177

Various Artists: Jazz @ Banff

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
This recording, now more than four years old, was produced to celebrate the 20th anniversary (in 1994) of the Banff Centre for the Arts in Alberta, Canada, with performances by a number of artists and groups associated with the Centre including the 1993–94 editions of the Banff Jazz Orchestra. Pianist Chucho Valdés (”Liza”) was recorded in concert, all other selections in a studio. While some of the names may be more familiar than others to Jazz enthusiasts in the Lower 48, everyone involved in the enterprise is first–rate. The music is wide–ranging and picturesque, even if sometimes less than seductive. The multi–talented Don Thompson, who could probably master any instrument he decided to challenge, backs velvet–voiced Norma Winstone on bass (“Nardis”) and piano (“Cloudy Morning”), leaving gem–like imprints in his wake. Speaking of piano, Valdés offers a one–person clinic on “Liza,” peppering the landscape with brilliant runs and powerful crescendos in a virtuoso performance that hints at everyone from Hines and Tatum to Garner and Powell. Tenor saxophonist LaBarbera, a mainstay in big bands from Buddy Rich to Dave McMurdo, appears in a quartet setting on the slow–paced and atmospheric “Occulto,” while the trombone group Bonehenge embroiders John Coltrane’s mellow tone–poem, “Naima.” Hugh Fraser and his trio are wide–awake and cookin’ on the leader’s vibrant composition, “Mode to McCoy.” The remaining numbers are divided between the Jazz Orchestras from ’94 (“Mount Rundle,” “Dogmatic,” “For Kenny Wheeler”) and ’93 (“Still Would,” “Yo’ Blues Is Showing”). It’s too bad the soloists aren’t listed, as there are a number of notable choruses along the way including tenor sax (“Mount Rundle”), piano (“Kenny Wheeler”) and especially the wailing baritone sax and saucy piano on Robin Shier’s Basie–esque “Yo’ Blues.” Three cheers and a tip of the fedora to director Phil Nimmons and everyone at the Banff Centre. You’re in the groove; stay right there and you can’t go wrong.

Track listing: Mount Rundle; Liza; Still Would; Nardis; Naima; Occulto; Dogmatic; Cloudy Morning; For Kenny Wheeler; Mode to McCoy; Yo’ Blues Is Showing (70:57).

Personnel:

1993

| Record Label: Banff Centre | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Cactus" CD/LP/Track Review Cactus
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 26, 2016
Read "Heartaches By The Number" CD/LP/Track Review Heartaches By The Number
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Convergence" CD/LP/Track Review Convergence
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Madjafalao" CD/LP/Track Review Madjafalao
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 19, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!