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Volume 8 Issue 9 - June 2003

  • Text
  • Festival
  • Toronto
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which makes it a very

which makes it a very endearing record. First there's the choice of tunes, familiar things like Joyspring and Love for Sale, which make you want to settle in for a good listen. Then there's the production - with very little overdubbing and no fancy effects, the CD plays very much like a live set in a club. Backing musicians David Braid, Michael McClennan (who arranged a number of the tunes), Davide Di Renzo and David Occhipinti all get lots of room to stretch out, too. Ms. Bambrick has terrific technical abilities - great pitch, range and flexibility - honed through her many years of experience on the jazz scene singing with, among others, the jazz vocal quartet, the Beehive Singers, as well as through her work on CBC Radio's "The Vinyl Cafe". Along with the technique she also brings a lot of heart and personality to the songs. Besides the familiar standards there are also a few original and notso-familiar tunes. Aren't I Cute?, written by Ms. Bambrick is, as the title implies, a fun little number that's part Blossom Dearie and part Spike Jones thanks to the addition of a kazoo chorus. Th.e inclusion of the Prince tune How Come U Don 't Call Me Anymore? and an ode to Newfoundland let Me Fish OjfSt. Mary's, make this an eclectic collection of tunes with much warmth and personality. · Cathy Riches Terry Riley - In C Bang on a Can Cantaloupe Music CA21004 (SRI) Terry Riley - In C SMCQ; Walter Boudreau ATMA ACD2 2251 Terry Riley's In C (1964) precedes the Trudeau era, Gay Pride, and fax machines. It is a semaphore of the minimalist movement, so well known that it now receives attention in music history textbooks. Based on 53 scraps of melody in the primary key ofC Major, scored for any number of instruments and fairly improvisatory with each fragment repeated ad libitum until the individual perform- 56 ers choose to move on to the next, it is a work of zing and contradiction. It can be both aggravating and compelling; fun and meditative; popsy and serious. Hey, it's from California.' Perhaps fitting for a piece so contradictory, here are two performances as different as night and day - and I like both, and would not wish to choose between them. ' Bang on a Can's 11-person New York rendering shimmers. It has a combination of vitality and leisure to it. It unfolds and just keeps twinkling along, like a sonic kaleidoscope, in less•is-more style. Walter Boudreau's competing version from a live Montreal concert is outrageous and virile. He starts off by appending to the front a sort of Indian raga, while the audience is still chattering and rustling. The music slowly gathers force, abetted by vocal grunts, chants, and deep-toned "oo's." A chorus and French-Canadian singer/poet Raoul Duguay add a minor-keyed song noodle up top, and sung text with imperceptible words. The whole thing !).urns along like a dark, pulsing orgy of voices and instruments - an ensemble three times the size of Bang on a Can's - repetitive, shouted, and with a rock beat much of the time, until it finally dies away. Riley himself in the liner notes tellingly brands this performance of his work a "fantasia". And an audience erupts in cheers 35 minutes later. Me, too. Shorter electroacoustic selections by Canadians Donald Steven and Michel-Georges Bregent round out the ATMA release. Both recordings are fme, and both . albums offer especially good graphic design. Peter Kristian Mose Haendel Louise Pellerin, Dom Andre Laberge, Helene Plouffe CBC MVCD 1157 I put this one into my player expecting the onset of stifled yawns. Within minutes I was on the phone to a music store ordering scores, calling an oboist to arrange a reading and on the internet lauding the merits of this remarkable disc. Recorded in the winning ambience of the abbey church at Saint-Benoitdu-Lac, Quebec, Handel's modest organ continuo artfully recorded and balanced against the fluid oboe of Louise Pellerin and the lyrical violin lines of Helene Plouffe make for enchanting listening. DISCS OF THE MONTH Collected Stories Martin Van de Ven; Brian Katz Lilah 0218 (Independent) . Sweet Return Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band; Jane Bunnett Independent FBR CD 005 www .flyingbulgars.com Traditional folk music has always been a source of inspiration and study by performers and composers alike, with the subsequent evolution of styles and genres opening doors to new experiences for musician and listener alike. Two recent releases from Toronto-based musicians show that with experience comes experimentation. In both cases, traditional Jewish music is treated with the utmost respect and care with the results of experimentation being as different as night and day. But beyond the secrets of intelligent musicianship and exacting production lies the art of clever programming. Here's where this CD really shines. With only a handful Of oboe sonatas in the Handel catalogue, four of the most tuneful are set in a Collected Stories is a glorious and sensible order that sustains interest. contemplative celebration of To heighten the experience even traditional and original Jewish mumore, we encounter a careful selec- sic performed with wit, spontaneity tion from Handel's Nine German and tenderness by stalwart Toronto musicians Martin van de Ven and Arias in which the violin obbligato is played instead by the oboe and the Brian Katz along with, on three soprano part by the violin. This puts tracks, special guest, the Dutch vio­ Plouffe up front with the musical idea linist Monique Lansdorp. and an interpretive challenge she Util.izing the u~que ~ma!! combo meets exceedingly well, matching o'. cl.armet and ~1tar (with piano and oboist Pellerin's passion in the So- , viol~~ thrown~ for fu~) t? perform natas. Dom Andre Laberge, Abbey trad1t1on~l Jew1s.h music 1s a brav.e organist and Prior is at all times taste- undertakmg, which could ~ave eas1- ful and precise. ly stu~bled. Instea?, the nsk has re- Those strict about period style, ~ulted ma b~eathtaking and ear-openhowever' may muse on the mix of i~g .e~~lorauon of t!1e eno~ous posan organ voiced mildly Baroque with s1b1!Jt1es tha~ .this mus1: has to only discreet "chiff', the straight- offer. The traditional selectJo~ show tone violin playing and the use of a Ka~ and van de V~n at th~Ir best; modem oboe. Still, the affection fo~ the the1r years of expenence yield fine music by all three players mutes any performances. . . questions about stylistic authenticity. N~teworth~ is the openmg track As CBC radio's Peter Togni re- Roz.h!nkes Mu ~and/en; once th.e cent! y said when playing a cut from opemng ~elody is stated on solo gu1- this CD, the performance seems the !

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