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Volume 16 Issue 2 - October 2010

  • Text
  • Choir
  • Toronto
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and Billy Strayhorn,Dick

and Billy Strayhorn,Dick Wellstood andDick Hyman alldemonstrated the artof duet playing.Add to the listthe team of Charlapand Rosnes. This isingby these two outstanding pianists. It is asensitive, beautifully played, beautifully recordedset of superior compositions whichdemonstrate just how well this husband andwife team blend their talents with an intuitiveunderstanding of each other.There is one original by Rosnes, The SarosCycle and the eight additional tracks includethe seldom heard Little Glory by GerryMulligan, Inner Urge by Joe Henderson,Double Rainbow by Antonio Carlos Jobimand Howard Dietz, and the Arthur Schwartzstandard Dancing In The Dark.Musical magic happened when this albumwas recorded December 27-29, 2009 at theKaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, Newlessand it is to be hoped that it will be onlycollaboration.—Jim Gallowayfans with its beat, and jazzers with its supplesophistication. Intelligent jazz-rock, themusic is driven by drummer Mathias Koch’sbackbeat and illuminated by rough-hewntwangs and distorted snaps and echoes fromguitarists Michael Bruckner-Weinhuber andBurkhard Stangl plus trumpeter Thomasingand extending Blake’s 18th Century visionswith modernistic, but not alienatingsounds is a momentous achievement.Loeschel, Minton and the others should belustily applauded.—Ken WaxmanDon’t Hold Your BreathGary GrantIndependent GG-2010www.garygrantmusic.comYou may not be familiar with his name,but you’ve heard him on a host of recordingswith, for example, Barbara Streisand,Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Frank Sinatraand Natalie Cole and movie and TV soundtracks such as First Wives Club, Eraser, ForrestGump, Grumpier Old Men II, The Simpsonsand Tales From the Crypt, to name only a few. compositions is his second album under hisown name and it’s agood one.I must confessthat when I see aprogramme of alloriginal compositionsit sometimesraises a little redstancethe compositions are interesting, fullof imagination and beautifully played. Hehas with him an assortment of hugely talentedmusicians including Dan Higgins,alto and tenor saxophones, Vinnie Colaiuta,Wayne Bergeron, trumpet, Brian Bromberg,bass and Johnny Friday, drums. release will be an addition to your collectionwhich will stand up to repeated listening.There is an informative booklet describingeach track. One of my favourites is abeautiful ballad by pianist Wally Minko, IStill Hear Youplaying, but there is plenty of high energyplaying throughout the album as in Get ItStraight and American Native.“Don’t Hold Your Breath” can be purchasedonline at CDBaby.—Jim GallowaySongs of InnocenceHannes LoeschelCol Legno WWW 1CD 20903www.col-legno.comBritish mysticalpoet William Blake’s1794 cycle Songs ofInnocence and Experiencehas inspiredmany composersincludingBenjamin Brittenand Ralph VaughanWilliams. Yet this treatment of the unconventionalpoet’s masterwork is notable formore than full-color illustrations for eachof the 18 songs included in the session’s theand ever changing arrangements here wereistHannes Loeschel, and performed by himplus an Austrian combo of guitars, electricpianos, bass, drums and trumpet.Loeschel’s compositions echo his familiaritywith Continental jazz, improv, notated andtheatre music. How then does he retain theintrinsic English nature of Blake’s work? Byhaving the verses sung by British vocalist PhilMinton. Minton, whose usual performancesinvolve wordless vocalese of yowls, retchesand cries, rises to the occasion. His parlandoligiousbeliefs, while his lilting and passionatemusicality makes it appear as if singing thepoet’s words is an everyday occurrence.Meanwhile the highly syncopated andheavily rhythmic backing could impress popKelly Jefferson is aistand cements hisreputation onKelly JeffersonQuartet “NextExit” (Cellar LiveCL033110 www.cellarlive.com), abracing eight-track outing. Add to his forcefulleadership pianist David Braid (who alsotackles Fender Rhodes and synths), bassMarc Rogers and drummer Mark McLeanand it’s a truly gifted combo. Group cohesionmay be showcased and Jefferson’s relentlessdrive tempered by sleek tones but hisadroit negotiation of the labyrinthine complexityof much of this music is admirable -creative title piece, on which Braid’s keyboardwork also excels. There’s crafted unisonplaying, special horn effects and muchsophisticated jazz of emotional depth. Unconditional’sattractive lines are almost romanticbut on the ensuing Give Away, TakeAway there’s daunting time shifts plus breez-a thick harmonic palette. Jefferson’s playingon his ballad Glass is splendid. The pulseteam is strong, notably on upbeat romps.It’s Our JazzGEOFF CHAPMAN(Jefferson leaves for Thailand and SouthOne-time Torontonian Peter Van Huffel, whotoured his band through Canada this summer,now performs in Berlin after a NewYork stint. Pity if you missed him - this10 tunes on Peter Van Huffel Quartet “Likethe Rusted Key” (Fresh Sound/New TalentFSNT361 www.petervanhuffel.com) andthey’re an invigorating blast of originalitygularvoice. The ingenious material, most-colleagues – American pianist Jesse Stacken,Canadian bassist Miles Perkin and Swissdrummer Samuel Rohrer – so that at timesit sounds like four soloists in action. Pugnaciousopener Drift precedes the dark, disquietingTangent, while other tracks buildand release tension,create a multihuedsonic tapestryand properly judgeclimactic accents –all evident on Enghavevej.Threepieces with Beastin the title are free66 thewholenote.comOctober 1 - November 7, 2010

