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Volume 14 - Issue 4 - December 2008

tion by Julie Patton;

tion by Julie Patton; and a stop-time DrinkingSong conveyed by guitarist Nguyen Le's ampdistortedlicks, plunger breaks from trumpeterRalph Alessi and Achille Succi's laughingclarinet lines. The Lion of Venice referencesNew Orleans, with a jerky Second Line beat,vamping horns and lavish piano flourishes.R&B songwriter/vocalist Bunny Sigler assaysOthello with emotional verve. Pitch-slidingover trumpet obbligatos, slippery clarinetvamps or chunky beats, his new English lyricstranscend language, while his tessituraexpresses yearning and anguish at suitableinterludes.Each of these projects confirms that thejazz-classical rapprochement exists by intricatelycrafting new forms.Ken WaxmanPOT POURRIKlezmachineKlezfactorIndependent 2008 (www.klezfactor.com)An extraordinary clarity of vision is whatmakes Klezfactor's "Klezmachine" a surprisingsuccess. Be it the compositions, theperformances, or the production qualities,here is an unusually charming musical adventure.The tour de force behind the project issaxophonist/clarinetist/composer Mike Anklewiczwho has penned all but one of thetracks. In his linernotes, he is exceedinglyclearabout from wherehe draws his compositionalinfluences,be it the funkgods in The Jewce(Manischewitz), tothe gentle stylingsof pianist Marilyn Lerner in Waltz/or Ronit,to the more heavy metal(!) groove of Gonif.This sharing of musical styles is justified as apeak on the Klezfactor website which statesthat klezmer music traditionally draws fromdifferent stylistic roots . Anklewicz is a clevernote smith - the defining elements of hiscompositions are a sly wit and an evenstronger compositional technique .Klezfactor the band is good - pianist AliBertok, guitarist Jaro Dabrowski, drummerDavid MacDougall, violinist/violist Ben Plotnickand bassist Michael Smith are a strongunit. They are joined by special guests cellistErika Nielsen and vocalist Limore Twena.The band plays it a bit too safe occasionally,but thankfully these moments are few and farbetween. This is a moot point however as allplayers shine whether following their chartsor improvising intelligently .This is the second release for Klezfactor.Kudos to Anklewicz and the band as "Klezmachine" is an unexpected yet pleasant musicalsurprise.Tiina KiikTangoNuevoGryphon TrioAnalekta AN 2 9857Credited with having brought tango to the concerthall, Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) incorporatedharmonies and rhythms of classicalmusic in his nuevo tango, often meeting withfierce resistance from traditionalists.The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, not reallyrelated toVivaldi's Four Seasons,is filled withfrequent and suddenshifts of mood,sweet introspectivelyricism, alternatingwith upbeatjazzy syncopation.The Invierno featuresa rhapsodic piano solo, while the Primaveratakes a bluesy turn becoming a roller-coasterride full of romantic melody andjagged rhythms, but always with an underlyingdance step (imagine heads, arms and legstossed back and forth in ecstacy).Not surprisingly, the beautiful sweepingmelody of Oblivion is a wonderful moviesoundtrack theme; the Resurreccion del Angel,a baroque lament chaconne, with itsslowly descending chromatic bass line, isvery moving. The lyrical sensuality of Milongadel Angel is contrasted by