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Volume 16 Issue 4 - December 2010

  • Text
  • December
  • February
  • January
  • Toronto
  • Symphony
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra

– pop, rock, classical

– pop, rock, classical and more. Treehouseexploits fascinating motifs, Lot offers eeriemoments over walking strings, and all thematerial has something to say, propelledwith elegant momentum and hearty rationsof dynamic interplay despite constantlyshifting moods. Alongside the contemplativemelody making there’s passages that cracklewith intellectual energy, Herring anchoringthe tapestry and pulsating where it countsConcert Note: 14-venue tour.A pair of Torontoveterans show howduo recordingsshould be executedand presented onBrian Dickinson TedQuinlan – AroundThe Bend (AddoRecordings AJR004www.briandickinson.ca)ca) and guitarist Quinlan are a classy doubleact who clearly think about every minusculedetail of their craft, delivering superior jazzand an extraordinary rapport that’s neverundermined by abrasive competition – almostone body, four hands. Eight of the 10sicMonk’s Dream and a spin through thelove scene theme from the movie Spartacus.The protagonists say (in the liner notes) thatplaying in twos is scary but liberating, withunique challenges. It’s like an extended conversationbetween two friends and that a duosession is like getting to know someone personallyand musically. Amen to that. Suchprofessed togetherness is illuminated here totelling effect, with labyrinthine ideas tossedback and forth whatever the context. It’s afaultless performance, highlights includingthe opening title piece, the bright balladPastiche, the chirpy Rockin’ At The Hillsideand Limbo.and counterpointwhile tunes likethe klezmer-styledGottingen andthe note-heavyRevenge celebratethe fusion of differingstyles andcultures. Only preference erence for electric ratherthan acoustic bass jars proceedings.Three other Canadian discs caught myear this month. Canefire’s Pandemoniumjazz featuring steel pans, The Jive BombersEXTENDED PLAYSomething in the Airlong been a holiday gift favourite. But sophisticatedmusic fans won’t settle for slappedorganized boxes of improvised music whichshould impress any aware music listener.Anthony Braxton/Gerry Hemingway’sOld Dogs (ModeAvant 9/12www.moderecords.com) for instanceis another instalmentin the ongoingrecorded history feature him and percussionist Hemingway,an integral part of the reedist’s bands from1983 to 1994, but who has rarely playedwith him since that time. Each 60-minuteinventive Invention was recorded in realtime without edits or alternate takes.Extrasensory cooperation is demonstrated asPOT POURRIJump (www.thejivebombers.ca) has a gaggleof Toronto stars blasting their way throughbassist Alain Caron is at his funkiest on thealaincaron.com).Braxton moves among seven saxophones andHemingway a percussion collection. ShouldBraxton’s soprano saxophone obbligato turnstaccato and superfast, Hemingway respondsmarimba pops. If subterranean contrabasssaxophone tongue stops and watery glottalpunctuation raucously sound, then abrasiveruffs on ride cymbals and drum rims producenearly identical timbres. Hemingway’spercussion command is such that in aheartbeat he can produced a tone midwaybetween that of a dumbeck and a set of tincans to contrast with the reedist’s irregularinto play using press rolls and ruffs to replicatefoot-tapping swing that complementsBraxton’s rare forays into masterful, storytellingruns on tenor saxophone.boxed sets by Peter Brötzmann’s ChicagoTentet +1, the Rivière Composers’ Pool andthe Sun Ra Arkestra can be found in thewww.thewholenote.com.—Ken WaxmanMatt Herskowitzis an imaginativeartist whose tastesspill over conventionalboundaries,as Andre Previnhave demonstrated.His Jerusalem Trilogy y(JustinTimeJUSTJUST239-2 www.justin-time.com) hauls worldinto the jazz orbit. The leader calls it 21stcenturychamber jazz. It’s a risky notion, butthe Herskowitz trio plus violinist Lara St.and a string quartet on one track (with somethrough-composed music) make the ideaJerusalem SuiteSpeak EasyCadenceIndependent CD-3(www.cadence-unplugged.com)How is it thatfour men with noinstruments playtrumpet and snareso well? Is it notenough that thebang-on vocals andsupremely crafted acapella arrangementsand retro-stylings transport us nostalgicallyback to that era so cleverly reproduced onSeriously, I’m thinking of asking theseguys (who, by the way, offer school workshops)to teach our kids how to play aninstrument without having to shell out thedough to purchase one! It’s easy to seewhy they have performed alongside Bobbycouple of Junos and playing sold out concerthalls across the land.This album mixes new interpretationsof classic Cole Porter, Van Heusen/Cahn,Lerner/Loewe with some great original tunesand even innovative arrangements of Jonisongs up their sleeves but their keen sense ofhumour and rollicking fun remind me a lotof his good-time musical characterizations.History of the RatPackas Toward an understanding of be-bop cool.—Dianne Wells74 thewholenote.comDecember 1, 2010 - February 7, 2011

