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Volume 19 Issue 9 - June/July/August 2014

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  • Jazz
  • Toronto
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WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S

WE ARE ALL MUSIC’S CHILDRENJune’s Children Diane Leah, Julie Michels, HeatherBambrick – BroadswayMJ BUELLThe WholeNote is preparing to celebrate 20 seasons, and this is the 96th edition of We Are ALL Music’s Children.Remarkably their collected wisdom tells us that a parent who’s a working musician is not what makes or breaks a future life in music. It’smuch more important to grow up in a home where music is enjoyed: where radio and recordings are heard, where music-making happens atfamily gatherings or parties, where people sing or play because it makes them feel good – or at least better. Early teaching and concert outingsdon’t always make a difference but seeding musical pleasure and opportunities for self-expression through music cannot start at too young anage – and this has little to do with skill.We’ll launch a new contest in our September edition. Meanwhile please take your inner child, or even better take along a real child, to thewonderful live music southern Ontario has to offer at summer festivals, outdoor concerts, summer camps and workshops. Share the love, singin the car, and viva la musica!Broadsway is a trio of hugetalents, whose shared appetite forshow tunes brought them togetherto create this successful cabaret. Itfeatures, and sometimes parodies,classic and contemporary musictheatre, jazz, R&B and pop musicplayfully woven together by veryfunny and occasionally suggestivebanter. If they leave you breathlessand wanting more never fear: theyare career musicians with ferociousindividual schedules.Diane Leah was born in London,Ontario. Julie Michaels was bornat Fort Dix army base in NewJersey but lived in three countries(ten cities and six schools) beforelanding in Toronto at the age of 12.Heather Bambrick was born in StJohn’s, Newfoundland.Earliest musical memories?Diane Leahcirca 1954,London ONDIANE: … watching a guy play the accordion at a party. My parentsplayed classical music. My mom played the piano and told storieswith music.JULIE: … Holst’s Planets – “Jupiter,” Brubeck or Booker T. & theM.G.’s doing “Green Onions,” and lots of my mom singing.HEATHER: … Len Taylor – the guitar player in my dad’s band –singing “I’m an Old Cowhand.” He eventually taught me to singthat song …Musicians in your family?DIANE: My mom was a very good piano player and singer. Mybrother still plays the drums.JULIE: My sister and I both played guitar. There was an uncle backin Russia who supposedly was a wonderful violinist.HEATHER: My dad’s a very good musician. He played in a bandJulie Michelscirca 1959,Munich GermanyHeather Bambrickcirca 1973,St. John’s NLfor years and still plays occasionally.My uncle was also a part-timejobbing musician, playing guitar ina band very similar to my father’s.Youngest memory ofmaking music?DIANE: At about three –climbing up on the piano benchand playing the piece my motherwas teaching my brothers.JULIE: I can’t remember whenI wasn’t singing some thing oranother. I sang with my mom andsisters...and sometimes my dad.Harmonies were natural and wesang everything from show tunesto medieval songs in Latin.HEATHER: I would sing “DeltaDawn” until the cows came home– I was maybe three or four - foranyone who would listen.A first instrument, other than your voice?DIANE: I am not a singer primarily – I am a piano player. Accordionwas my first instrument. I have played many others either as a hobbyor at university.JULIE: I play a profoundly mediocre guitar.HEATHER: … Len Taylor gave me little guitar as a Christmas gift.He tuned it so that it played a chord all open-stringed. I would strumaway on that, singing “I’m an Old Cowhand”An important first music teacher?DIANE: My mom, and Lou Wahl – my accordion teacher.JULIE: David Jorlett. He helped me realize I was a singer and thatthis was worth something.HEATHER: Abso-Freakin-Lutely!!! Karen Oakley – my teacherin grades 5 and 6. She’s the reason I am as passionate aboutmusic as I am.CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!Read our extended interviews with Diane Leah, Julie Michels and Heather Bambrick,including details of their busy summers, online at thewholenote.com.Meanwhile don’t miss BROADSWAY, presented by the TD Toronto Jazz Festival at theHard Rock Cafe, June 27 (10pm): an unforgettable evening of everything from Gershwinto Gaga, Sondheim to Schwartz, and a whole lot of laughs. Pairs of tickets have beenwon by Judith Kidd and Jonathan Giggs.Broadsway’s debut recording Old Friends has been won by Richard Smith. If you’d likeyour own copy, visit thebroadswayshow.com and click on the album cover.Music’s Children gratefully acknowledges Anna, Ori, Katie, Mike & Lou, Hugh & Madeleine, John & Joan.72 | June 4, 2014 – Sept 7, 2014 thewholenote.com

