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Volume 15 Issue 1 - September 2009

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • October
  • Toronto
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Colours
  • Trio
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre

is You bops blissfully

is You bops blissfully to close. Whiteman,Disterheft and Juhas are all at the top of theirgame throughout. Although not a consistentlyhollering bunch, the audience applauds appreciatively,enhancing the experience for theplayers and now the listener.Ori DaganFor NowPeter Hill QuintetIndependent PCH0901(www.notthatpeterhill.com)Pianist Peter Hill has been working as a sidemanin the greater Toronto area for roughlytwo and a half decades. With a piano stylesteeped in early swing with shades of boogiewoogie,Hillis especiallysought-after asan accompanistwho can playvirtually anysong in anykey without achart. Previouslyassociatedwith Jeff Healey,current and long-time collaborator withLaura Hubert, the house pianist for LisaParticelli’s vocalist-friendly Girls Night OutJazz Jam and so on, accomplished Hill alsoholds a PhD in the mathematical field ofLow-dimensional topology. His inventive arrangementsand originals make their recordingdebut right here. Now, for “For Now”,Hill has hired a hot band comprised of someof Hogtown’s hippest cats: Bob Brough onalto and tenor saxes, Chris Gale on tenor andbaritone saxes, Brandi Disterheft on bass andSly Juhas on drums. This swingin’ quintet issuper tight with a driving energy that’s consistentlyengaging. Highlights from the variedprogram include Dexter Gordon’s chestnutCheesecake, the Bacharach & David famousAlfie and Eden Ahbez’s classic minor lament,Nature Boy. Particularly droll is a moderntreatment of the historic Duke Ellington/BubberMiley composition, Black and Tan Fantasy.Of Peter Hill’s originals, Amico’s, Party of Fouris a standout complete with a dazzling Disterheftsolo.Never judge a CD by its cover. For me theart direction is both wacky and tacky, therecording neither. Highly recommended.Ori DaganCafé SocietyReal DivasE1 Entertainment KEC-CD-9196(www.billkingmusic.com/realdivas)Real Divasstarted out eightyears ago as ashowcase everyTuesday nightat a Torontoclub hostedby musician,band leader, festival organizer, broadcaster,photographer (let me see, have I left anythingout?) and all round good guy, Bill King. Designedto give a stage to local singers, bothestablished and new to the scene, the RealDivas evenings saw now-notable singers suchas Emilie-Claire Barlow and Sophie Milmantake their initial steps into jazz performance.Those nights are history now, but the projectand goal behind it live on under King’s guidance.The current incarnation comprises fouryoung (some still teenage) vocalists — KingaVictoria, Sophie Berkal-Sarbitt, LaurenMargison and Josephine Biundo (and guestJessica Lalonde) — who come from a rangeof musical disciplines (including opera) andlocales (Winnipeg, Poland), but who share anappreciation for good songwriting.Singing individually and as an ensemble on“Café Society” the group covers Bacharach,Ellington, Bernstein and pop hits such asFirst Time Ever I Saw Your Face, bringingnew interpretations and layers of musicalstyles. Hence a Latin version of Tea for Two,swinging Come Fly With Me and sultry LazyAfternoon all cozy up together here. Thevocal arrangements are not overly complex,but the singers achieve a good blend whenneeded, then let their lovely voices and individualityshine on the solo numbers.Cathy RichesPlates-formes et TraquenardsJean Derome et les Dangereux Zhoms +7Victo cd 114 (www.victo.qc.ca)Two suites for 12-piece polyphonic orchestracomposed by Montreal-based reedist JeanDerome exhibit his cunning musicality onthis notable CD. A mainstay of Victoriaville,Quebec’s Festival International de MusiqueActuelle(FIMAV) –where the CDwas recorded– Derome titlesPlates-formeswith a pun onthe name of theorganizationwhich overseesthe festival.Traquenards celebrates another musical organization,which like FIMAV, celebrated its25th birthday when this recording was made.Augmenting the five-piece DangereuxZhoms with additional horns and strings,ensures that both suites emphatically balanceon the edge between improvised and notatedsounds, as well as extrapolating timbres thatadd a tincture of rock’s rhythmic muscle,vocalist Joane Hétu’s Dadaesque intonation,plus crackles, hisses and LPs’ music fromMartin Tétreault’s turntables.Consisting of multiple jump-cut variations,contrasts and connections characterizeboth suites. Expressively tonal and unfussy,Derome’s themes suggest folk songs and TinPan Alley ditties. Yet he constantly undercutslyricism with asides and interpolations suchas his own jutting alto saxophone phrasing,gutbucket echoes from trombonist Tom Walsh,plus whining frails and strident string-snappingfrom guitarist Bernard Falaise. Maintainingthe compositions’ equilibrium, despite altissimodisruptions and tutti explosions wherethe players wallow in every sort of abrasiveshriek, are Guillaume Dostaler’s poundingpiano syncopation and the measured ruffs andback beat of drummer Pierre Tanguay.Pastiches as well as interludes, Derome’scompositions are memorable for architecturalsoundness, but arranged inimitably so thattheir most satisfying interpretation come fromthis band.Ken WaxmanConcert Notes: Jean Derome et les DangereuxZhoms +7 play at the Music Gallery onSeptember 9 and at the Guelph Jazz Festival AMOROSONew & UsedCDs Vinyl Records DVDs CLASSICAL OPERA JAZZ WORLD BLUES R & B AUDIOPHILEROCK SOUNDTRACK COLLECTABLES We pay top $$$ for your CLASSICAL & JAZZ COLLECTIONS 4 St.Patrick (at Queen near Osgoode station)www.amorosomusic.com416-591-1313 54 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM September 1 - October 7, 2009

