5 years ago

Volume 17 Issue 1 - September 2011

  • Text
  • September
  • Jazz
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Concerts
  • Orchestra
  • Symphony
  • Gould
  • Arts
  • Musical

created in the days of

created in the days of bulky tape recordersand thick coaxial cables.Honouring Józef Patkowski (1929-2005),co-founder of the Polish Radio ExperimentalStudio (PRES) in 1957 and its director for28 years, the original recordings revisitthe musical freedom offered by PRES duringthose Cold War years. For instanceKrzysztof Penderecki’s Psalmusvowels and consonants initially created bythe bel canto gurgles and quivering yodelsof male and female singers. John Tilbury’scontemporary piano version is more chromatic,with vibrating and strumming stringsresonating on top of basso keyboard rumbles.After the tune reaches satisfactory linearity,he shatters the mood by shrilling a lifeguard’swhistle.recording of his Dixi with cellist MikolajPalosz’s reimagining of it four decades later.Originally a tape collage, the performanceswells to forte as dissonant, processed delaysalmost visually pulsate then dissolves ingradually less audible undulations. Takingan opposite approach, Palosz’s variant mixesstrident, spiccato string squeaks at differenttempos, reaching raucous volume that soundas if the strings are being splintered as heplays and concluding with string poppingfading into dissolving shrills.Symphony. Here Tilbury, Palosz, violinistpercussionist Eddie Prévost combine to coalescestretched string glissandi, snare ratchetingand cymbal clangs plus faux-romanticpiano chording into an ever-shifting performance,which like the Polish composer’swork is both aleatory and multiphonic.—Ken WaxmanJAZZ & IMPROVISEDLive at Grossman’sJeff Healey BandConvexe ERN 28002(! WottaScorcher. Thattime-honoured Brittabloid newspaperheadline neatly sumsup the inaugural releaseof the Convexeof unreleased Healeyband CDs and DVDs culled from audio andvideo archives. With power trio regulars JoeRockman on bass, drummer Tom Stephenplus on many cuts guitarist Pat Rush, theguitar and voice — establishes a blisteringpace from the start, storming through AlvinI’m Going Home and maintaining thepace with Killing Floor, one of two Howlin’Wolf classics that Healey jokes are just partof “another session of sonic torture!”Chinatown venue Grossman’s has equallyvenerable status, one reason its hosting theSunday jam sessions spawned the Healeyband in 1985.Today its blues and rock Mecca rep hasfaded, but this outing 17 years ago — oneshared with local rockers The Phantoms —is fully energized though the crowd seemsthin. The session was actually a rehearsalfor Healey’s fourth studio album “CoverTo Cover.”The Albert King hit As The Years GoPassing By shows Healey’s skills at theirbest, raw voice effortlessly locked onto thebeat then a launch of a typically aching soloon guitar — once again you’re reminded ofhow comfortable he is in blues, rock andjazz, resulting in a public appeal that wasunquenchable until his death in 2008.Vintage jukebox hit Ain’t That Just LikeA Woman gets thrusting treatment, followedmelancholic Yer Blues with passionateHealey vocal and general ensemble furysetting the mood ablaze and then it’s backto the Wolf for Who’s Been Talking withMichael Pickett’s