It takes a lot of self-confidence, not to mention talent, to compose a four-part Concerto for Jazz Orchestra that strives to paint a musical picture of certain kinds of machinery, but that is what Fred Stride has ventured to do on Forward Motion, the second half of which is devoted to Machina, a four-part suite commissioned by John Korsrud and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. Thanks in part to his perceptive notes, it's clear what Stride had in mind; whether the listener welcomes the concept or finds it musically agreeable is another matter.
In any case, one must concede that Stride's Vancouver-based ensemble unravels his elaborate charts with machine-like precision, adeptly underlining every nuance and shading while making certain that the assorted changes in tempo are squarely on the mark. Machina's opening movement comprises two parts: "Input, depicting "a type of computational machine, and "Process, which concerns itself with "the manipulation of data. Flugel Brad Turner solos on Part 1, guitarist Daryl Jahnke and trombonist Dennis Esson on Part 2. The second movement, "Colossus, portrays "very large machinery with very large solos to match by baritone saxophonist Mike Braverman and tubaist Brad Muirhead. The third movement, "Sound, delineates a mysterious machine that "can move abruptly from the softest to the loudest sound, while the final movement, "Velocity, is, as its name suggests, concerned with "machinery that is capable of tremendous speeds. Alto Campbell Ryga, trombonist Rod Murray and bassist Andre Lachance share center stage on "Sound, tenors Jon Bentley and Alvin Cornista on "Velocity.
The first half of the album, albeit comparably thematic, is explicitly more orthodox and accessible. The vigorous "Opposition Party, Stride writes, "is an attempt to depict the Canadian parliamentary system in musical terms (it's actually more conciliatory than the description implies). "Gently Swaying, a Latin chart in 7/4, speaks for itself, while "Floatation [sic] Device is an exercise in varying tempos, "A Few Shades Darker an extended blues with a "thick and somewhat dark texture, "Oddly Enough a rhythmic charmer that uses clarinets instead of saxophones in the ensemble passages (and on which clarinetist Tom Colclough sparkles with pianist Ross Taggart and drummer Bernie Arai). Tenors Bentley and Cornista engage in a lively debate on "Opposition Party, while Bentley, Colclough (alto) and flugel Tom Shorthouse are able protagonists on "Swaying, Ryga (alto) and Turner (trumpet) on "Device, Esson and trumpeter Derry Byrne on "Shades.
There's not a lot of ear candy on Forward MotionStride hasn't made things easy by aiming lowbut discerning and open-minded listeners will uncover music that is both pleasurable and rewarding.
Track Listing: Opposition Party; Gently Swaying; Flotation Device; A Few Shades Darker; Oddly Enough;
Machina: A Concert for Jazz Orchestra: Input-Process; Colossus; Sound; Velocity (79:28).
Personnel: Fred Stride: composer, arranger, conductor; Paul Baron, Derry Byrne, Brad Turner, Tom
Shorthouse, Kent Wallace: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tom Colclough: alto, soprano sax, clarinet;
Campbell Ryga (3,5,7): alto, soprano sax, bass clarinet; Chris Startup (1-4): alto sax; Jens
Christiansen (5-9): alto sax, clarinet; Jon Bentley: tenor sax, alto clarinet; Alvin Cornista:
tenor sax; Mike Braverman: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Dennis Esson, Rod Murray, Jeremy
Berkman: trombone; Neil Nicholson (1-4), Brad Moorhead (5-9): bass trombone; Ross
Taggart: piano; Daryl Jahnke: guitar; Andre Lachance: bass; Bernie Arai: drums; Jack
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.