5 years ago

Volume 8 Issue 7 - April 2003

  • Text
  • April
  • Toronto
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Musical
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Orchestra
  • Glenn
  • Gould

includes a B&W recording

includes a B&W recording from 1961 with Pierre Moriteux conducting the LSO in Dukas' L 'Apprenti Sorcier. Interesting, but offering barely a hint of that conductor's exceptional interpretive skills. Still, better to have it than not. Other DVD-Vs in the same release · were the Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Rostropovich and Richter; Menuhin playing concertos by Beethoven, Mozart and Bruch; and a recital by Regine Crespin with bonus tracks by Denise Duval. Bruce Surtees Mengelberg conducts Wagner, Humperdinck, Richard Strauss and Mahler Concertgebouw and New York Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestras NAXOS Historical 8.110855 For examples of pure orchestral power, which doesn't necessarily mean volume, you must listen to this exemplary new release from Naxos Historical. The Preludes to Tannhauser and Lohengrin, recorded by English Columbia in 1932 and 1927 respectively, define 'powerhouse'! Mengelberg habitually took a lot of extra time tuning and balancing an orchestra with clearly heard results. Mark Obert-Thorn's restoration of the seven tracks is outstanding! Bruce Surtees Jazz at the College of the eacific, Vol. 2 Dave Brubeck Quartet Fantasy OJCCD-1076-2 Creative jazz and popular success can go together and Dave Brubeck is living proof - an artist who never watered down or altered his music in order to gain a wide audience. Creative booking - he had one of the first groups to play regularly on college campuses - and the necessary spot of luck here and there, resulted in one of the few jazz groups to achieve great popularity and to this day it is one of the few household names in jazz. This album of previously unreleased performances is from one of those early campus concerts, recorded at the College Of The Pacific iri December of 1953, the same concert that produced the original Jazz at the College of the Pacific (Fantasy 3223/ OJCCD-047-2). It wears well and is, I believe, one of the best-recorded performances by his long-time musical companion, Paul Desmond. His delicate, introspective playing on Stardust, is a thing of beauty. Desmond's phrasing is full of unexpected delights, twists and turns. His harmonic sense is unmatched by any other horn player I can think of, but there is no simple running the changes here; this is a melodically inventive mind running on all cylinders. And bassist Ron Crotty and drummer Joe Dodge propel things along very nicely, thank you. Brubeck's classical training is evident inlet's Fall in love. He studied at Mills College with Darius Milhaud and like his teacher, the use of polyrhythms 'and polytonality (playing in two keys at once) are ·a hallmark' of Brubeck's music. There are those who find his approach too "scholarly" and even unswinging; but the musical joys of this CD far outweigh any of that criticism. It is clear from their obvious rapport that he and Desmond were two musical minds destinel:l to find each other. This was one of the great musical marriages in jazz. Jim Galloway Soul ville Ben Webster Quintet Verve314521449-2 Was there ever a more lyrical-sounding tenor saxophone in all of jazz? The Webster trademarks are all there on this CD - the big, full-sounding tone with the underlying fire and passion, the breathy notes and distilled phrases, all the stuff of which the Ben Webster legend is made. The quintet recordings were originally issued on Lp and no doubt aficionados already have them, but this really is worth adding to the CD collection. Webster staked his claim to greatness with the Ellington band between 1939 and 1943, but these small group i}erformances from 1957 provide the ideal intimate setting, with Oscar Peterson proving yet again what a great accompanist he is; Ray Brown on bass and Herb Ellis on guitar make their usual magic, and Stan Levey adds just the right touch on drurris. A straight-ahead swinger like Webster couldn't ask for any better. It is difficult to choose favourites, but Time On My Hands and Where Are You? are stand-outs for me, perfect late-night soft lights listening. (Beulah, peel me a grape.) The CD has an added bonus in that there are three extra tracks in addition to the original Lp selections, and they feature Ben Webster on piano! As a young musician it was his first instrument and he demonstrates that he was no slouch as a stride piano player. Try it - you 'II like it. Jim Galloway The Three C's Benny Carter, Bill Coleman, Henri Chaix Sackville SKCD2-2058 Genuine small group swing music is a too-rare commodity these days, and the release of some new material by master musicians is welcome. Visiting American jazz giant Benny Carter, and the expatriate underrecognized great Bill Coleman, each share the stage with Swiss pianist/ bandleader Henri Chaix (pronounced 'shecks') on "The Three C's". Altoist/composer Benny Carter was 61 years old, re-establishing himself as a performer, rather than as a composer/orchestrator which had occupied him for decades. Concert producer Arild Wideroe signed hirii. for concerts with Chaix's octet in Lausanne, Geneva and Baden. This last event on November 9, 1968 was taped in stereo by Swiss radio, and the results are finally out of the vaults, offering 43 minutes of swing sounds. Four of the seven selections are delightful Benny Carteroriginals, and he is featured with just the rhythm section on two standards, I Can't Get Started and Body and Soul. The other standard, 'S Wonderful, uses the whole band. While the visitor is of course centre stage, Henri Chaix, a formidable musician, shines as both soloist and accompanist: his Basielike support work with bassist Alain Du Bois and drummer Romano Cavicchiolo are world class. Tenor man Michel Pilet is solid, too. Trumpeter Bill Coleman was twice a member of Benny Carter's big band, in the mid- '30s and again in the early '40s, but he preferred life in Europe, living in France in the last half of the 1930s and again from 1948 until his death in 1981. As a result, he is less well known on this side of the Atlantic than he should be. The thirty minutes of his Geneva. studio recordings for Swiss radio . included here should gain some attention for his elegant, yet swinging trumpet, and his comfortable vocals (one in French!). On these '57 and '58 mono recordings Chaix' s quintei is heard. With a four-piece rhythm section, and Michel Pilet' s big tenor, Coleman's light tone, often with mute, smoothly glides along. Tunes featured include Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, Blue Turning Grey ... , When My Sugar Walks Down The Street and the French blues! N'Embrassez Pas Ma Femme. Ted O'Reilly INDIE LIST Mystery Theatre Erosonic Victo cd 085 Erosonic's new release "Mystery Theatre" illustrates that when two 66 www

