Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Dave Young (feat. Renee Rosnes) - Lotus Blossom (MODICA MUSIC February 15, 2019)

“To my way of thinking, Dave Young is one of the
most talented bassists on the jazz scene. His
harmonic sympatico and unerring sense of time have
kept him in the foreground of the jazz picture.”
- Oscar Peterson

Dave Young (Alex Heidbuechel)

Fresh off the heels of his 2018 JUNO-nominated album, “One Way Up” (Modica Music), Dr. Dave Young, C.M. returns with a collection of diverse jazz tunes, with an all-star selection of Canadian musicians. Recorded in Toronto on the second day of the 2016 “One Way Up” sessions at the suggestion of producer, Roberto Occhipinti, a majority of the songs on “Lotus Blossom” were selected in passing during recording breaks. 

The title track was a joint favourite of Rosnes and Young and the first to be laid down. An on-the-spot arrangement for Modinha was put together in-between takes, and that marked the first time that long-time friends Rosnes and Schwager recorded together. Both Red Cross and Fried Bananas are tunes you can often hear Dave perform live in his tributes to Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon, but this is the first time these songs have been recorded with his long-time collaborators. Cedar Walton’s Bolivia welcomes the addition of Bernie Senensky on piano and that leads to the trio of Young, Senensky, and Clarke laying down a swinging version of Jimmy Van Heusen’s classic, I Thought About You. “Lotus Blossom” ends with the unmistakable tones of Kevin Turcotte and Perry White on another jazz classic, Softly As In A Morning Sunrise. 

Order of Canada recipient, Dr. Dave Young, is one of Canada’s most celebrated and valued bassists, composers, arrangers, and educators. Originally from Winnipeg, Dave has made his name known on both the Canadian and international stages in both jazz and classical music for the last five decades, and along the way has worked with some of the world’s top artists in various fields. Known for his elegant tone, impeccable time, and immense knowledge of musical history, Dave has been a first-call bassist for the likes of Oscar Peterson, Lenny Breau, Oliver Jones, Cedar Walton, and countless others.

Dave Young (Tracey Nolan Studios)

Renee Rosnes - Piano
Reg Schwager - Guitar
Terry Clarke - Drums
Bernie Senensky - Piano
Kevin Turcotte - Trumpet
Perry White - Tenor Saxophone

1. Lotus Blossom 5:25
2. Modinha 7:33
3. Red Cross 5:49
4. Fried Bananas 5:32
5. Bolivia 5:57
6. I Thought About You 6:09
7. Softly As In A Morning Sunrise 4:51

Angela Verbrugge - The Night We Couldn't Say Good Night (GUT STRING RECORDS February 1, 2019)

The Night We Couldn’t Say Good Night is the witty and joyful debut release from Vancouver-based vocalist Angela Verbrugge.

Verbrugge’s sound finds its home somewhere between vocal jazz, traditional pop and American Songbook/Broadway/Cabaret.

Some real-life stories are so remarkable, they take on a cinematic quality. In the case of  Verbrugge, her personal journey is filled with not one, not two, but three near-death experiences that have shaped her path, and have provided the fuel for her burgeoning music career:  “I was in a head-on collision, almost drowned, and then, when I had three kids under five, I got a very serious kind of cancer that had spread. I decided that if I could get through the treatments and survive it, and get my life back together, I would pursue my dream.” 

That dream is music.  Pursuit of this dream took her to the Vermont Jazz Centre to work with legendary jazz vocalist, Sheila Jordan.  It was there that she met Jordan's long-time bassist Cameron Brown, and when she was invited to go to New York to record with him, she jumped at the chance.  

Highlights abound on the album: on ‘I’m Running Late’, Verbrugge’s super-fast-paced vocals match the rushed theme of her witty’s a delightfully smart track with modern references listeners can instantly relate to.  ‘Speak Softly Love’ is elegant...a reverent reimagining of the beloved ‘Godfather’ melody.  The original ‘You’re Almost Perfect’ is another centrepiece, where intelligence and humour come together, with clever lyrics such as “you’re almost perfect, I want to change you!” 

In addition to the standout songwriting, Verbrugge at times incorporates her background as an actress into her vocal performances, elevating the songs and bringing her characters to life.

