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 Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Routes" CD/LP/Track Review Routes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "A Missing Shade of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A Missing Shade of Blue
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Dream Delivery" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Delivery
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 28, 2016
Read "Fake It Until You Make It" CD/LP/Track Review Fake It Until You Make It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Muddy Ditch" CD/LP/Track Review Muddy Ditch
by John Eyles
Published: April 7, 2016

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!

Buy it!