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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra: Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait

Read "Suite 150 / A Big Band Portrait" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To commemorate Canada's one hundred-fiftieth anniversary in 2017, the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra commissioned eleven of the country's foremost jazz composers to write music “reflecting some aspect of Canada or being Canadian." The resulting Suite 150 was performed for appreciative audiences and recorded for posterity in November 2017 and March 2018 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist, Composer, Arranger Earl MacDonald release  new recording “Open Borders”

Pianist Earl MacDonald, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut, is set to release his fifth album as a bandleader—Open Borders. For this project, the two-time JUNO-award nominee assembled a lean and mean 10-piece band, capable of capturing the intimate subtleties of a jazz combo, or packing the walloping punch of a full big ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Politicians might do well to take a few pointers from pianist-arranger Earl MacDonald. As this fine album attests to, it's far better to build bridges than walls, and far more productive to open borders and dialogue than close hearts, minds, and doors. While MacDonald didn't initially set out to make a political statement ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald and the Creative Opportunity Workshop: Mirror of the Mind

Read "Mirror of the Mind" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Death Defying Records, it says on the cover. A doom-laden title for a record label but any expectations of a frenzy of black metal or gangster rap are soon dispelled by the beautiful cello and piano interplay on the opening bars of the title track. Mirror Of The Mind, from pianist Earl MacDonald and the Creative ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald and the Creative Opportunity Workshop: Mirror of the Mind

Read "Mirror of the Mind" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Not satisfied with the traditional jazz spectrum, pianist and educator Earl MacDonald explores new ways of expressing his progressive taste and with Mirror of the Mind deciding to challenge the boundaries of jazz with a unique instrumentation and sound forged by his new band, Creative Opportunity Workshop. As Director of Jazz Studies at the University of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald: Re:Visions

Read "Re:Visions" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

In a period when many new recordings feature trios, quartets or other small ensembles, it's refreshing when a full-size orchestra comes along. Pianist, composer and arranger Earl MacDonald offers that refreshment with Re:Visions--Works for Jazz Orchestra. MacDonald is a native of Winnipeg, Canada and director of jazz studies at the University of Connecticut. A ...

Earl MacDonald: Re: Visions

Read "Re: Visions" reviewed by Edward Blanco

There are far too few big band albums being recorded these days, so it is with great appreciation that the music of professor Earl MacDonald finds its way to the studio for lovers of the genre to enjoy. Harnessing the talents of a 17-piece, world-class orchestra, MacDonald--a composer/arranger/pianist and director of Jazz Studies at the University ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl MacDonald: Re: Visions

Read "Re: Visions" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The big band era ended long ago, but the world is a better place because people like pianist Earl MacDonald still yearn to keep it alive in some way. MacDonald--a composer, arranger, pianist and Director of jazz studies at the University of Connecticut--is probably best known for his work in jazz education and his time spent ...


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