7 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 2 - October 2008

were transformed with

were transformed with percussion, electronicsand electric guitars by Zorn at GJF, thisCD performs a similar conversion as raucousblowing vehicles become recital-ready. Boththe guitarist and trombonist - who have performedat Guelph - are responsive enough tokeep things moving, despite the lack of arhythm section. Surprisingly, it's oftenLewis' gutbucket braying which holds thepieces together from the bottom. Venita 'sDance has the trombonist comping as theguitarist loops licks that turn to single-note .filigree. Later Zorn steadily peeps and Lewischromatically exposes the head. Funk inDeep Freeze isn't funky, but instead findsFrisell distorting country-styled licks, Lewisroughening his tone and Zorn's alto textureslinky and airy. Sonny's Crib plays up gospelinflections with the two horns passing on thetheme like relay runners. Zorn double times,Lewis plays rubato variations and Frisellpicks out blues tonality until the introductionis recapped by the altoist. Melody for C withconclusive organ-like reverb from Frisell,provides an opportunity for three-part harmony,with the trio's improvisations divided intofuzzy multiphonics. www.hathut.comMatana Robertsalso twists the jazztradition, but lessradically. The altosaxophonist, whobrought her CoinCoin Continuum tothe GJF, celebratesher own home townon The ChicagoProject (Central Control CC1006PR).Other Chicagoans contribute: drummerFrank Rosaly, bassist Josh Abrams, guitaristJeff Parker - whose band Tortoise was alsoat Guelph this year - and veteran tenor saxophonistFred Anderson. In 2002 Andersonplayed an incendiary GJF set with Kidd Jordan.Saxophonist Jordan (see WholeNote Vol.13 #9, June 2008) played Guelph again thisyear. In the same league as the Jordan-An~derson meeting, Roberts' a capella duet withAnderson features swirling staccato linesintersecting contrapuntally - finally reachingrapprochement. On Nomra , she and Parkerprove that free improvising can be low-keyand supple, highlighting resonating guitarlicks and tasteful saxophone arpeggios. Tunesare tougher elsewhere. Exchange, built on awalking bass line and the drummer's repeatedflams showcases Parker's distorted flangesand bottleneck-sharp runs that contrastwith Roberts' fruity tone and slide-slippingvibrato. Thrills is a POMO blues with thesaxophonist rooster-crowing and doubletonguing,Parker snapping delayed echo andRosaly smacking the backbeat.58www Vijay Iyer produced "The ChicagoProject" and he was at GJF 2008 with DJSpooky. But it's electric piano and synthesizerhe brings to trumpeter Wadada LeoSmith's Golden Quartet CD Tabligh( Cuneiform Rune 270). Drummer ShannonJackson and bassistJohn Lindberg areequally "Golden".Atmosphericallyreferencing Fusion,but withsimplistic beatsleeched out, thedisc's color comesfrom Iyer's FenderRhodes pulsations.Strumming cadenzas backed withswaggering synthesizer drones, Iyer letsJackson's solid ruffs and Lindberg's foursquarerhythm anchor the compositions. Ontop of this ever-shifting bottom, Smith archeslong-lined slurs and unhurried grace notes.Replicating a bugler's tattoo on Rosa Parks,or a bellicose call-to-arms on DeJohnette, thetrumpet's lines encompass high-pitchedbrassy trills and sputtering Bronx cheers.Extended essays in improvisation, Tabligh'stunes bond fragmented brass slurs, crosshandedrim shots, kinetic piano cadences andstring scratches into throbbing instant compositions.www.cuneiformrecords.comInstant compositiondescribes the musicof Holland's InstantComposers Pool(ICP), who were inresidence at theGJF this year. Butthe creative fermentgenerated bythe band is equallyexpressed when ICP band memb~~s work insmaller groupings. One is AMMU Quartet ' sAMMU Quartet (PAO 50030). Raucousdrummer Han Bennink - with the band for 35years - and unflappable violinist Mary Oliver- a 10-year ICP veteran - join forces withMunich-based cellist Johanna Varner andtrombonist Christopher Varner. The Varnersproduce the sort of timbres Oliver and Benninkhear in the ICP from trombonist WolterWierbos and cellist Tristan