Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nick Maclean Quartet - Rites of Ascension (BROWNTASAURAS RECORDS 2017)

This album, the debut release from the Nick Maclean Quartet, represents a modern re-imagining of the spirit of Herbie Hancock's primordial 60's quartet. Not to be confused with a "tribute" recording, this record has a character of its own, while being an homage to Hancock's influence on Maclean both as pianist and composer. The depth of the synergistic connectivity between all 4 hand-picked members of Maclean's quartet are a cornerstone to the ensemble's sound and group dynamic. Thus its completion represents Maclean's examination of the modern jazz ethos with all the intriguing challenges, opportunities and possibilities that go with it.

This contemplative and often thrilling quartet's explorations of modern, original repertoire is led by a fast-rising star in Toronto's jazz piano community, 25 year old NICK MACLEAN.

Formed in 2016, Maclean's foursome delivers jazz between the two poles of thoughtful introspection and powerhouse conveyance, taking influences from Herbie Hancock's primordial 1960's Blue Note era recordings, while paying tribute to some of the greatest improvisers in jazz history. 

Repeatedly regarded as a modern take on the ferocious and hard-swinging post-bop era, the group has been busy in the Ontario jazz club circuit and featured in numerous festivals and concert series including multiple appearances at the Toronto Jazz Festival both as a featured ensemble and an often requested backing band. In addition to their original material, the ensemble has also mounted several popular tribute series to jazz masters including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry & Cole Porter. 

The group is frequently lauded for the strength of their collective improvisatory vision and features one of Canada's most provocative improvising trumpet-playing iconoclasts Brownman Ali, standing shoulder to shoulder with Maclean & two of Toronto's top-tier rhythm section 20-somethings: Jesse Dietschi on bass and Tyler Goertzen on drums. The synergy of the 4 is always palpable in concert. 

The quartet's debut 11-track full-length album "Rites Of Ascension" features 6 Maclean-penned compositions, 1 Brownman original and 4 re-imagined Herbie Hancock classics, all recorded at the renowned Canterbury Studios in Toronto. Produced by Brownman Ali, this new release will be available on Browntasauras Records internationally in the fall of 2017.