DISCOVERIES | RECORDINGS REVIEWEDDAVID OLDSJeanne Lamon’s more than 30 yearscontext and a welcome reason within his tenure…at the helm of the TafelmusikBaroque Orchestra has been anincredible journey which hasresulted in the development ofone of the world’s great orchestrasand brought respect and renown(and the best period performers inthe world) to Toronto. A leader inthe true sense of the word, whenLamon declared her intention toretire last year there was a sense eof shock throughout the musiccommunity, only somewhatmitigated by the announcementthat she would stay involvedthrough a newly establishedlegacy project, the TafelmusikInstitute.Another recent legacy projectwas the eponymous recording labelTafelmusik Media through whichthe orchestra has garnered controlof its back catalogue, reissuing suchclassics as Bach’s BrandenburgConcertos and Vivaldi’s FourSeasons and producing new CDsand DVDs recorded in Toronto’s flagshipvenue Koerner Hall. To celebrate her extraordinaryassociation with Tafelmusik thelatest offering from the label is a collection ofhighlights from earlier recordings featuringLamon in prominent roles entitled TheBaroque Virtuoso (TMK1026CD).Bach’s Concerto for 2 Violins in D Minor,in which Lamon is joined by longtimeTafelmusik colleague Linda Melsted, opensthe disc in suitably festive and flamboyantstyle. This is followed by the Concerto Grossoin C Major after Corelli by Geminiani whosecontemplative opening and third move-ment adagios are contrasted by the playfulallegros in which the ensemble and soloistenjoy a merry chase. The full string orchestrais featured in these works, but in Schmelzer’slong slow Sonata III from Sonatae unarumfidium Lamon is showcased alone with theaccompaniment of only a chamber organ.Also on a smaller scale, but with full continuoand small string section, is Biber’s Partia Vfrom Harmonia artificioso-ariosa. These,plus another concerto grosso by Geminianiand the “Summer” concerto from Vivaldi’sFourSeasons were recorded in the 1990s andoriginally released by Sony. The final selec-tion,Bach’s Suite in A Minor for violin andstrings after BWV1067, is a more recentperformance from a 2011 Analekta recording.While we wouldn’t normally pay atten-tion to a compilation of earlier releases, thistribute to Jeanne Lamon on the occasion ofher departure from Tafelmusik gives a worthy to revisit this marvellous musicmaking. Changes of this magnitudewhich mark an end of anera also give the opportunity fornew beginnings and we lookforward to the next phase inthe history of this importantToronto institution.Another extraordinaryCanadian orchestra with a relativelyshort history is the NationalArts Centre Orchestra, establishedin1969 in the nation’s capitalunder the direction of the lateMario Bernardi. One of the seminalexperiences in my own developmentas alistener was a performance in theearly 1970s at Massey Hall whichfeatured Bernardi conductingthe NACO from the piano in aMozart concerto. Although I haveforgotten the exact details of thatevening – I believe it was one ofthe “20-something” concertos –what has remained with me isthe flamboyance of Bernardi’sperformanceand way he was able tocommunicate with the orchestra by a simplenod of the head or lift of the wrist. The musicians,and the audience, were enthralled.Now, more than four decades later, I amagain captivated by NACO performances ofMozart concertos. Designed as a “classical”orchestra at less than two thirds the size ofa modern symphony, the NACO is perfectlysuited for the music of Haydn and Mozart.In this instance the soloist is renownedCanadian Angela Hewitt – I also rememberwhen she won the 1985 Toronto InternationalBach Piano Competition at which one of theadjudicators was Olivier Messiaen – and theconductor is Finnish rising star Hannu Lintu.Mozart Piano Concertos 22 & 24 (HyperionCDA68049) features Hewitt’s characteristiccrisp and nuanced playing perfectly balancedwith the orchestra, whose horns, winds andreeds are in especially fine form. There areextensive and elucidating booklet notes byHewitt herself and biographical informationis included about the soloist, conductorand orchestra. The only thing missing that Iwould have been interested to know is howit came about that Lintu was selected forthe recording rather than the orchestra’sdirector Pinchas Zukerman, whose recordingsof Haydn, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubertand Mozart are referenced in the notes. Thisrecording from the National Arts Centredates from July last year, so some time afterZucherman’s announcement that he wouldleave the orchestra in 2015, but still well Concert note: Angela Hewitt is featuredin an unusual pairing with choreographer/dancer Tré Armstrong on June 11 at 9pm in“Keys on the Street – A recital of Urban Danceand Piano” at the Luminato Festival Hub atDavid Pecaut Square. The program includesmusic of Bach, Couperin, Messiaen andDebussy. Admission is free.The Canadian Music Centre, establishedten years before the NACO, has been producingrecordings since 1981 through itsCentrediscs label. The very first offering wasan LP of live electronic music created by theCanadian Electronic Ensemble and over theyears electronic and electroacoustic musichas had a place in the catalogue in varyingdegrees. More than three decades since thatfirst offering and having just surpassed the200-release mark, one of the most recentdiscs incorporates state-of-the-art computertechnology in four of its seven compositions.The Lethbridge Sessions (CMCCD 19213)features Calgary’s Rubbing Stone Ensemblein interactive works by David Eagle, LaurieRadford, Arlan N. Schultz and Anthony Tanas well as acoustic works by Alain Perron,Shelley Marwood and Nova Pon.The intriguing name of the ensemble wasinspired by a landmark of Calgary’s geographyand history – a “beautiful big rock[…] gracefully presiding over the Calgaryregion for many centuries and known tonative people of the region. It was a placefor bison to rub their fur coats, creatingsmoothed stone surfaces that survive to thisday.” The collective of nine musicians dedicatedto the creation and performance of newmusic was founded in 2007 and includesamong its instrumentation saxophone, flute,clarinet, piano, harp, percussion, violin, celloand soprano. Jeremy Brown’s saxophones(soprano, alto, tenor and baritone) are themost pervasive influence, appearing in all butone of the variously orchestrated compositionson offer. In fact it was Brown andcomposer David Eagle who brought the initialintention to fruition and their stamp remainsstrong on the group. Eagle’s Resound –Soundplay 5 for saxophone and electronics isone of a series of works designed as “games”in which sound files, melodic and spokenfragments, solo and ensemble movements,extensive live processing and sound spatializationcan be combined in different ways.Considering astronomer Edwin Hubble’sdiscovery that the universe is constantlyexpanding, contrary to Newton’s law ofgravity and Einstein’s collapsing universemodel, but intrigued by the existence of suchphenomena as black holes where gravity isso great that everything collapses inward,thewholenote.com June 4, 2014 – Sept 7, 2014 | 73

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