6 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 7 - April 2004

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  • April
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following much

following much orchestrating and stamp on beautiful music like All The lightly-dancing Bayview Extension. Live at Birdland rehearsal. Way, I'll Be Around and Last Night This dedication to a Toronto roadway George Shearing Quintet Here, on "One Take", Guido and When We Were Young. is another MacMurchy composition Baldwin St. Music BJG 503 the boys have spent a few hours in a In fact, if there's a flaw to this with a sense of place, like Parkdale studio working out on-site some ins album, it's that it is too beautiful. Strut on an earlier CD, " Product and outs on old standards, and had a "Slow" is the operative word, with '58". ball playing them. But don't think only Where Or When and Fly Me For some reason, probably royalthere's anything less to this. It's sim- To The Moon providing a welcome ties, most releases these days are of ply anoiher side of their talents on tempo change by getting much above "original" music, and most are for-. display. a leisurely flow. gettable. This one is not: it rewards A co-operative effort by Basso and A well-knit trio of Christian Jacob for concept and performance both. visiting organist Joey Defrancesco, on piano, with Trey Henry and Ray Ted O'Reilly Lorne Lofsky on guitar and drum- Brinker on bass and drums are on all mer Vito Rezza, this CD finds com- tracks, with nineteen strings plus fortable oldies such as My Romance, horn and flute added on five of the At the Garden Party Back in 1949 George Shearing man- Someday My Prince Will Come and twelve selections. Jacob did the or- Ed Bickert; Don Thompson aged to make a hit record his very My Funny Valentine alongside jazz chestrations, and conducts. And as Sackville SKCD2-4005 first time at bat for MGM Records. standard Watkin' and the Italian clas- most Telarc releases are, it's beau- As a result, many jazz fans, this one sic Caruso. tifully recorded. included, dismissed his music as It may seem casual, but there is a Ted O'Reilly mere "cocktail jazz". "September lot of experience and skill on display in the Rain" was one of that year's here, with DeFrancesco's dexterity top recordings, but a jazz artist's popon the Hammond's manuals-matched ·outside The Ministry of Truth ularity often spells the kiss of death by his dancing feet on the pedal bass. John MacMurchy amongjazz lovers. We really should Lorne Lofsky's harmonic mastery ii- Independent have been paying closer attention. luminates everything he plays, and ( Sure, the Shearing quintet made a drummer Rezza is more relaxed number of extremely popular rethan I would have thought he could cordings - "Pick Yourself Up" and be. How many of you remember The "My Silent Love" among them- but, For these ears, though, the star is Garden Party? It was a little tearoom as these live performances demon- Guido Basso. Now in his mid-60s, on A venue Road ·in Toronto operat- strate, the George Shearing quintet he's showing more freedom in his ed in the 1970's by the very talented was so much more than just a wellplaying than ever, and his sound is pianist Joel Shulman and his wife oiled machine. still the most Romantic in jazz. If jazz Joan and it was a little oasis of mu- The music comes from three were a contest, he'd be competition sic and good company. The Sunday Birdland broadcasts and features. for everyone, not just himself. evening concerts organized there by two editions of the Shearing quin- Ted O'Reilly Joel are fondly remembered by all tet. Vibraphonist Joe Roland and I don't know whether to think of John of us who were part of that impor- bassist Al McKibbon are in both MacMurchy as·a player who writes, tant little era in Toronto jazz. All of groups, while the first group's Dancing in the Dark or a writer who plays. That he does this is a preamble to saying what a guitarist, Dick Garcia, and drum- Tierney Sutton both exceptionally well is demonstrat- pleasure it is to review a recording mer, Marquis Foster, are replaced Telarc CD 83592 · ed on his current release "Outside by guitarist Ed Bickert, even though in the second by Toots Thielemans The Ministry of Truth". But the fact for the most part it is music that has and Bill Clark. The inimitable Teddi is, he's not outside anything: the reed- been available previously. Record- King is an added attraction. She sings man is solidly within the jazz tradi- ed in 1978 with bassist Don Thomp- four songs, two of which she never tion, with a solid grasp of the too- son at The Garden Party, it was orig- recorded commercially. To hear the often forgotten need to swing. inally issued on LP the following year. creative spark and originality of the MacMurchy pjays tenor and alto Ed's playing has a timeless quality Shearing quintet check out Brain saxes and clarinet here, with inter- and this programme of superior Wave, Midnight Mood, Point and active accompaniment from Robi standarcls is interpreted in his trade- Counterpoint and Lanely Moments. Botos on piano, guitarist Joey Gold- mark, understated style, beautifully All the group's "hits" are here as stein, Victor Bateman on bass and complemented by Don, whose play- well, and there's a lovely Shearing dr,µmmer Bob McLaren. ing also has that deceptively effort- solo performance of Tenderly . There's no question the jazz market On one selection, Intruder Alert less feel to it. Also, this CD's sound is surprisis dominated by women jazz singers, (dedicated to the late CBC host Al- There is a bonus in the form of four ingly good for broadcast air-checks. led by Canadian Diana Krall, and Ian Mcfee) four additional wood- more gems - previously unissued Don Brown every label must have one, it seems. winds are added. It starts out sound- pieces, including the rarely heard While most really are what I call ing like a work for a classical en- Ease It by Paul Chambers and I'll ·'slash" singers (PopSlashCabaret- semble for the first 90 seconds, what Wait And Pray by Gerald Valentine. Count Basie At Newport Slash R&BSlashJazz), Tierney Sut- with bassoon and alto flute and all, These are studio recordings made in Count Basie ton is a real jaz.z singer, with emo- then becomes a groovy romp that will 1976 with the addition of Terry Verve B0001615-02 tional maturity on display with good have you reaching for a jellied gin. Clarke on drums. After Hours With Miss D pitch, good taste and good songs. MacMurchy shows his playing If you are a fan of Ed Bickert's Dinah Washington The subtitle. "inspired by the mu- range throughout, on tenor for the playing you'll have no choice but to Verve B0000094-02 .sic of Frank Sinatra" seems a bit right-on Top Dead Centre and alto buy this CD. tacked-on, but if you 're gonna use a on the wistful Through The Looking · Jim Galloway Eager Beaver hook, that's a good one. Ms. Sutton Glass, featuring some sensitive (The Complete MacGregor in no way tries to channel Sinatra, Botos piano. John's clarinet (a horn Transcriptions Vol. 4) other than as an artistic muse. She whose demands escape many jazz- Stan Kenton puts her own lithe, languid legato ers these days) is up front on the Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120703 i,€' WWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COM APRI L 1 - M AY 7 2004

