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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jim Brenan 11: 50 / 50

Read "50 / 50" reviewed by Jack Bowers

A popular jazz magazine once had (and perhaps still has) a list of CDs in most issues labeled “beyond category." 50 / 50, the debut (?) recording by Canadian saxophonist / composer Jim Brenan's eleven-piece ensemble, would fit quite comfortably therein. It is as hard to ascertain Brenan's frames of reference as it is to unravel ...

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 ...

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

Jerrold Dubyk Quintet: Invitations

Read "Invitations" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Jerrold Dubyk helpfully defines the title of his third album, Invitations, as “an often formal request to be present or participate." Pedantic jazz fans (and there are many) might wish to point out that the definition refers to the singular, while the title is plural. The less pedantic might simply wish to shake their heads, reflect ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jerrold Dubyk Quintet: Invitations

Read "Invitations" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Canadian saxophonist Jerrold Dubyk delivers his third album as leader on Invitations , where he blends an array of fresh original music with a few cover tunes in forging an audacious musical experience of modern-styled jazz. An educator by profession, Dubyk is the Director of Music at Strathcona High school as well as serving on the ...

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 ...


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