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 Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Home" CD/LP/Track Review Home
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Collage of Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Collage of Moments
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Monte Alban" CD/LP/Track Review Monte Alban
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Prague After Dark" CD/LP/Track Review Prague After Dark
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 16, 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!