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Pianist/composer Bill Gilliam was born in London, England but is now based in Toronto. In addition to leading the Bill Gilliam Ensemble, this multi-faceted artist has also written music for theatre productions, films and dancers. Spirit Matter, a follow-up to his first contemporary jazz release Urban Undercurrents, features eight inventive originals performed by some of Toronto’s finest jazz musicians. While Gilliam’s piano often deals in dark tonal colours, saxophonist Erinie Tollar and well-known trumpeter Kevin Turcotte add bright light to the leaders compositions. Indeed, Spirit Matter is full of shifting rhythms (courtesy of bassist Duncan Hopkins, drummer Ben Riley and percussionist Mark Duggan), solid group interplay and thoughtful improvisation. This is one Canadian jazz recording that definitely deserves wider recognition. Very impressive. ####
Track Listing: Headlong, The Empath, Nina's Love, Sign of Times, Rattle My Cage, The Way Ahead, The Richness of Living, Slice of the Pie, Home Journey
Personnel: Piano:Bill Gilliam, Sax:Ernie Tollar, Trumpet: Kevin Turcotte, Drums: Ben Riley, Percussion: Mark Duggan