jazz assaults, while elsewhere Van Huffel’smercurial, vibrant tones excite. Havens ofcalm exist but even on Atonement the musicis charged with extreme shifts of mood andvelocity.Twenty years agojazzman Bill Kingwas big on singingand he’s returned toit with the latest releasefrom his enter-Rockit88 Band. “SweetSugar Cane” (7 Arts7 Arts 0020 www.reverbnation.com/rockit-88band) is a dozen-track session mindful ofthe intimate relationship between jazz andblues, with the heavy lifting done by King’spiano and organ and by Neil Chapman’s guitar.Also aboard are violinist Anne Lindsay,bass Lionel Williams, drummer Jim Cassonand vocalists; the big surprise on thissounds-of-the-south tribute is that the songsare original - eight by King, Chapman therest. The groove is heavy and heady, no harmonicclutter or too-dense charts, whilepassionate lyrics with contemporary cloutpredominate, King taking singing and com-ent,sensuous titler, the gospel-drenched ICan’t Live Without You, Independence Dayand the Delta blues blast Mississippi Grind.Group recordingsare frequently oneoffs,but often betterare units that staytogether, like pianistSteve Koven’s teamthat’s been an itemfor almost two decades.Experience iswell demonstrated on the 10 tracks of SteveKoven Trio “Alone Together” (Bungalow RecordsSKT008 www.stevekoven.com). Sevenare standards, with each band member – theleader plus imaginative bassist Rob Cluttonand drummer Anthony Michelli – contributingan original. The players weave withease and precision through material robustand delicate, the pianist’s motifs refreshingthe title tune on a relaxed, intimate session.There’s space for Clutton’s impressive bass,while Koven is a cooler version of JackieTerrasson on classics like Indiana and Ain’tMisbehavin’ Bye ByeBlackbird. Also pleasing is Clutton’s catchySnowy Maple.(The CD release is Nov.6 at Crescent SchoolPianist Richard Whiteman is a familiar facearound town, always versatile and resourceful.Adding the skills of bassist Brandi Disterheftand drummer Sly Juhas works wellon Richard Whiteman Trio “Slow Night”(Tapas RecordsTPRD003 www.richardwhiteman.com). The session’s11 tunes include vintagejazz and songbookitems as wellas two Whitemantracks, the medium-wrought single note runs and the perky LushOLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLESJays. Overall the music’s tethered by tootight a rein despite the leader’s adroit waywith ballads and bop. There’s nicely-judgeddetail on Love For Sale, a tasteful NightMist Blues and a wistfully contemplative TheNight Has A Thousand Eyes.(Whiteman is at Gate 403 with vocalistShannon Gunn Oct. 6 and plays everyFriday at The Rex with the HogtownFine Old Recordings Re-ReleasedThe late Carlos Kleiber was one of the mostesteemed and enigmatic conductors duringthe last quarter of the last century. He wasan uncompromising perfectionist who demandedaccuracy in even the smallest detailsthat might have passed unnoticed byothers. Every one of his recordings bearswitness to his preoccupation with perfection.He worked only when he needed money, demandedand was given extra rehearsal time,and like his father, the illustrious Erich, waseasily offended and would walk out of costlyrecording sessions. Not surprising thenthat he made comparatively few recordings.It was DG that issued more of his performancesthan any other label and each andevery one remains a top choice in a crowdedmarket.To celebrate his80th anniversary DGhas issued two sets,a complete collectionof CDs and apackage of his completeUnitel videos.The CD set(4778826, 12 CDs)contains Beethoven’s Fifth and Seventh,Schubert’s Third and Eighth, and Brahms’Fourth Symphony all with The Vienna Philharmonic.The remarkable perfection ofthese blazing performances has never beenbettered. I recall listening with a colleagueto the LP of the Brahms Fourth when it wasone wrong note, one wrong entry. There arealso four complete operas: Die Fledermaus,La Traviata, Tristan und Isolde, and DerFreischutz. Featured singers include HermannPrey, Lucia Popp, Rene Kollo, JuliaVarady and Ivan Rebroff (Fledermaus); IlenaCotrubas, Domingo and Milnes (Traviata);Kollo, Kurt Moll, Margaret Price, Fischer-Dieskau, and Anton Dermota (Tristan); PeterSchreier, Gundula Janowitz, and Theo Adam(Freischutz). These classic versions, verywell reviewed at the time, retain their freshnessand each would be a prime choice.BRUCE SURTEESThe Kleibervideos (Unitel0734605, 10 DVDs)have the memorableNew Year Concertsfrom 1989 and 1992,with the ViennaPhilharmonic playingin the Musikvereinto an elegantaudience and,in fact, to the worldby satellite. Always a must see, these twowere especially important as they had Klei-Concertgebouw in Amsterdam in front oftheir orchestra in two Beethoven Symphonies,the Fourth and the Seventh, and thenback to Vienna for the Mozart 36 and theBrahms Second with the Philharmonic. InMunich he leads the Bavarian State Orchestrain the Coriolan Overture, Mozart 33, andthe Brahms Fourth. Moving into the NationalTheatre in Munich there is an outstandingproduction of Der Rosenkavalier staged anddirected by Otto Schenk. Heard and seen areGwyneth Jones, Manfred Jungwirth, BrigitteOctober 1 - November 7, 2010 thewholenote.com 67

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
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Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
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