Along the Way – Duo Pipa & ViolinLiu Fang; Malcolm GoldsteinPhilmultic PMPCD809(www.philmultic.com)various traditions. formedtogether in 2003 and their years ofmutual respect and musical understanding isaudible on this album. They seem to be aimingto create 15 very different nature-referencedsoundscapes in their improvisations.is dramatic, while on others it ranges fromfurious to quiet and silent, to sections soundingdisputatious, furious, even bellicose.The dominant texture however is an eloquentmusical dialogue with occasional virtuosoviolin would not be out of place in a Euro-this is sophisticated, richly layered music.—Andrew Timaringin around the seven-minute mark and extendedsoloing from piano player JonathanBatiste, drummer Herlin Riley and guitaristever and the interplay between the musiciansAnyone who likes their tunes in nice, neatA-A-B-A packages should probably hitchtheir wagon to some other horse, but if youwant to hear veteran performers giving freerein to their creativity, saddle up and ride.—Cathy RichesThis double al-appears to be a minitrend: skilled performersof disparateinstruments andmusic genres whoonce never wouldhave thought ofsharing the same stage, coming together incollaborative un-scored improvisation.Katrina Ballads Ted Hearnean American born composer and violinist,specialising in free improvisation. Active inNew Amsterdam Records NWA011(www.katrinaballads.com)the new music scene since the early 1960s, Silver Ponyhe has developed a totally individual and originalapproach to violin playing, one which Blue Note 509996 29752 2 3Cassandra Wilson China visit the subjectof modern op-Goldstein’s approach is not to make the violin the latest in a longeras, why not 2005’sbut to explore making music on it fromscratch. Far from being a naïf however, hisapproach is solidly rooted in the 20th centuryavant-garde music mainstream and also inEastern European violin playing traditions.line of releases inthe varied oeuvreof singer Cassan--Hurricane Katrina,which nearly de-leans?That’s whatcomposer Ted Hearne e has done with this disc made me feelto crossing boundaries. Having obtaineda little like a kid onChristmas morning, butthiswasn’tthis exact-singers and 11 musicians, including horn andstring ensembles and a rock rhythm section.a solid foundation on her plucked lute-like miereinstrument at the Shanghai Conservatory forworld and released 10 albums. In addition toher repertoire of Chinese traditional musicLiu Fang has also embraced the culture ofher adopted homeland. Her premieres ofworks by Canadian composers including R.-Steel” projects in which she collaborateswith leading non-Chinese musicians fromrock and pop tunes and, along with her alwaysinnovative band mates, reworks theminto atmospheric beauties. Her version ofHarvest Moon from the Gram-rontoguitar alchemist Kevin Breit, being alike the funky Forty Days and Forty Nightsand Watch the Sunrise, a duet with JohnLegend – what dominate the album are theat the Piccolo Spoleto Festival,Katrina Ballads is a mature work that beliesthe libretto consists of vocalized versions ofrangementswhich adapt variants of notated,jazz, and pop musics to the program.There are many standouts, includingHerne’s zippy and jivey repetition of GeorgeSamantha Chang, fluteSaturday, April 16, 2011 8PMKOERNER HALL at The Royal Conservatoryin the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning273 Bloor Street West, Toronto“A young and resourceful artist with a strongpersonal commitment to the flute.” -The WholeNoteand FriendsMark Camilleri piano Ellen Meyer pianoConrad Chow violin Christopher Lee fluteWorks by Bolling, Borne, Hugues, Tan, and moreTickets www.rcmusic.ca 416.408.0208www.samanthaflute.comDecember 1, 2010 - February 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 75

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