exclusive programming. The Mac­ Gregor company was a California pr9ducer that documented the early sounds of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, when it sounded more like a heavy Lunceford band than the "progressive" group it was to become. Well-rec·orded, this "Complete MacGregor Transcriptfons Volume 4" (of 5) is of more than , just documentary interest to Kentonphiles. The 1944 sides. feature Anita O'Day, still-active trumpeter Buddy Childers, and a teen-age Stan Getz. (As a side note, this series, with mastering by David Lennick, comes from Canadian collectors and is unavailable in the U.S.) Ted O'Reilly Nadina Mackie Jack, POT POURRI Proof that jazz is best made live is exemplified with the complete release of "Count Basie at Newport" , a triumphant 1957 concert. His "new testament" band was at its peak, with hit recordings featuring Joe Williams and soloists like Thad Jones and "The Two Franks" (Foster and Wess) and drummer Sonny Payne. On this occasion, special guests from the "old testament" band were aboard, and in great shape: tenor man Lester Young, drummer.Jo Jones and singer Jimmy Rushing. As a bonus, on the lengthy One 0 'Clock Jump wrap-up Illinois Jacquet, another alumnus, and Roy Eldridge also joined in. The four Joe Williams features, and Blee Blop Blues have previously been released separately, and are reunited !Jere. This concert has long been among my favourite Basies, and I think your collection needs it. The astonishing power of Dinah Washington is revealed on "After Hours With Miss D", an EmArcy LP now in the Verve Master Edition series. She could sing anything, and this is straight ahead jazz. Miss D stands alongside Clark Terry, "Lockjaw" Davis, Junior Mance and organist Jackie Davis on eight tunes including Bye Bye Blues, Am I Blue and Pennies From Heaven. A bonus is the unedited 11-minute version ot'Blue Skies as well as the 8-minute track, originally available. Transcription recordings were for-radio-only back in the swing era, and served to introduce new artists as well as provide broadcasters with APRIL 1 - M AY 7 2004 Feels Like Home Norah Jones with the Handsome Band EMI Blue Note S 90952 2 It's so refreshing to find an'artist who doesn't allow herself to be defined by one style. Some may complain about singer-songwriter-pianist No 7 rah Jones' departure from the jazzypop offerings of her first album. If we were to define her musical style, it would translate rather as traditionally American: encompassing blues, soul, country,j~z and pop. Having · said that, this is no M.O.R. performance, but a tasteful mix of good, honest music underpinned with subtle complexity. There is something in her delivery that is as comfortable and casual as the summer breeze. Jones wrote (or co-wrote with members of her band) six of the thirteen songs on "Feels Like Home", including a reworking of Duke Ellington's Melancholia with her own lyrics. The album also features covers of Townes Van Zandt's Be Here to Love Me and Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan's The Long Way Home. One of Jones' best on the album is What Am I to You? on which she's joined by Levon Helm and Garth Hudson of The Band. On bass player Lee Alexander's Creep- GREAT MUSIC NOW ONLINE OVER 40,000 CLASSICAL & JAZZ TITLES INO'UR ONLINE CATALOGUE \

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