7 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 8 - May 2004

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Bridge was such a

Bridge was such a composer - judging from this sample of his earl)' works, almost from the beginning of his career. In this short piece, Bridge shows off the viola's abilities. making the two instruments sound like a quartet. The Raphael Ensemble give thoughtful, heartfelt performances of these three rarely heard works and confirms its reputation as one of Britain's pre-eminent chamber ensembles. Robert Tomas Organ Fireworks X Christopher Herrick Hyperion CDA67458 .Christopher Herrick ha~ a reputation among his colleagues as the organist who can and will tackle anything. His "Organ Fireworks" series on Hyperion, long a favourite of (the late) broadcaster Bob Kerr, has made it to volume ten and. now includes Canada in Herrick's world tour. Between the architecture of the 96-stop, 6,551-pipe l,,etourneau organ of The Winspear Centre in Edmonton, and the bravura style of performance, this CD seems a close cousin of the Wannamaker Grand Court Organ of Philadelphia (see review: MAGIC! March 2002 issue available online at www .thewholenote.'com). The works unfold from light to heavy over the course of the recording, beginning with Mons Leidvin Takle's Blues-Toccata, followed immediately by John Behnke's variant on an old African tune. Herrick teams up with colleague Jeremy Spurgeon in Rutter's duet, the variations on 0 Filii et Filiae . By the time we reach Durutle's Toccata from Op.5, the sonic intensity has built up considerably. The performer doesn't give us much respite, taking us onward into the savage, dense territory of Liszt's Fantasia and Fugue on Ad nos, ad salutarem undam by the end of the CD. Composers David Jbhnson, Joseph Bonnet, Iain Farrington and Meyerbeer make appearances en route. · Hyperion have spared no expense on recording and production qualities, with sound worthy of the best system available. And they give us a beautiful visual package, with a Henry Moret cover, plus interesting photos taken during the recording session. Two pages of organ stop details are included for aficionados. · Magnificent CD. John S. Gray Last Night of the Proms 2000 Sir Andrew Davis The BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus . Hilary Hahn, Jane Eaglen, Janice Watson, Toby Spence, Robert Tear, Neal Davies BBC opusArte 8 0947800041 9 (DVD) Here is the biggest and most widely heard and seen musical event in the w or 1 d. ' Held each summer, "The Proms" were originated in 1895 and guided for years by Sir Henry J. Wood. The BBC took them over in 1926 and moved the venue to The Royal Albert Hall. Every season culminates with The Last Night of the Proms. Incidentally, you just don't simply buy a ticket - the demand is so great that there is a lottery for admission. There have been a few releases of highlights from one concert or another over the years, but never before a complete Last Night in any form! This night was also Andrew Davis' last as the orchestra's conductor and featured Bach qrchestrated by Elgar, Mozart's fourth concerto with Hilary Hahn, followed by a solo encore, Dance of the Seven Veils and the closing scene from Salome with Jane Eaglen. Shostakovich's Jazz Suite No. 2 is followed by an entertaining Tribute to Stephen Foster and Delius' The Walk to the Paradise Garden. Many know what comes next: the Pomp and Circumstance March No. I , "Land of Hope and Glory" [with encore, of course], Henry Wood's Fantasia on Sea Shanties, then Rule, Britannia! Some good-humoured stage busi­ .ness follows, then a farewell to Davis and The National Anthem. Irresistible? I think so. The wide screen video images are crystal clear, even on a 60" screen. What a pity that the DVD operas from the MET are not even close.- Bruce Surtees JAZZ AND IMPROVISED MUSIC Big Band Joe Sullivan Efei1di FND04l You have to be a bit nuts to run a bigja ~z band anymore - the return on the investment is hardly worth the effort unless you're driven by artistic reasons. Joe Sullivan is a bit nuts (not that that's a bad thing), and this eponymous new r~lease of his Montreal orchestra is proof. , Sullivan is a Northern Ontario lad from Timmins, long established in Quebec as ajazzman and teacher, with his trumpet featured in his own and other small groups, and for many years with Vic Vogel's big band. For this debut of his own large ensemble, he has called on frontrank musical friends such as Andre White on piano, tenor saxist Andre Leroux (who wrote and arranged one track, Looping), and trumpeters Bill Mahar.(teatured on a lovely ballad, Ann) and Aron .Doyle. Tasteful drumming is by Dave Laing. All the compositions are original, with the highlight being the fourpart Golden Arrow Suite dedicated to the band's first lead trumpeter, · the late Lafleche Dore. It's expansive music, with room for soloists to just blow, as Leroux does on the opening part. Sullivan integrates the looseness of small group jazz with the power that only a bigger organization can generate. Throughout, while boundaries are not breeched, this is contemporary orchestral jazz of high order, and rewards repeated listening. Ted O'Reilly Palesteena Bob Crosby's Bob Cats Naxos Jazz Legends 8.120681 Birdlaml 1951 Miles Davis Blue Note Records 41779 Reissue and archival recordings are a staple in record stores, and the consiant flow is proof there is interest in the past, despite popular culture's demand for NEW! Bob Crosby, Bing's personable younger brother, was the hired front-man for a popular big Dixieland band of the '30s which even then seemed a little outre with its two-beat style in a 4/4 world. But the eight member band-within-aband, The Bob rats now sounds more like a perfect little time capsule of SwingDixie. These tracks feature masters like tenor man Eddie Miller; Yank Lawson or, on the later tracks, Billy Bu'tterfield. on trumpets and ·especially, the rarely-remembered great New Orleans clarinetist Irving Fazola. The bass of Bob Haggart, paired with the clattering drums of Ray Bauduc push the band along. There are 21 78s nicely transferred here, with (thankfully) only one-third of them featuring vocals by Crosby, Marion Mann and the guitarist Nappy Lamare. If you think Dixieland is your Grandfather's Music, listen to some of the best of it to discover ' why he loves it. Be Bop (your Father's Music) is on tap from Miles Davis' "Hot Period" on Blue Note's "Birdland 1.951 ", subtitled Newly Restored 80 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM M AY 1 - ]UNE 7 2004

