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Volume 16 Issue 9 - June 2011

  • Text
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
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  • Concerts
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  • Trio

—Ori DaganAt Somewhere

—Ori DaganAt Somewhere ThereEvan Parker; Wes Neal; Joe SorbaraBarnyard Records BR0321(www.barnyardrecords.com) of condescension,veteran British tenorsaxophonist EvanParker allies hisskills with the talentsof Torontoniansand drummer Joe-live at local performance space SomewhereThere, rhythms, pitches and tones are mixed,matched, mulched and multiplied with a timbralblend that makes it seems as if the trioBalancing methodical plucks and brawnystrums with a hint of sul tasto extensions,Neal marshals his strings to create an un-Sorbara pops, plucks, strikes and bouncesrhythms on the sides and tops of his drumsbell pings, rattling chains and, more frequently,the harsh application of a drum stickMeanwhile Parker, who has been involvedin similar ad-hoc improvising since--or propel the performance in unexpectedmaster of cooperation not dominance, evenhis intervals of nearly superhuman circularbreathing are not challenges but an invitationhis occasional pan-tonal bent notes andnephritic explosions have become merely oneelement in this group’s sonic picture, separatebut equal to the bassist’s double stopping—Ken WaxmanIt’s Our JazzGEOFF CHAPMANabout succeeds, however, with ringing tonescleanly struck, a passion for lyrical melodyminutes – which exercise a quartet roundedWillowbrookhas a bold core with good piano comping,Secret Sun’s forceful, unusual theme isrebellions, while Rocket Fuel when Hilden’s tough lines assault snakymoments with expert idea development,generating a powerful sense of collectiveJune 14 2008 mournfullyoriginal content andelegant executionwhile examiningdifferent approachesis Reg SchwagerTrio – Chromology(Rant Records 1039www.regschwager.com)eight of the 11 songs and works comfortablywith bass Jon Maharaj and drummer MichelA-now recorded an 11-track studio version thatswings with both simplicity andDave Young Quintet –Aspects Of Oscar (Modica MusicMM0111 www.daveyoung.ca)features on six Peterson tunes andBotos (piano), Kevin Turcotte(trumpet), Reg Schwager (guitar)classic Wheatland showcasesauthoritative bass propulsion andrelentlessly appealing playing bybandsmen before Broadway stan-ballad (When Summer Comes)given poignant treatment, as wereSmile and Bernstein’sSomewhere. The legend’s bouncytune Cake Walk Just Friends roars, but perhapsthe best jazz comes with OP’srare excursion into the classicalworld, his Bach Suite (recordedFugue movements plus Bach’s Blues.to know how to keep listeners interestedhowever hard she pushes the boundaries ofNancy Walker – New Hieroglyphics (IndieNW 2011–01 www.nancywalkerjazz.com) aresome amazingly seem ripe forMehndipulses with life, drummer Ethanbass Kieran Overs a big-tonedmainstay and guitarist TedQuinlan always ready to wailor deliver strong counterpointto the pianist’s delightful ideas,– later he brings new levels ofintensity to Federico. The titlepiece (and others) exploit elementsof musical theory butyou don’t need to drown insemantics to enjoy the off-kilterkeyboard fancies plus a vigorousImprint has bravura guitarand expansive imagination,Companion Moon has manymemorable moments while withTake You There it’s back to thein action on Mikko Hilden Group – NovaScotia (Addo AJR007 www.addorecords.com),Hogtown-based guitarist, one of manySelf-taught Ottawapianist Peter Hum islikely more known inthe jazz communityfor his prodigiousblogging but clearlyhas wordless talenttoo, as attested byhis debut releasePeter Hum Quintet – ABoy’s Journey(PJH001 www.peterhum.com)other Ottawa-born bandsmen – tenor saxmanKenji Omae, alto and soprano Nathanthrough ten neat, original tunes securein his players’ long-established musicalapparent comfort level seems complacent,with tempos sedate and drive and urgencywith rugged tenor and alto slither easy todifferentiate, and this aids interesting trackslike Take The High Road, Big Lou andSojourner’s Truth, Hum showing electricwith the energized Unagi and the cleverlystructured closer Three Wishes with its-disc Solo declaring it as good an entry inthe crowded keyboard stakes as any recentlyexperienced, with technical prowess,54 thewholenote.comJune 1 – July 7, 2011