Honsinger. Neverone to play presto when he can play staccatissimo,or pianissimo when fortissimo can besounded, Bennink continually clinks, clanks,bangs, whacks and thwacks. So it's instructiveto hear his duets with the trombonist.Varner ejaculates speedy, emphasized brays,moving from vocalized syllables to tonguestops and alp-horn-like flutters. Amazinglythis results in textures that fit hand-in-glove -or mute-in-bell - with the drummer's bombdroppingbangs and cymbal crashes. On theirduet Oliver squeaks and spatters sul ponticelloas the cellist responds with strums andshuffle bowing. This comfortable creativityWWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COMamplifies when the four play together. OnImprovisation II, the trombone's contrapuntalbuzzes and the violin's spiccato runs chaseone another as the cellist double-stops andBennink jabs and rebounds. As the stringsdistort into double counterpoint, the trombonistputs aside distended subterranean timbresfor dog-whistle shrilling. Other times thedrummer' s kettle-drum-like resonation faceslegato coloration from the cello; alternately,wide chromatic notes from the trombonistcom;lement string-stropping from Oliver.Stop-time and polytonality characterizeAmmii, although pitch clusters from thestrings and horn can't overcome Bennink'sfrenetic time-keeping. www.pao.atGuelph Jazz Festival audiences, exhilaratedby what they heard live, can be equallyimpressed by these CDs.Embracing VoicesJane BunnettEMI 5-09992-34148-2POT-POURRIShe's one of Canada' s consummatejazz artists andmost highly-soughtaftermusical exportsfor the all theright reasons.Grammy nomineeand Juno winnerJane Bunnett is notonly a splendid multi-instrumentalist andcomposer but also an eager collaborator whois always keen to explore new musical ideas.Produced by Bunnett's long-time trumpeterand partner-in-crime Larry Cramer, thisambitious recording is an overwhelmingwinner thanks to the sum of its numerousparts. Appearing on every track is GrupoVocal Desandann, an utterly miraculouschoir of ten voices that mere words cannot dojustice. Other key collaborators include rapidlyrising Canadian singer and lyricist KellyleeEvans, spoken word artist Telmary, themasterful David Virelles on piano and marimbaand prized national treasure DonThompson on vibes , piano, bass and marimba.Arranged by Thompson, the one foray intofamiliarity is Molly Johnson's scintillatingreading of Jacques Brel's If You Go Away(Ne Me Quitte Pas). Otherwise, the originalmaterial is far from pop music, arguably toogood to be deemed as such. Sung in Englishand Creole, the varied program includessongs of protest (Yvongolo), sorrow (Pa genDlo), and ecstasy (A Nu Danse), each ofthem enhanced by Bunnett's intelligent arrangementsand soaring solos. "EmbracingVoices" not only embraces the art of singingbut also the magnificence of the human spirit.At times dizzyingly beautiful, this recordingis very highly recommended.Ori DaganO CTOBER 1 - N OVEMB ER 7 200 8

Never Just a DreamEmma-LeeSpecial Artists Records SADCOOl(www DiachunCellar Live CL102007(www from last month's reviews, twomore young lionesses have come out withintriguing new offerings.Emma-Lee is thetalk of Toronto withher stunning debut"Never Just aDream," and rightlyso - the girl's gotit all. Her gorgeousvocals, in partinfluenced - as areso many youngsingers these days - by Feist, strike you immediately.But her song writing is the realstar. Varying tempos, feels and styles rangingfrom pop, blues, jazz and alt-country areat play, and personal, introspective lyricspopulate the fully-realized tunes. All 10tracks are strong, but the ones I can' t seem toget out of my head are the beautiful, openwound,break-up anthem Flow, the angry yetbreezy That Sinking Feeling with real strings(!) and glockenspiel(!) and Until We MeetAgain with its contrast of shimmery stringsand driving rhythm. The Brazilian-influencedguitar and percussion married to lap steelguitar (courtesy of Christine Bougie) on lsn 'tIt Obvious make for a sort of Blue Rodeogoes to Rio trip. The agile core band - guitaristDevrim Eldelekli, acoustic bassist