01:. beats, landing eachcycle on the sum or downbeat. There's nothinglike an asymmetrical rhythm to make my day!This CD is an auspicious entry by a seriousartist making a splash in the steadily deepeninglndo-Canadian talent pool.Andrew TimarD EC EMBER 1 2007 - FEB RUAR Y 7 2008

OLD WINE INNEW BOTTLESFine Old Recordings Re-releasedby Bruce SurteesHere are some recent boxed sets that areirresistible, or close to it, that collectorsshould consider for themselves or as athoughtful gift:2008 marks the I OOth anniversary of the birthof one of the most celebrated conductors ofthe last century, Herbert von Karajan, whowas born in Salzburg on April 5, 1908. Hisfirst recording was with the Berlin Philharmonicin 1939 of the Tchaikovsky SixthSymphony. This with other wartime recordingsmade with various orchestras is availableon a modestly priced six CD set from DG(4776237) wherein we witness an alreadyseasoned conductor. Post-war he was'snapped-up' by EM! 's Walter Legge whorecorded him with the Vienna Philharmonicand then with the Legge's newly createdPhilharmonia Orchestra. After Karajaninherited the Berlin Philharmonic in 1955,becoming their conductor for life, he continuedto record exclusively for EMJ until 1959when OGG signed him to an almost exclusivecontract. His best EM! recordings, preand-post-1959,were re-mastered and reissuedin 2005 on 26 discs. Those celebratedVienna Philharmonic recordings fromDecca, made from 1959 to I 962, include theexact version of Also Sprach Zarathustrathat Stanley Kubrick specified for the openingof 2001, A Space Odyssey (4663882).DG has begun itsKarajan anniversaryissues andreissues with a I OCD set, MasterRecordings( 4777155-5)which containsclassic Berlin performancesfrom 1959 through I 979. UsingOriginal Image Bit Processing, every one ofthe nineteen major works selected soundsbetter than on the original issue. Most noticeableis the rebalancing of the lower frequencieswhich were noticeably and inexplicablyabsent before. Soloists in this specially-pricedset are Richter, Rostropovich, MichelSchwalbe, Karlheinz Zoeller, Anne-SophieMutter, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Agnes Baltsa,Werner Krenn, and Jose van Dam. l wasquite surprised at just how newly mintedsome of the works sound. Karajan 'sBrahms Four Symphonies can now beseen on two DVD 's (0734386) that put a lieto the accusation that he smoothed out phrasingand dynamics. An interesting limitededition is a two disc set, Karajan - TheMusic, The Legend (4777097) containinga CD and a DVD, with complete shorterpieces, all attractively packaged in a neat littlehard-cover book. Surely a smart little giftitem, as is the single DVD ofTchaikovsky'sSymphonies 4, 5 and 6 (0734384).Many more CDs and DVDs are scheduled,including a brilliant Das Rheingold, a filmD ECE M BER 1 2007 - F EB RUARY 7 2008Model i7150 watts integratedremote+balanced in/outCelebrating25 YearsSuper Nova coPlayerAnd New Cd1 ondisplayrH,Hlt r.'\:Cl; JlCll,f lU I. O l' O W I •,, 1'1...H l l llNew HD-220Ref-210, AllVS Seriesamps onDisplayNew 800 Series Pre ampOn Display 860 stereo and850 mono Power amps810 Pre ampParity with U.S. PricesTube GearRenaissanceSeries offersstate-of-the-artcircuits andperformanceSTORE HOURS: Mon. 10 - 6 • Tue. 10 - 6 • Wed. 10 - 6 • Thu. 10 - 9 • Fri. 10 - 9 • Sat. 10 - 6 •Sun.ClosedWWW,THEWHOLENOTE.COM 67

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