3

University of Toronto 12TET: Rebirth

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
University of Toronto 12TET: Rebirth You'd be hard-pressed to find a more congenial curtain-raiser than Jason Stillman's animated, inflexibly swinging "Contemporary Insanity," which opens Rebirth, the debut album by the University of Toronto's snug and well-upholstered 12TET. That's admittedly a tough act to follow, and while the ensemble gives it the old college try it doesn't always live up to the promise of that bright beginning, a shortcoming that can be ascribed in large measure to charts that, while purposeful and assured, simply aren't as irrepressible or engaging as "Insanity."

That's not to say the 12TET isn't proficient, as director Terry Promane, a splendid musician in his own right, wouldn't have it any other way. But the other four newly minted compositions, including Promane's "The Shadow Knows," are by and large less than spellbinding, even though each has its individual moments of substance and charm. "The Shadow," whose urbane framework enfolds a laid-back tenor solo by Landen Vieira, precedes pianist Noam Lemish's unassuming "Rebirth" and trombonist Michael Brooker's even-tempered "BO" (on which he solos with alto Matt Woroshyl and bassist Jeff Deegan). The venerable standard "September in the Rain" is a showpiece for vocalist Laura Swankey who sings earnestly but otherwise fails to entice one's ear in spite of a superb chart that kindles memories of Canadian colossus Rob McConnell. The finale, saxophonist Donny McCaslin's free-spirited "Claire," is likeable enough, its emphatic rhythms and punchy brass underscoring compatible solos by Ben Hognestad (on electric piano) and Vieira. Hognestad and Vieira are polished ad-libbers, as are Woroshyl, Lemish, Deegan, guitarist Alexei Orechin and vibraphonist Bryan Gilmartin.

Even though the material could be stronger, Rebirth furnishes clear evidence that the university's Jazz Studies program is on an upward curve, coming as it does on the heels of the UT Ten O'Clock Orchestra's superb album, Reflections, under its new director, Gordon Foote. With that in mind, a second endeavor by the 12TET would by no means be unwelcome.

Track Listing: Contemporary Insanity; The Shadow Knows; Rebirth; BO; September in the Rain; Claire.

Personnel: Terry Promane: director; Tara Kannangara: trumpet, flugelhorn; Emily Denison: trumpet, flugelhorn; Matt Woroshyl: alto, soprano sax; Landen Vieira: tenor sax; Kaan Gunesberk: tenor sax; Michael Brooker: trombone; Eric Porter: trombone; Bryan Gilmartin: vibraphone; Alexei Orechin: guitar; Ben Hognestad: piano, Wurlitzer electric piano; Noam Lemish: piano; Jeff Deegan: acoustic, electric bass; Evan Cartwright: drums; Laura Swankey: vocal (5).

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Uoft Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Points of View CD/LP/Track Review Points of View
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Migration Blues CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read N.O. Escape CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read Reflections CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "A Woman's Work..." CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Work...
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Magic Light" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Light
by James Nadal
Published: April 26, 2016
Read "Natural Language" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Language
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Guilty Saints" CD/LP/Track Review Guilty Saints
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "The Good Life" CD/LP/Track Review The Good Life
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 8, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: DOT TIME RECORDS | BUT IT  

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!