September 10.EXTENDEDPLAY – JoëlleLéandreBy Ken WaxmanA masterful anddistinctive soloist,French bassist Joëlle Léandre is versatile inany musical situation. These impressive CDsshowcase her improvisational skills, whileelsewhere the conservatory-trained Parisian isas comfortable with notated music, often performingstudies written for her by composerssuch as John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi.One of the two CDs that make up JoëlleLéandre Live in Israel (Kadima KCR 17www.kadimacollective.com) verifies hersolo skill. This showcase includes exposition,theme variations and finale, without beingconventionally programmatic. Equally stridentand soothing, her string strokes includethick rhythmic scrubs and spiccato patterningthat produce not only initial tones, but alsocorresponding echoes. Lyrical and romanticon one hand, her harsh string sweeping alsoexpands with snaps, taps and banjo-like frailing.Sometimes she vocalizes as she plays,adding another dimension to the performance.Commanding on her own, she inserts herselfinto groups without fissure. In a sextet onthe companion CD featuring Israeli reedists,her triple-stopped advances lock in with thehorns’ contrapuntal key-slipping and trillspraying. Never upsetting balanced reedbites, her sul tasto expansions amplify thecrunching dynamics of pianist Daniel Sarid,while her wood-slapping pulse operates intandem with the flams and bounces of drummerHaggai Fershtman. In trio interactionwith bassist JC Jones and saxophonist StephenHorenstein, she lets the other bassisttime-keep with col legno stops, while shestring-snaps and pumps. Her bel canto warblingnot only adds another texture, but alsojoins in double counterpoint with the saxophonist’srubato tonguing.More reductive, Joëlle Léandre & WilliamParker Live at Dunois (Leo CD LR535 www.leorecords.com) captures a bravurashowcase for Léandre and Manhattan’sWilliam Parker, whose jazz-honed techniquesare as celebrated ashers. Performanceroles are defined:Parker thumps,walks and slaps hisbass in pedal point,while Léandre usesher bow to swirlrococo tincturesthat encompass agitated peaks and valleysof flying spiccato. This isn’t a brawl but anexpression of mutual respect. At points bothcombine strokes as polyphonic textures rappelevery which way. Reaching an intermezzo offloating concussion and friction, the two fuseas if they were playing an eight-stringed bass.Unbroken portamento runs echoing in doublecounterpoint, although each maintains individualidentity.As with the Stone Quartet in Guelph withwhom she performs this month, Léandre hasan affinity for brass and piano players. JoëlleLéandre-George Lewis Transatlantic Visions(RogueArt ROG-0020 www.roguart.com) and Joëlle Léandre & Quentin SirjacqOut of Nowhere(Ambiance MagnétiqueAM184www.actuellecd.com) confirm this.The first is a meetingbetween thebassist and AmericantrombonistMarketPlace: home, restaurant,catering, professional services Lewis, with whom she has worked for decades.Sirjacq is a French pianist she has justbegun to partner. Familiarity and novelty produceequivalently outstanding CDs. Chambermusic-like in its initial delicacy, her duet withthe pianist becomes intense as vibrating bassharmonies encourage Sirjacq to toughen hisoutput. Soon her jagged arpeggios and glissandiare met by metronomic pounding, keyfanning and internalstring plucking fromthe pianist. Anythingbut equal temperament,stoppedsoundboard buzzeson Ruin are joinedby church-bell-likegongs from Sirjacq,as Léandre doublesher sul ponticello bowing, while growlingnonsense syllables. In the penultimate Awakeningher quivering bowing is bisected by aflurry of kinetic key patterns. Finally Closingmates her flamenco-like rubs with his constructionof an edifice of expansive arpeggiosand cascading chording, reintroducing thetheme for musical closure.In contrast to the tentative exposition on“Out of Nowhere”, Léandre and Lewis arefully attuned from the get-go and stay thatway. Announcing herself with a gutturalsnarl, at points she vocalizes alongside herstring strokes. In addition to sweeping glissandiand staccato string-scouring, Léandreyowls as Lewis’ lows gutbucket tones. Inresponse to her sul tasto runs, the trombonistexposes rotund tones and rubato yelps. Ifhe showcases subterranean grace notes frominside his horn, she smacks the strings collegno. Sounding as if they could stretch theirinstruments’ tessitura indefinitely, they reacha climax at the half-way point as glottal stopsfrom Lewis are complemented by pumped September 1 - October 7, 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 55

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volume 25 Issue 8 - May / June 2020
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Volume 25 Issue 6 - March 2020
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Volume 25 Issue 2 - October 2019
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Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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