Ray Gallon - Piano
Cameron Brown - Bass
Anthony Pinciotti - Drums

1. I’m Running Late (That’s The Question)* 4:34
2. The Night We Couldn’t Say Good Night* 3:52
3. Love Walked In 4:39
4. All Too Soon 5:14
5. You’re Almost Perfect* 3:27
6. This Could Be the Start of Something Big 3:00
7. Interlude (A Night in Tunisia) 3:12
8. Cool Baby 4:18
9. Si Tu Pudieras Quereme 3:41
10. Speak Softly, Love 3:53
11. Plus Je T’Embrasse 3:01
12. The Moon Was Yellow 3:06
13. How Did I Know This Was the End?* 3:18

(Asterisk denotes compositions written/co-written by Angela Verbrugge)

Jim Brenan 11 (feat. Chris Andrew) - 50/50 (February 8, 2019)

Spending half his life in Edmonton and half in Calgary, Jim Brenan knows well the wealth of talent harbored within their city limits. The Jim Brenan 11 is a union of the most versatile and talented Alberta-based jazz musicians you can find.

Brenan was raised in Edmonton and now lives and works in Calgary. Playing regularly in both cities, he wanted to capture the talent and creativity of the musicians from both communities. As the eleventh member of the group, Brenan serves as the composer, arranger, tenor saxophonist and peacekeeper between Oilers and Flames fans.

The creation of this music began with Brenan’s desire to unify two communities but also to express an identity focused on inclusivity. “I had a desire to create a large, acoustic band that brought a powerful, groove based sound - just rhythm section and horns. While thinking of the instrumentation, I knew that I wanted to showcase a wide variety of musical minds. It’s the guys in the band that collectively come together to make up the unique sound”. Jim Brenan’s sound is infused with a soul and energy that bursts through the seams of its songs.

Tiger’s Milk is a tribute to the Tied and Tickled trio’s blend of jazz and world music; an uncompromising power-to-the-people anthem that changes gears mid-way through it’s loping melody. Jocasta plays like a cop show car chase while Empress and Hiding Place, impossible to define by genre, ease into the more soulful side of the band.

Jim Brenan

Featuring Chris Andrew was a “no brainer” for this project. Chris, originally from BC has come to represent the best-of-the-best in his adopted province - quite simply every project is better with Chris. Having worked together for many decades, Brenan knew this collaboration was a natural fit and one that paid off spectacularly. Check out Chris on any of the tracks, but especially his space time warp on Fant-O-Max, reminiscent of the greatest explorations of Bitches Brew.

The soloistic firepower is evident, with the likes of Craig Brenan, Sean Craig, Mike Gardner, Sergio Rodriguez, Jamie Cooper and Rubim de Toledo featured throughout. The gritty loose funk is an undeniably catchy blend that punches above its small ensemble weight.

The results of blending 11 of Alberta’s finest musicians creates a true 50/50 collaboration of talent and skill, proving we can come together to focus on what’s important; the music.

Sean Craig: alto saxophone
Mike Gardner: alto saxophone
Sarah Matheson-Nadeau: baritone saxophone / flute
Craig Brenan: trombone
Carsten Rubeling: trombone
Jim Murray: trumpet
Sergio Rodriguez: trumpet
Chris Andrew: Rhodes / clavinet
Rubim De Toledo: bass
Jamie Cooper: drums
Raul Tabera: percussion


In 2017, as Canada celebrated 150 years of confederation, 23 year old Hamilton drummer Harry Vetro took to the road. He traveled coast to coast, visiting communities in Canada's six indigenous cultural areas (Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains, and Eastern Woodlands) in an effort to connect with musicians and artists from different cultural backgrounds, and to better understand the land's long cultural history.

Northern Ranger - Vetro's debut album - tells the story of his travels. A jazz musician by training, Harry melded his own style of improvised music with folk and classical influences to create a deeply personal statement, one that speaks to the country as a whole. 

A recent graduate of the University of Toronto Jazz program, Vetro leads an active performing career, Past performances include the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival and Orillia Jazz Festival. 

Proceeds from this album will assist in starting an outreach initiative for youth with limited access to music education. The program will be titled "Northern Ranger Outreach" and Vetro will be partnering with his father, who is an educator and musician with connections in the school system. 

Northern Ranger will be released on Friday, October 19th on T.Sound Records.

Lina Allemano - Trumpet
Harrison Argatoff - Saxophone
Dan Pitt - Guitar
Ian McGimpsey - Guitar
Noah Franche-Nolan - Piano
Jacob Thompson - Piano
Andrew Downing - Bass
Phil Albert - Bass
Jessica Deutsch - Violin
Aline Homzy - Violin
Anna Atkinson - Viola
Andrew Downing - Cello

Playlist for Tom Ossana ~ The Thin Edge ~ January 23, 2019 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.