Monday, October 22, 2018

Way North - Fearless And Kind (November 2, 2018)

“The music is instantly inviting and infectious with a capacity for taking the listener to unexpected places.” 
– Ted Quinlan, The Whole Note

Fearless and Kind is the second album by collective roots-jazz quartet Way North. There’s a joy in this music that comes from having recorded on the heels of a tour. The band is tight and loose, freely improvising and having fun, while fully in control of the music they are playing. That they love playing together is obvious, and this feeling is contagious, drawing listeners into their love of roots musics mixed with improvising and jazz. This is a community minded band, and they are looking to uplift people with this music. This is jazz you can dance to! 

If you know their critically acclaimed first album “Kings County”, you will find the band serving up a similar roots stew, but maybe even more heavily weighted toward street-beats and dancing good times. The collective horn improvising and conversational rhythm section approach comes from modern jazz and roots music at the same time. This gives Way North their unique sound, which is equally at home in a folk house concert as it is on a Jazz Festival stage. 

There is music from all four band members here, but it would be hard to tell, as the songs go seamlessly together. Cancura’s Mississippi-Beat “Boll Weevil” opens the album and announces the good times that are ahead. You can also hear his tender waltz “Ready or Not” and “The River’s Flow”. Hennessy’s “Lagoon” is next, and the rhythm section generates a lazy-cowboy lope which the horns ride on top of with the quirky harmonies. She also contributes the Ornette Coleman inspired calypso “Birds for Free” and the ballad “Inchworms”. Barshay’s “Airport to Knowhere” cooks with a Balkan-jazz groove, and he brought the Jelly Rolly Morton medley to the band, which fittingly connects the band’s modern sound with the early New Orleans roots of jazz. Herring’s title track “Fearless and Kind” is a bluesy waltz, and he also wrote the street-beat meets Jazz Messengers “You Know A Song”. 

Way North is:

1. Boll Weevil
2. Lagoon
3. Airport To Knowhere
4. Jelly Roll Morton Medley, Act I: Buddy Bolden's Blues
5. Jelly Roll Morton Medley, Act II: King Porter Stomp
6. Inchworms
7. You Know A Song
8. Ready Or Not
9. Birds For Free
10.Fearless And Kind
11.The River's Flow

Fearless and Kind
Produced by Way North
Recorded at Canterbury Studios by Jeremy Darby
Mixed & Mastered by Reuben Ghose
Art & Design by Howie Shia & Leo Shia

Tracks 1, 8, 11 by Petr Cancura (SOCAN)
Tracks 2, 6, 9 by Rebecca Hennessy (SOCAN)
Track 3 by Richie Barshay (BMI)
Tracks 7, 10 by Michael Herring (SOCAN)
Tracks 4, 5 by Jelly Roll Morton

© 2018 Way North

November 2018
5 - Toronto, ON - The Rex
6 - Toronto, ON -The Rex
7 - Ottawa, ON - The National Arts Centre
8 - Montreal, QC - Resonance Cafe
9 - Quebec City, QC - tbc
10 - Quebec City, QC - tbc
11 - Kingston, ON - Kingston Jazz Society

January 2019
6 - Halifax, NS - Open Waters Festival
14 - Toronto, ON - The Emmet Ray
15 - Victoria, BC - tbc
16 - Nanaimo, BC - Quadwrangle Music at the Lighthouse Bistro
17 - Vancouver, BC - Frankie's
18 - Edmonton, AB - The Yardbird Suite
19 - Saskatoon, SK - The Bassment

Here's a little more about Way North...

Way North is a cross-border mash-up of Canadian and American artists born out of the joy of playing together. Formed in Brooklyn in 2014 by three Canadians and a New Yorker, the band features saxophonist Petr Cancura (Down Home - JUNO nominee), trumpeter Rebecca Hennessy (2018 Toronto Emerging Jazz Artist/Women’s Blues Revue bandleader), bassist Michael Herring (Peripheral Vision - JUNO nominee) and American drummer Richie Barshay (Herbie Hancock/Chick Corea/ Esperanza Spalding).

The quartet brings together four composers who love to explore folk and world music with a backbone in jazz improvisation.  They love to use their musical connection to reach audiences, building community wherever they play.

They are releasing their second album, Fearless And Kind following their debut CD, Kings County, which was picked by the Ottawa Citizen as one of the best Jazz CD’s of 2015.  Their last album was launched with high-energy Canadian touring, and expect more of this as they head back on the road in support of “Fearless and Kind”.  Way North’s music is a roots stew, seamlessly threading together the blues, old-time, Balkan, Brazilian, Calypso, and other folk genres with jazz and improvisation.  

In January 2016, Way North was invited to perform and teach at the Panama Jazz Festival by artistic director Danilo Perez, and also appeared at the Mamoni Valley Preserve as part of the Earth Train NGO Geoversity campaign.  In 2017 Way North was awarded a grant by the Canada Council for the Arts to tour Canada, and once again the CCA has supported both their new album and tour in 2018 and 2019.

Fearless and Kind will be released on Friday, November 2nd and the release will be celebrated with a Canadian tour from November 5th to 11th and January 6th to 19th. 

"CORCOVADO" ("QUIET NIGHTS") Alexandra Jackson featuring Miles Davis enters the charts!

The third single is receiving airplay on radio stations across the U.S.