virtuoso instrumentalists combine their talents, magic can happen. Baritone saxophonist David Mott !llld accordionist Joseph Petric have created a musical journey ranging from quiet contemplation to feverish technical prowess to a plethora of musical colours. Established in 1994, the duo's CD features three works by David Mott, two by Mott and Joseph Petric, anci an electro acoustic composition by David Keane. The compositions, which feature scored and/or improvisational elements with contemporary music, free improv and jazz leanings, reflect the composers' solid understanding of the instrum,entation. From the challenges each work presents, the interpreters · create a fascinating world of sound. Worth noting is the title track Mystery Theatre by David Mott, which the liner notes explain is an exploration of "vast sonic spaces and deep emotional terrain". The two instruments seem to melt together as phrases overlap, dynamics shift and effortless rapidly moving lines intertwine to display Erosonic at its best. The high production values have only occasional mixing and intonation miscalculations while the extensive liner notes could be adjusted to allow listeners to make more . of their own musical responses. Both seasoned and first time new music listeners will find Erosonic's "Mystery Theatre" a worthwhile recording to check out. Tiina Kiik Concert Note: Joseph Petric is featured in the Music Gallery's Composer Now series concert presented by Earshot! on April 26. The Soul of Pipa Vol. 2 Liu Fang Philmulttc PMPCDOOl-2 This CD is a veritable feast of alluring sounds, ranging from the eloquent and lyrical to the flamboyant and percussive. The varied soundscape produced by one player and one instrument is quite dazzling. Liu Fang's masterly technique (e.g. tremolo, delicate harmonics, lyrical tunes, and boisterous percussive effects), as well as the music itself - which is based on short sections characterized by ever-changing tempos and dynamics - all evoke an improviseq' and exciting quality. The pipa has for a long time been one of the most popular instruments of Chinese classical and folk music. Dating back as far as the T'ang dynasty (618-907), it is a pear-shaped, fretted, short-necked lute with a bent neck which is both a solo and ensemble instrlllllent. Liu Fang studied pipa from the age of six, and is a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory. She has been based in Montreal since 1996 and has clearly made great inroads in the Canadian and European market. . This CD is the second in a set of three featuring music for the solo pipa. Unfortunately, the liner notes give us no information about the music itself, other than titles and composers. Considering this is aimed at a general Canadian audience, s·ome background would have enhanced most people's understanding of the form, techniques, and programmatic song titles. The eight featured pieces range from traditional, e.g. The Ambush which depicts an ancient battle scene, to more recent works by composers of the late 19th/early 20th centuries such as Liu Tianhua IDhr :!luair

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