vigorous harmonica.Robert Johnson’s Crossroads has plentyof jump, as does Elmore James’ Dust MyBroom, this chestnut all urgent wailing,pleading crescendos and bouncing beat.Then, unpredictably, comes a smartly doneextended encore with Dylan’s All Along TheWatchtower, more searing guitar work, rocklyrics and realization that a memorable hour—Geoff Chapman1910Les Doigts de l’HommeAlma ACD61412(’Homme — guitaristsOlivierKikteff, YannickAlcocer, and Benoit“Binouche” Convert,and acoustic bassistTanguy Blum — isan amazing Frenchband whose music is now available locallythanks to Alma records. Florid guitar lines,interesting solos, a great groove, and tightensemble playing means these gentlemencould even make a C major scale sound inspirationalif asked to do so!Django Reinhardt was born in 1910, thusthe name of this tribute CD. The band coversa number of the guitar legend’s tunes likeMinor Swing, interspersed with some classicnumbers like Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies, andoriginals by band member Kikteff. Eachtrack is a work of aural art. The upbeat coverof the Kern/Hammerstein song Ol’ ManRiver is a surprising success with its punchyshots and zippy tempo. Reinhardt’s Swing48 features Kikteff’s technical wizardry andConvert’s contrasting lush tonal quality intheir solo work. The chromatic melody linesof Kikteff’s Niglo 1 Waltz are reminiscent ofFrench musette accordion music, one of thetrack is a nice closing touch.The liner notes describe the band’s highregard of Django’s music. “He is a perpetualsource of inspiration and we are grateful thathis music has made its way into our livestoday.” And this exactly how I feel about—Tiina KiikMiles Davis – Live at Montreux 1973–1991Miles DavisEagle Eye Media EE391949The pleasingshock of seeing jazzgenius Miles Davisup close and personalat Montreuxin 1973 in strikingcolour — lip-lickingin splendid whitejacket, huge Afro,big shades, glittering vest, blue cravat—is matched by the misery of seeing him 18years later on the same Swiss stage — frail,old, downcast, positively drab in demeanourwith playing to match.All of which makes this DVD, drawn fromthe archives that generated a 20-CD releasein 2002, a valuable document indeed. Onthe 10 long tracks no line-up is the same, noline-up featured ever recorded in a studio,there’s no remixing, no editing,Mind you, the lead-up is odd. With roadieson stage there’s around two minutes ofsquawk. A minute later staccato trumpetthere may be a band at work. All is forgottenon soprano sax and Al Foster drumming,rumbles into action for a very lengthy improvon Ife, Miles conjuring sounds withhorn and wah-wah pedal from his recentgroundbreaking offerings on seminal albums“Bitches Brew” and “In A Silent Way,” usingnods and hand signs to instruct sidemen,dabbling on Yamaha organ and creatingethereal magic over a four-note bass riff.It’s good, enhanced by the superb, superiorvisual clarity that easily captures thesweat on the master’s face. Davis retiredfor six years in 1975 through ill-health butreturned to Montreux in 1984 dressed in asort of white sailor suit with Bob Berg onon Speak: That’s What Happened. 1985 hadsimilar personnel save for stiff-armed VinceWilburn, Davis’ nephew, on drums, quickly64 thewholenote.comSeptember 1–October 7, 2011