Alexandra Jackson's "Corcovado" ("Quiet Nights") featuring Miles Davis, with Antonio Carlos Jobim & Ivan Lins -- from the "Alexandra Jackson: Legacy & Alchemy" album -- enters the charts playing on over 100 stations and channels:

Smooth Jazz Network Top 100 Chart: #54 Chart: #38 Indie Chart: #28
Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart: #1 Most Increased Plays (Last Week)

“Quiet Nights” was the JAZZIZ “song of the day," and the “Corcovado” version is featured in the JAZZIZ Magazine Fall Edition, its September and October online editions, and its Fall JOD sampler.

JAZZIZ Magazine - Bossa Hit “Quiet Nights” Relives Its Past Courtesy of Vocalist Alexandra Jackson


In 2018 we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Bossa Nova; in 2017 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Samba; and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics was a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" for Brazil music and its synergy with American Jazz to be reintroduced to the world on the largest stage ever.  Legacy and Alchemy saw this as the moment in time to honor the great Brazilian music legacy.

The instant classic double CD also features the late Al Jarreau, Oscar Castro-Neves, Rod Temperton and Dona Ivone Lara, as well as Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Carlinhos Brown, Banda Black Rio, Hubert Laws, Siedah Garrett, Paulo Jobim, Daniel Jobim, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal, Paulo Calasans, Arthur Maia, Darryl Jones, Charles Floyd, and other Brazilian and American greats contributing to the historic album.


10 songs from album playing on the radio in 8 formats

4 songs from album playing on over 100+ Smooth Jazz stations (including "All One" featuring Al Jarreau, with Larry Williams & Oscar Castro-Neves charting #17 Billboard + Top 30 on 5 other charts, and "Brazilica" featuring Darryl Jones, Larry Dunn, Teo Lima, Armando Marcal & Maestro Charles Floyd with The Bossa Nova Noites Orquestra)

"Stage" featuring Larry Dunn and Al McKay playing on UAC radio

5 songs from album playing on Sirius XM satellite radio on 5 programs (including "A Felicidade" featuring Paulo Jobim and Daniel Jobim)

9 songs from album playing / have played on over 50 stations in World Music / AAA / College formats

Album playing on streaming channels: The Brazilian Hour / Global Village / Sounds of Brazil / AccuRadio

With CNN International recognizing Alexandra Jackson in the vanguard of re-launching Brazil music as contemporary music in the world, the project is off to a great start.  Indeed, music from Ms. Jackson’s album is enjoying worldwide acceptance — playing in U.S., Brazil, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and across Europe, where the album debuted at #20 on World Music Charts Europe.


Ken Wiley

Best Latin Jazz Album
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
Best Recording Package
Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical

In his career, Ken Wiley has shown that, in the right hands, the French horn (which is usually heard backing other instruments) can be quite effective as a solo instrument in a wide variety of settings, from bebop to crossover, free explorations to World Music. Cuerno Exotica, a set of atmospheric originals and transformations of three standards, features Wiley’s French horn as the lead voice.

Wiley shares the spotlight with acoustic guitarist Mark Leggett and Dan Higgins who is mostly heard on flute. They are joined by a subtle and quiet rhythm section that includes the supportive and tasteful bassist Rene Camacho, drummer Bernie Dresel, and both Luis Conte and Kevin Ricard on Latin percussion plus the background riffing and harmonies of the Bolero Horns.

The music is relaxing, moving, and full of beautiful moments. A Latin-tinged version of Ravel’s famous “Bolero” is given fresh life. Cal Tjader’s “Black Orchid” has a light catchy rhythm that inspires excellent French horn and flute solos while McCoy Tyner’s modal piece “Sama Layuca” adapts well to this setting and has a spot for Higgins on tenor.

The other five selections are Ken Wiley originals with two of the songs being co-written by Leggett. Ranging from the easy-listening “Carilo” and the relaxed yet bluesy “Cubano Blue” to the mysterious melody of “Gato Magico,” the music casts a spell on listeners, drawing them into the subtle improvising, hypnotic rhythms, and quietly passionate themes. “Cuerno Exotica” and “El Gorrion” set moods that are both soothing and stimulating. This is music that is inviting and rewards close listening.

While the French horn has been heard as a solo instrument in jazz ever since Julius Watkins’ emergence in the mid-1950s, the number of great French horn soloists through the years can be counted on just two hands. Ken Wiley, who graduated from the Manhattan School of Music, has been one of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles for some time. In addition to performing on the soundtracks of television productions and movies, he has worked with Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, tenor-saxophonist Charlie Rouse, guitarists Grant Geissman and Mike Miller, and bassists John Patitucci and Jimmy Johnson among others. Wiley has also led several albums of his own including Visage, Highbridge Park (which blended his French horn with Afro-Cuban and South American rhythms), jamming a set of standards on Jazz Horn Redux, and most recently the soulful Urban Horn Project. 

Ken Wiley does not believe in repeating himself or staying in one musical genre for long. Cuerno Exotica is unlike any of his previous recordings. The memorable performances are quite haunting yet instantly likable, uncategorizable as anything but beautiful music.


ALBERTO PIBIRI Upcoming Appearances + New CD "Jazz Legacy"

Upcoming Appearances

Nov 15,16,17,18 : Suncoast Jazz Festival with Professor Cunningham and his old School