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by Chris M. Slawecki
Canada's Bill McBirnie is known around the world for his flute prowess in Latin, pop, jazz and classical music settings. For example, he was personally recruited by Sir James Galway to serve as Resident Jazz Flute Specialist on Galway's official website. McBirnie published The Technique and Theory of Improvisation: A practical guide for flutists, doublers and other instrumentalists in 2019. He has recorded as sideman with artists in styles ranging from Irakere to Junior Mance. McBirnie is also the only ...read more
by Don Phipps
On this set of choice covers and one original, Bill McBirnie uses the flute to express dancing, happiness, blues, romance and melancholy. Sliding effortlessly along the keys of his instrument, McBirnie produces a wonderfully cool tone. Take his work on Ray Bryant's Reflection" or Kenny Dorham's Blue Bossa." There's a peppy action to it, like a kite darting back and forth in the sky. The album features musical conversations between McBirnie and pianist Bernie Senensky. These conversations have ...read more
by Edward Blanco
Canadian jazz flautist Bill McBirnie fronts a unique organ trio on Find Your Place, his sixth album as a leader. McBirnie lends his Extreme" flute and award-winning chops to an array of swing, Latin-flavored, bossa nova, shuffle and ballads in one audacious outing. Joining forces with fellow Canadians Bernie Senensky on Hammond B3 organ and Anthony Michelli on drums, the trio play their way through a sensational selection of standards from such icons as Cole Porter, Horace Silver, Duke Pearson ...read more
by Dan McClenaghan
The standard organ trio doesn't usually include a flute. On paper, it sounds like a bad idea. It seems as if the cool breeze aspects of the airy blowing of the flute would get lost in the organ's electric woosh. As it turns out, flutist Bill McBirnie's Find Your Place, proves those seemingly similar sounds to be quite complimentary. The genesis for the project lies in the recording of a previous McBirnie set, Paco Paco (Extreme Flute, 2005). ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Include Bill McBirnie as an integral player in Canadian jazz. The Toronto-based flautist has marked his credentials through recordings of his own, in addition to appearances on albums by Junior Mance, Memo Acavedo, and Irakere; jam sessions at the Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo; and appearances with Herbie Mann, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Blakey. Listening to McBirnie makes his credentials clear. He dips into the nectar of a melody and his dulcet tones rise to trigger the core of his ...read more
by Jack Bowers
Now that the great Moe Koffman is no longer among us, there’s an opening in Canada for an outstanding straight-ahead jazz flutist, and I suspect that, with Nature Boy, Bill McBirnie has submitted his application and staked his claim.
In the liner notes McBirnie is modest about his talents, but he needn’t be. He has great chops, a clear, sparkling sound and enough luminous ideas to brighten anyone’s melancholy frame of mind. McBirnie showcases each of those assets on an ...read more