sax smoothie David Sanborn actually blowinghard and young guitarist Robben Fordthrashing blue notes on Jean-Pierre as themaster delivered clean, quick lines. The nextyear’s Heavy Metal Prelude was a tediousvehicle for percussionist Marilyn Mazur butalto Kenny Garrett was there and in 1989for a potent big bass punch courtesy of FoleyMcCreary and tenor Rick Margitza on Jo Jo.1990’s Hannibal had fetching, understatedDavis and raging Garrett.The gloomy 1991 takes three monthsbefore Davis’ death originated in “SketchesOf Spain” (The Pan Piper, Solea ) withover-packed stage and music collapsing intowhose constant was change and whose indeliblemark will forever be clear on bop, cooljazz, modal jazz, electric jazz, funk and jazzfusion. The disc, however, is a must-have.—Geoff ChapmanIt’s Our JazzGEOFF CHAPMANWelcome back Jane Fair andRosemary Galloway, last heardtogether nine years ago. Theirnew one — Jane Fair Rosemary GallowayQuintet – Playin’ Jane (—has ninebriskly-pacedGalloway, fourby Fair) artfullyexecuted alongsideAllemano, pianistNancy Walkerand drummer NickFraser. Fair, a rarecommodity onrecord, is adept onsoprano and tenorsetting the moodon her spirited titletrack opener, aharbinger of bright,unusual piecespropelled by resonant nt Galloway bass andlively drums. Highlighted throughout areWalker’s thrusting solos and comping aswell as Allemano’s impassioned avant gardenotions that complement her comrades’ bopinclinations. The Thelonious Monk-inspiredGreen Roofs features intricate exchangesand potent playing by soprano and trumpet,while Circles And Lines initially echoes hisclassic Misterioso before segueing into minorblues. Elsewhere, expect the unexpected onToronto-based talent.The Heavyweights Brass Band – Don’t BringMe Down ( debut disc deserves the extensiveair time it’s garnered this summer. Afterall, who can resist a contemporary groupshowcasing a sousaphone, courtesy of RobTeehan, especially if it’s not just occupyingrhythmic roles? Here’s 13 tracks, sixmostly upbeat originals alternating withMichael Jackson, Beyonce, and Stratford’sTrombonist Chris Butcher, trumpeter JonChallenor and saxman Paul Metcalfe wailto great effect over tough, battering drumstight, simple emphatic riffs abound anddespite unvarying structures, the entirelyunnecessary Cuban rapper and soulful bluessinger (and bandsmen vocals) this is a mostentertaining outing that updates vintage NewOrleans marching combos.Quebec pianistFrançois Bourassahas enjoyed a stellarthree-decadecareer yet his veteranteam alwaysplays with youthfulurgency, as youquickly gatherfrom Isolacut on FrançoisBourassa Quartet –Idiosyncrasie(Effendi’sone of the leader’sseven (of eight)compositions that showcases slick unisonever-churning bassist Guy Boisvert andstimulating drummer Philippe Melanson,followed by the long, mysteriously moodyHaiku-Darmstadt that offers clipped phrasing,seductive piano-sax dialogue and choppyodd-meter beat. Then comes a three-partsuite, among which the stirring Pressiertbests elegant balladry with the foursomeconsumed by focused urgency. The sessionguarantees both pleasure and curiosity —witness the closing Chant Du P’tit Gny.Julia Cleveland, who studied jazz atMohawk College after classical percussion atU of T, is Hogtown’s heir to a new-ishtradition of female driving drummers suchas Cindy Blackman and Susie Ibarra. Herdebut jazz record is the melodious JuliaCleveland 5uintet – Tumble, Stumble (, which alsoheadlines saxist Kelly Jefferson, bass RossMacIntyre, pianist Adrian Farrugia and11 tunes and charts are by Cleveland, whomore than holds her own in this wellintegratedgroup. Farrugia often steals thelimelight with smart, sometimes lavishstatements, particularly effective on electricwhich underpins everything from the chirpytitle tune to the elegiac Obbink. Malone iscool and clever, Jefferson powerfullyinventive. Going Back is a tribute to latebandleader Dave McMurdo, whotaught at Mohawk.Bernie Senenskyhas long been a majorplayer on theCanadian jazz scenebut somehow remainsundervalued,which is outrageous— he’s alwaysa fount of freshideas, an assured performer with incredibletechnique who honours jazz tradition. Thuson Senensky-Perla-Riley – Invitation (P MRecords PMR-033 thepianist demonstrates his mastery of melodic,harmonic and improvisational possibilities,starting with two of his own — the hard-chargingCome To Me and a potent Blues ForE.J. Six standards adorn this get-togetherwith bassist Gene Perla and drummer BenRiley, with notably subtle Senensky approachesto Old Folks and Young AndFoolish. Perla scores with his stylish Bill’sWaltz and the leader closes with a rousingBud Lines that would have the late pianolegend smiling.Interception is anew band comprisingcousins MarkoOstojic (piano) andUros Stamenkovic(drums) whoseheritage isMacedonian, bassJustin Gray, percussionistAltaf Bwana Moto Vellani andna Moto Vellani andtenor saxophonist Sal Rosselli, who oftenBarbieri. Their debut disc Timing andDistance ( modestly but improves dramaticallywith the tune InterceptionOstojic compositions, in which the tenorstorms over heavy, tumultuous rhythm.Then it’s one of three modern jazz rarities,Phineas Newborn’s Sugar Ray, like muchhere a vehicle for Rosselli to range widelybefore the pianist shows off his imaginativeindependence. Nomad wobbles beforeRosselli tears into double-time over thrustinggrooves, then Ostojic counters with moreshrewd notions. The album impresses, ifSeptember 1–October 7, 2011 65

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2020)

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)