Radio Broadcasts. Unfortunately, the sound quality is still not great, but the music makes up for it, with a few caveats. Of the 10 selections, only 4 are previously unavailable on earlier bootlegs, three versions of Move are presented, and Half Nelson appears twice. Miles is heard with two ad hoc bands, with the mighty Art Blakey on all tracks. The February and June bands have JJ Johnson, 21 year old Sonny Rollins and pianist Kenny·Drew with Tommy Potter. In September, it was tenors Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis and Big Nick Nicholas with Billy Taylor anp Charles Mingus. Davis refers favourably to these sessions in his 'autobiography', thinking tJlat he played better on the latter session, and I would agree, though his frorit line partners were more swing-oriented: perhaps he was showing off a bit. That he could play at all is a wonder, as this was a period when Davis claims "Heroin was my girlfriend", his constant companion. Ted O'Reilly Thanks a Million Bob Barnard & John Sheridan Sack ville 'SKCD2-3067 nard's junior. Sheridan generally works in traditional and mainstream settings and speaks the same musical language as Barnard. Last September producer John Nords brought both players to Toronto to record· this program of duets. What makes the set especially interesting is the leaders' choice of material. Nearly all the songs are associated with either Louis Armstrong or Bing Crosby or, in the case of Samalllha, botl1. men. The interplay between Barnard and Sheridan is remarkable. They sound as if they'd been working together for years. Barnard's nimble cornet work channels the spirit of Louis Armstrong while Sheridan proves an equal partner as he carries on a sparkling conversation with the cornetist. This is chamber jC\ZZ at its best. Don Brown The Magic Hour Winton Marsalis Quartet Blue Note/EMI S 97903 2 The Steep Anthology Branford Marsalis Columbia Legacy CD 90909 Few would question the fact that jazz has become an international art form. If proof be needed, it can be found here. On this new Sackville CD two players from opposite sides of the globe join forces to make joyous music together. Cornetist Bob Barnard, who was born in Melbourne, Australia, was infected by the jazz bug as a boy. Back in 1949, at the tender age of '16, Bob had already begun working with bands led by Graeme Bell and Len Barnard. Len, Bob's brother, was likely the one responsible for turning his younger sibling onto the magic sounds of King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong. Barnard's partner on this recording, John Sheridan, is an American piano player thirteen years Bar- M AY 1 - ] UNE 7 2004 "The Magic Hour" is Wynton Marsalis' first CD for Blue Note after leaving Columbia, where he issued 33 jazz and 11 "classical" titles since his debut in 1980, and his first small ensemble recording in many years. The title refers to that time in the evening when children are approaching bedtime and living in denial and the tune purports to trace the bedtime journey through to story time to the hours when par- · ents are finally alone and have some play time of their own. While that theme wasn't terribly obvious to me, what was obvious is that this disc is a great ride. From the opening blues track Feeling of Jazz with singer Dianne Reeves in great form, belting it out and trading licks with Marsalis, to the playful fun of You and'iMe and Baby I Love You, the latter featuring Bobby Mcferrin, to the sweet soulful conclusion.

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