SteveGotlib, drummer Kevin Mendes and pianoplayer Tyler Yarema - stick-handle the styleshifts with skill and sensitivity.Vancouver-based Melody Diachun is anotherfine singer-songwriter with a strongnew disc. And though firmly rooted in a jazzsound and sensibility, Tilden Webb's use ofFender Rhodes throughout and the funkyelectric bass lines of Diachun' s partner andco-writer Doug Stephenson land "EQ" somewherearound the late 70's when bands likeL.A Express and Weather Report roamedfree. Even some of the lyrics, like on Spin,have a throwback feel with their anti-establishment,don't-let­The-Man-get-youdownlament, updatedas a railagainst too muchinformation. Thecovers are an appealingmix offunked up jazz andfolk with JoniMitchell's Free Man in Paris, Paul Simon'sStill Crazy and Radiohead'sHigh and Dry.Diachun's controlled, sometimes breathy,centered sound is a perfect foil for the interplaybetween the other musicians, especiallysoprano sax man, Cory Weeds, and it alladds up to a tight, cohesive whole.Cathy RichesOn JupiterSun RaArt Yard CD 104Sleeping BeautySun RaArt Yard CD 003(www many committed sonic experimenters,keyboardist/composer/band leader SunRa (1914-1993) never denigrated any type ofmusic - he used them for his own ends. Thusthese notable 1979 sessions, recorded whenhis Intergalactic Myth Science SolarArkestra numbered 20 plus musicians, domore than promulgate Ra's usual mixture ofBlack Pride and Science Fiction in an improvisedjazz context. The compositions addelements of impressionistic moodiness, gospelharmonies, doo-wop vocals, solo pianoblues and big band riffs. Furthermore, postproductionprocessing plus the distortionsavailable from electrified guitar, bass, pianoand organ also bring out echoes of rock, R&Band even disco.Still the Arkestra - which continues to tourextensively years after Ra has returned to hispurported birth place of the planet Saturn -confirms its peerless individuality on everytrack here. For instance the contrapuntalnasality of the oboe of Marshall Allen, whonow leads the band, can be heard in brokenoctave concordance with wiggling electricpiano lines or interrupting the flams andrebounds of the band's three percussionists.Meanwhile the coarse cries and irregularvibrato of John Gilmore's tenor saxophoneslice through slurping brass and reed harmoniesand toughens vocal chants which plead"UFO UFO/Take me where I wanna go". Abrassy obbligato from Michael Ray's trumpetsustains fanfares as female vocalists suggest"Knocking on the door of the Cosmos", thenadd punctuation to rhythmic clapping.With James Jacson's bassoon providingthe bottom on piano Ra can sound like ErrolGarner one moment and Cecil Taylor thenext. High-class Arkestra work. If theseCDs have any drawbacks it's that each timesout at approximately 30 minutes and theycould easily have been combined.Ken WaxmanConcert Note: The Sun Ra Arkestra withColeman Lemieux & Compagnie provides theGala kick-off to the X AVANT Festival onOctober 21 at Palais Royale.~,,,,,~,,,,,,,,,,,,,;,I ~~ 314 Churchill Ave ~lToronto , Ontario ';, M2R 1 c7 Conodo ;: Tel: 4 16 -224-1956 !; Fax: 416-224-2964 ~·; MIKROKOSMOS ~; i~ ~: We buy your ~~ classical LP ~~ collection i~ (classical, such as ~!• B eet h oven, M ozart, i; ,,: Stockhausen) i; ~~ we travel anywhere ?; ,,,, for good collections ,,~ ~;,,,,,,,,,,,~111,,,,,1.0SECOND VINYL ) Where to findWholeNote:SPECIALIZING INNew & Used Records, CDs & DVDsA111.Q?J-QSOCDs Vinyl Records DVDsCLASSICAL OPERA JAZZWORLD BWES ;le & s AUDIOPHILEmeK SOUNDTRACK COLLECTABLESWe pay top $$$ for yourCLASSICAL & JAZZ COLLECTIONS4 St.Patrick (at Queen near Osgoode station) 416-591-1313CTOBERClassical, Jazz, Blues, Soundtracks,Audiophiles & CollectiblesBUY • SELL • TRADE10 Wellesley St. West) near Wellesley subway station)Toronto, ONwww.secondvinyl.comTEL: (416) 977-3737 secondvinyl@hotmail.comWWW . TH EW HOLENOTf.COMJust enter your streetnumber and postal codeinto our Distribution PointLocator and you'll see amap of the pickup pointsclosest to you.Go to:www.thewholenote.comIt's on the first page.59

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