mesmerizing touchand effortlesslyimaginative ap-commissioned himto compose musicbased on the work ofDutch graphic artistChris Donnelly –Metamorphosis (Alma ACD32212 www.chrisdonnellymusic.com)-There are ten movements, with the musicworking as a concert with minimal interrup-zlingYou enter the fountain, the invigoratingIn the chimera of notes, the percussive Youhear the voice and the bustling Saying youare the azure. *The Dixie DemonsFossil Fuel won theout Jeff Healey’s Last Call and the VicDickenson–Jim Galloway Quintet’s Live InToronto are co-leaders Dan Douglas (trombone)specializes in classic and traditional jazz, onSomething in the Air | Big Band ReduxMband era, improvising musiciansstill organize large ensembles totake advantage of its wider scope and rangearrangements possible with large bands asthese sessions demonstrate, that each soundscompletely unique while maintaining theOver nearly 71 minutes on TotallyGone (Rai Trade RTP J0021www.italianinstabileorchestra.com), theall-star aggregation of 17 of thecountry’s most accomplishedplayers who make up theItalian Instabile Orchestra demonstrate the combination oftechnical skills and rambunctiousgood spirits that has keptUnsurprisingly the climatic track,Ciao Baby, I’m Totally Gone/It Had to beYou, is a case-in-point instance of the band’sdissonance from squeaky spiccato stringsand snoring brass slurs on one hand withsibilant, staccato section work that couldhave migrated from Fletcher Henderson’sclearest when a sequence of pure air forcedfrom Sebi Tramontana’s trombone turnsto plunger polyrhythm as he’s backed byKEN WAXMANharmonized reeds and strings, and ends withhim vocalizing the second half of the titlebacked by Fabrizio Puglisi’s key-clippingpiano and Gianluigi Trovesi’s undulatingexpressed on No Visa, a jazzy hoedownfrom violinist Emanuele Parrini, funkytenor saxophone vamping from DanieleThis doesn’t mean that compositionalseriousness isn’t displayed alongside theGargantella, for instance is asHere closely-voiced and massedhorns and strings move adagiobeneath strained brass notes anda snorting, altissimo showcaseis completed by polished, string movementsgiven shape by the clattering cymbals andwood block pops of percussionists VincenzoFor an indication of how a 12-pieceMontreal big band led by Pierre Labbé,Pierre Favre’s 10-piece Swiss ensemble andBig Band provide further contemporarytakes on the big band sound, see the magazine’swebsite: www.thewholenote.comAlways find more reviews online at thewholenote.comPOT POURRIDe la nuit au lever du jourAzam AliTerrestrial Lane Records 013111(www.azamalimusic.com) shouldn’t be surprisingthat a collectionof lullabies isn’t aterribly upbeat al-also has an unexpectedsolemnitydaycute little bedtime ditties, at least not toof Middle Eastern cultures, plus a few ofher own compositions, and sings them inUnless you understand these languages (orthe French the lyrics are translated into inthe liner notes), you’re free to enjoy thesesongs from a purely musical standpointand her comfort with the quarter-tone arealso apparent in some of her compositions,such as Tendresse, written for her son, andthe Kurdish Lai Laimusicians from each of the regions to accompanyher on traditional instruments, suchas oud and saz, as well as the contempor-—Cathy RichesDanse des BresloquesFanfare Pour PourMonsieur Fauteux m’attendez-vous?MFMV? 18 (www.actuellecd.com) Listen, laughand dance to theThis is happy musicfrom an eclecticof 20 performers well versed in musicalidiosyncrasy, style, wit, and technicalknow-how (not to forget a superb taste instyles range from French waltzes to jazzto Klezmer-like tunes to tango and sambabeats to everything in between played ontrumpets, saxophones, clarinets, guitars,banjo, accordions, violins, percussion,euphonium, and musical saw, plus vocalUnder the direction of Jean Derome andNemo Venba, the players are a smorgasbordJune 1 – July 7, 2011 thewholenote.com 55

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