7 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 4 - December 2002/January 2003

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • Jazz
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MERLIN WILLIAMS: Don Byron: A Fine Line (Blue Note) Clarinettist Byron, known for his tributes to Klezmer and cartoon music performs arias and lieder by such disparate composers as Puccini, Sondheim and Roy Orbison. His version of Nessun Dorma has to be heard to be believed. · · Duke Ellington: Live At Newport (Complete) (Columbia Legacy/ Sony) - If you've only heard the · original release of this classic Duke CD, you really should check out the two disc version of the complete concert that merges two different source recordings. This disc is worth getting just for the improvement in sound on Paul Gonsalves' classic Diminuendo/ Crescendo in Blue tour de force solo. Dorati Conducts Prokofiev (Mercury Living Presence) - I love Prokofiev and this CD has my all-time favourite version of his Symphony No.5, plus the not as frequently heard Scythian Suite. There are very few modern recordings that get the sound that these old Mercury recordings did. JIM GALLOWAY: Here are a few of the CDs that belong in a basic jazz collection and would make the ideal introduction to a newcomer to jazz. Louis Armstrong Plays W. C. · Handy (Columbia-Sony) - Not only is this is a classic record by a truly classic jazz musician, it is one · of the better records for hearing Armstrong's true talent as an improviser. Miles Davis: Kind o.f Blue (Columbia-Sony) - stands as a landmark of extended modal improvisation and is perhaps the greatest record in Miles's oeuvre, and the best introduction to his work. Ben Webster: Soulville (Verve) - The "big boss" tenor takes his rilrn as " gentle giant," le isure ly · swinging with the Oscar Peterson group through ballads and blues. Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners (Riverside) - Quirky yet rigorously logical, Brilliant Corners is a triumph of composition and performance, a set heavy on Monk originals with Rollins, Roach and Pettiford along for the swing. On a Christmas note you might want to consider An Oscar Peterson Christmas (Telarc) - Great stuff! If you like Oscar Peterson, grab this, because this is vintage and every cut is a gem. Or, you might try my own contribution to Ho! Ho! Time - Jim and Jay's Christmas (Sackville)- a swingoriented mainstream set. With the inimitable Jay McShann giving his very own take on Christmas. Concert Note: Jim Galloway is featured in "A Christmas Jazz Vespers" at Christ Church Deer Park on December 22. PHILIP EHRENSAFT: Juilliard String Quartet: Elliott Carter, The Four String Quartets; Duos for Piano and Violin (Sony) and Arditti Quartet with Ursula Oppens: Elliott Carter, Chamber Music (Disques Montaigne) - The development of Carter's unique musical thinking is epitomized in his cycle of five string quartets. The Juilliard Quartet's 2-CD set for Sony was prepared under Carter's supervision. The Chamber Music disc not only contains his last string quartet but also the wonderful 90+, a quintet commissioned for Ursula Oppens and the Ardittis. Carter is, in fact, 90+ and still going strong. The 1943 Metropolitan Opera Broadcast w/Jussi Bjorling, Bidu Sayao, Leonard Warren: Verdi, Rigoletto (Naxos Historical) - Blind jazz musician Way ne Marston is the wizard at restoring old opera recordings, and Naxos has engaged his services to issue the great Met broadcasts of the 30's and 40's. The Rigoletto cast is unbeatable, and bravo to Naxos for making historical recordings affordable. Louis Armstrong: The Complete Hot Fives and Sevens (JSP) and Ornette Coleman: Beauty Is A Rare Thing, The Complete Atlantic Recordings (Rhino) - Listen to Armstrong invent the jazz solo in this excellently remastered 4-CD set of his seminal sessions from the 1920's. And at a budget price to boot. Then listen to Omette's reinvention of jazz during the l 960's in this 6-CD set. They still surprise. 70

Illustration by Emmanuel Lopez Handel's Messiah Wednesday December 18, 2002 The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Roy Thomson Hall Concert - 8:00 pm Tickets (416) 872-4255

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