7 years ago

Volume 16 Issue 6 - March 2011

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  • Toronto
  • April
  • Jazz
  • Faculty
  • Ontario
  • Western
  • Symphony
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  • Orchestra

Mario Romano isa real

Mario Romano isa real estate moguland nifty pianistwho can more thanhold his own withjazz peers. Hisis Mario RomanoQuartet – Valentina(Alma ACS15102 LaBarbera, bass Roberto Occhipintiand drummer Mark Kelso. It opens withLaBarbera driving Night In Tunisia hard andRomano matching his technique and ardour.Standards use his arrangements, sometimestoo predictable, but he comps well and, overall,clearly belongs. On Autumn Leaves elaborate then pungent while his percussiveattack suits Nardis and On Green DolphinStreet. His colleagues are on top form, theFor its fourthalbum, the CanadianJazz Quartet –which has playedFridays since 2006at Quotes on KingSt. West – haschosen a differentdirection. Theresult is a real treat, for those enamouredof Brazilian music and for fans of a stylishgroup whose jazz evolves seamlessly aroundtradition. Brazilian Reflections (CornerstoneCRST CD136 is class all the way, with leader andguitarist Gary Benson adding four originalsLuiz Bonfa. Elegance is the watchwordwith Benson colleagues – vibraphonistFrank Wright, bass Duncan Hopkins anddrummer Don Vickery – in superlative formemploying lilting rhythms as guitar andvibes demonstrate luminous comfort with themelodies. is here of course, butso are lesser-known gems.Bands poweredby Hammond B3couch potatoes frombust. With virtuosoJoey DeFrancesco intown, tenorman-clubowner Cory Weedsin The Many Deeds of Cory Weeds (CellarLive CL011010, a livetrumpeter Chris Davis and Byron Landhamdrumming, a swinging octet of tunes heavywith intense, grooving bass lines. Sessionleader Weeds sounds great, like a 1960s BlueNote tenor saxist, in fact like the composerof two tunes here, Hank Mobley, but withfatter tones. The pace is mostly fast or semi-but DeFrancesco blasts on in incomparablefashion with all the grit and ferocityimprov, spectacular percussion, passionateminutes.Closer to home the combo co-led byMontreal B3 ace Vanessa Rodrigues andToronto tenor Chris Gale has a new nameand a new record. Meet Buckaloose – The270 Sessions (Le Lab Records Joey D powerhouse but it compensates withsubtlety aplenty from keys and horn plustarcourtesy of Mikewarmly soulful,drummer DavideDiRenzo propulsiveon drums on seventracks contributedby band mem-pleasure. Energy levels are high, Rodriguesis more than clever, the versatile Gale varieshis aggression with hefty baritone sax,Something in the Air | Solo SaxesSOLO PERFORMANCES are the truethese skills can be utilized in any situation.Unaccompanied string recitals are as ancientas music itself, but only in the later part ofthe 20th Century did it become common forother instrumentalists to express theirideas singularly. Improvisedmusic accelerated thissaxophone recitals by the likesof Evan Parker and AnthonyBraxton. Today seemingly everysaxophonist records in a solitaryfashion at least once. With thesediscs we note some of the betterrecent performances.Veteran J.D. Parran has mastered mostmembers of the woodwind family since the1970s. On Window Spirits (Mutable 17539-2, the Americansaxophone impeccably, with the last twoparticular standouts. Spearmanon and C80,customary timbres upwards and downwardsKEN WAXMANso that it sounds comfortable and cleanlymelodic, expressing altissimo reed cries asearth-shaking blasts. On the former, constantsmear tones all over the sound surface withthe pulsating lines as balletic as they areelephantine. On the latter, as hisclear-toned melodic extensionsvibrate and rattle distinctively,Parran uses circular breathingto play entire chromatic runs insubterranean burps. Elsewhere,Emotions, a clarinet showpiece,expresses a gamut of moodswith parallel lines vibratingin counterpoint with oneanother, congruent but varied inpitch, tone or rhythm. Balladic at times, thespherical lines become polyphonic, creatingmultiple sonic colours which eventuallyblend with the initial narrative as theexposition loops back to the beginning.Other examples of bravado soloreed expression from another veteran,Ab Baars, plus notable youngerplayers, Jason Robinson from San Diego andLinsey Wellman can be found THERE’S MORE ON THE WEB! In addition to the continuation of KenWaxman’s Something in the Air, you will find an extended version ofBruce Surtees’ Gurrelieder review and more Strings Attached withTerry Robbins’ assessment of orchestral music of Mieczyslaw Karlowiczfeaturing violinist Ilya Kaler and Julia Fischer’s recording of the Mozartworks for violin and orchestra. Andrew Timar provides two additionalreviews, his take on Cache 2009, the Canadian ElectroacousticCommunity’s juried compilation of works by young composers, and animportant new release of previously unrecorded gamelan music fromthe Cirebon tradition of the north coast plains of the island of Java, andRobert Tomas looks at music derived from an analysis of the HIV virusby American scientist/composer Alexandra Pajak. There’s all this andmore at thewholenote.comMarch 1 - April 7, 2011

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