235

Bill McBirnie: Mercy

Paul J. Youngman By

Sign in to view read count
Bill McBirnie: Mercy Bill McBirnie is an award-winning flutist, based in Toronto, Canada and Mercy is the fourth release on his own independent label, Extreme Flute. The album is divided into two parts with a quartet performing on seven songs, and a duo, featuring McBirnie and pianist Robi Botos, covering five songs. The liner notes indicate the project was recorded over two days in the summer of 2009, with the quartet performing on day one and the duo the following day. The quartet includes Botos, and is rounded out by a solid rhythm section, featuring bassist Pat Collins and drummer John Sumner. The result is technical magnificence.

McBirnie is one of the best living jazz flautists in the world, while Botos is an award-winning pianist, and one of the strongest jazz piano players on the scene. Together they have produced a power-packed album that high lights their virtuosic talents. Technically stunning musicianship is offset by powerful emotions that combine grace and beauty, providing for a bountiful feast of audio delight.

The first two tracks are dedicated to Hubert Laws and Jeremy Steig: Laws' "Baila Cinderella," and Ann Ronell's "Willow Weep For Me," which Steig played on Flute Fever , his 1963 Columbia debut. Laws and Steig have set a high standard for jazz flute and, as McBirnie states, "These are the two musicians who have exerted the greatest influence on me."

The album is a mix of styles: a blend of swing, Latin, bebop and Dixieland. The predominant feel is bebop, with Latin overtones, a genre at which McBirnie excels, while Botos is a master of bop in all its idioms. The balladic duet, "Gentle Rain," with its hint of bossa nova, is a beautiful journey through an enchanted garden of piano and flute, with sumptuous tones that cascade in elegant splendor. Mercy concludes in slow rhapsody with Botos' elegant original, "Mercy."

Track Listing: Baila Cinderella; Willow Weep For Me; Airegin; Stuffy Turkey; Gentle Rain; I'm Walkin'; Yardbird Suite; Way Down Yonder In New Orleans; Moments Notice; Minha Saudade; Groovin' High; Mercy.

Personnel: Bill McBirnie: flute; Robi Botos: piano; Pat Collins: bass; John Sumner: drums.

Title: Mercy | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "New Life" CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read "The Frog, The Fish and The Whale" CD/LP/Track Review The Frog, The Fish and The Whale
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 24, 2016
Read "Euro Swing Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Euro Swing Vol. 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Chamber Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Chamber Jazz
by Dave Wayne
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "In Love With" CD/LP/Track Review In Love With
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: July 25, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.