the driving fugueof Muerte del Angel.Juno award-winning Cuban-Canadian composerHilario Duran takes the traditional Contradanzaone step further by adding an habanerarhythm, rich jazz harmonies, and pizzicato/glissando string accents, with great results,continuing the tango movement that Piazzollabegan.The Gryphon Trio brings a welcome playful, saucy touch to this passionate repertoire.Be prepared to be swept off your feet.Frank NakashimaBowfireLive in ConcertBowfire AN-01039 (CD)AN-01022 (DVD) (www.bowfire.com)"Bowfire" is jazz violinist Lenny Solomon'svision. And what a vision it is . As the ArtisticDirector of Bowfire, he has assembled ateam of world class performers to create avisual and aural spectaclestarring the violin/fiddle.A gamut of stylesfrom jazz to Celtic tobluegrass to classical toworld music are performedwith breathtakingmusical and technicalfinesse. This is not a"string smorgasbord"however. Much care,thought and expertise has been put into theprogramming so that the flow from for example,a fiddle medley to a Klezmer track isseamless .Joining Solomon are violinists Jon Pilatzke,Bodgan Djukic, Raymond Leger, ShaneCook, Kelli Trottier, Yi-Jia Susanne Hou ,Stephane Allard, and Stephanie Cadman. Abrilliant addition is George Gao on erhu (Chineseviolin). Each string player is a star inhis/her own right, and has a chance to soloand shine. A tight team of ensemble musiciansbacks them up. Highlights include Houliterally letting her hair down performingZigeunerweisen, the ensemble rocking inKashmir and Gao in Galloping Horses.With the strong visual components of choreography,dancing, and lighting, the DVDreally needs to be seen in order to fully appreciatethe amazing "stage show" that Bowfireis. It also features some tracks not includedon the CD like the Solomon composedtango Djtango.A slick and smart show, "Bowfire" is alabour of love and a remarkable achievement.ChancesJill BarberOutside Music (www.jillbarber.com)Tiina KiikThe Juno-nominated and East Coast musicaward-winning singer-songwriter, Jill Barber,has switched gears from being a selfdescribed"smoky folkie " to, well, whateverthis is. I don't thinkthere's an existingcategory to slotCHANC[S"Chances" into. It'sa collection of lastdances - the getyour-best-girl-outon-the-floor-this-isit-folks-closing-timetype of song that isvaguely reminiscentof post-World War II era dance halls . Completewith lots of warbling saxes, flutes andlush, lush strings, all the songs on the disc arewritten at least in part by Barber. The versatileJoel Cooper is a huge presence on therecord as co-writer, arranger and guitarist,and Ron Sexsmith co-wrote and lends hissweet voice to a couple of numbers too. Barber'sdistinctive, throaty voice may not beeveryone's cup of tea. But who wants everyone'scup of tea? Sometimes the mood callsfor a warm, earthy Lapsang Souchong insteadof run-of-the-mill Orange Pekoe.Cathy RichesCONCERT NOTES: Jill Barber will betouring Ontario in February with performancesin Belleville on the 12th, Peterborough onthe 13th, Kingston on the 14th, Toronto on the18th with a free lunchtime performance atFirst Canadian Place, Wakefield on the 18thand 20th, Toronto at the Diesel Playhouse onthe 2lst, at Kitchener's Centre in the Squareon the 26th and Hamilton's Studio Theatre onthe 27th.68WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.CO MD ECEMBER 1 2008 - FEBR UA RY 7 2009

OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES - Fine old recordings re-releasedby Bmce SwteesLeonard Bernstein would havebeen 90 this year and the industryhas done rather well by him.Deutsche Grarrunophon windsup the year with an unprecedentedrelease of DVDs includingperformances of Beethoven withthe Vienna Philharmonic. Some people whoare old enough to have long memories may remembera weekly series on television c. 1977,introduced by Maximillian Schell, commemoratingthe 150th anniversary ofBeethoven'sdeath, featuring all the symphonies. These areon three DVDs (sans Max) available separately:1, 8, and 9 (0734497), 2, 6, and 7 (0734498),3, 4, and 5 (0734499). Also Overtures and theString Quartet op.131 (0734502) ; The MissaSolemnis, The Choral Fantasie, Prometheusmusic (0734501). The four Schumann Symphoniesare miraculously on one DVD(0734512) and Tchaikovsky's Fourth and FifthSymphonies plus the Violin Concerto (withBoris Belkin) from New York and Boston areon a single DVD (0734511).abetted by an all-star cast includingMarcus Haddock, LaurentNaouri, and Lisa Milne. Theconductor is Philippe Jordan, theSwiss maestro who energizesorchestras with the most idiosyncraticand exaggerated gestures ,under whose direction the orchestra, the LondonPhilharmonic is outstanding. The new Blu-raydiscs are spectacular and worth the differencein cost but there are no complaints with the regularDVD set.New from Naxos is the third ofthree CDs containing the completeBeethoven violin sonatasplayed by Joseph Fuchs withArthur Balsam, piano(8.111253) . These are creativeand personal performances, recorded in 1952.The superb transfers bring the entire cycle sonicallyup to date. The earlier volumes are8.111251 and 8.111252. All are recommendedwithout reservation.ings with the BBC Symphony Orchestra are thebest! Just watching this conductor's unique mannerismsis always a pleasure, too. Should not bemissed by admirers of the repertoire .Admirers of Martha Argerich(and who isn't?) can now get thelow down on her fabulous musicalcareer, her memories and herviews on what music means andelicits. She talks informally withfilmmaker Georges Gachotabout music and herself and makes some memorable,thought provoking observations. Someperformances and rehearsals are also includedin Evening Talks (Medici Arts 3073428).I was riveted to the screenthroughout the monumental Onceat a Border, a biography oflgorStravinsky directed by TonyPalmer (TPDVD126). Very wellresearched, the film follows thecomposer's life and career using archival material,his personal reminiscences and newly documentedperformances of excerpts from his familiarand unfamiliar works. The film will be arevelation to both the Stravinsky devotee andneophytes and may indeed gain some converts.Produced for the composer's centenary in 1982,this film received universal praise. Included areinvaluable archival treasures of this man whoreally did change music. Interviews with hissons, his wife and his associates from the worldof music and ballet are included.Tony Palmer directed and editeda film on William Walton entitledAt the Haunted End of the Day(TPDVD113) in 1981 only a fewyears before the composer'sdeath. Walton narrates and lendsfascinating asides about the charactersof the day including the Sitwells and theireccentric goings on, together with many excerptsfrom performances. In the last chaptershis wife takes over and leads us through hisyears on the island of Ischia. This is a fascinating,gentle film of prime interest to Walton'sadmirers who would be interested in the composer'slife, his circle of friends and colleaguesand musical milestones.The 2002 Glyndebourne production of Carmen,already available from OpusArte, is nowavailable on Blu-ray (OABD7015) on 2 highdefinition DVDs. Anne Sophie von Otter ismagnificent as the tartiest Carmen imaginable,One of the foremost and longestlasting string quartets, the LoewenguthQuartet achieved•international fame and recognitionsoon after their founding inParis in 1929. Known for theirsuperb renditions of the classics, in 1950 theybecame the first featured string quartet ofDGG, winning the coveted Grande prix duDisque. Their repertoire ranged from Baroqueto modem Russian and French. Volume One ina proposed DOREMI series includes 3 CDsdevoted to Haydn and Mozart (DHR-7846-8),ably demonstrating the artistry of a group thatachieved cult status.David Oistrakh was ruthlesslyused and misused by the SovietUnion while around the world hewas lionised by legions of fansand fellow musicians. A newDVD release of Bruno Monsaigneon's 1994 video, Artist ofthe People? (Medici Arts 3073178) includesmany archive performances and astonishingrevelations from conversations and interviewswith Rostropovich, Menuhin, Kremer, Rozhdestvensky,and others. An intriguing eye-openerto the way things were not so long ago.Gennady Rozhdestvensky canalso be seen on another MediciArts DVD (3085278) live fromThe Proms of 1978/79 conductingcharged performances of Rimsky­Korsakov's Russian Easter FestivalOverture, Rachmaninov'sFirst Piano Concerto with Viktoria Postinova(Mrs. Rozhdestvensky) and Shostakovich'shuge Fourth Symphony. These sensational read-Juno NomineeTHIS ISN'T SILENCEWorks for Symphony OrchestraCD Available atwww.briancurrent.comD ECEMBER 1 2008 - F EB RUA RY 7 200 9WWW . TH EWH O LENOTE.COM

Volume 26 (2020- )

Volume 26 Issue 1 - September 2020
Volume 26 Issue 2 - October 2020
Volume 26 Issue 3 - November 2020

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 9 - July / August 2020
Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
Volume 25 Issue 7 - April 2020
Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
Volume 25 Issue 5 - February 2020
Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
Volume 25 Issue 3 - November 2019
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Volume 24 Issue 8 - May 2019
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