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Article: Album Review

Queen Kong: Fray

Read "Fray" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Providing further evidence of the capaciousness of the Toronto jazz scene, Queen Kong is a neo-klezmer outfit that brings smart musicianship and some crafty grooves to its debut, Fray. Although the name of the band has a facetious aspect, there's nothing flippant about Queen Kong's music, as it mines a rich vein of cultural resources in ...

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Article: Album Review

Kate Wyatt: Artifact

Read "Artifact" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


At this point, in June of 2022, there is not a lot of internet chatter concerning Montreal-based pianist Kate Wyatt. Her website does not include a biography. But a trip to YouTube land reveals a bit of music from her debut CD release, Artifact. That may be all anyone needs in terms of an introduction. It ...

2

Article: Album Review

Ariane Racicot: Envolée

Read "Envolée" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianos pop up in odd places--airports, shopping malls, and Quebec's Mount Royal Park, where pianist Ariane Racicot strode up to a lonely upright, sat down and presented an unsuspecting crowd to a killer version of Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody." This performance then popped up on YouTube, where it has garnered 18 million views. Racicot was ...

6

Article: Album Review

Yannick Rieu Generation Quartet: Qui Qu'en Grogne

Read "Qui Qu'en Grogne" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Veteran jazz man Yannick Rieu, based in Montreal, was tagged back in 1988 as one of the top saxophonists in the world, his name mentioned alongside Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano and Courtney Pine. That set the bar high. A bit over thirty years have passed since he was presented with that high praise. Qui Qu'en Grogne, ...

1

Article: Album Review

Yves Léveillé: L’Échelle du Temps

Read "L’Échelle du Temps" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Although he has yet to achieve substantial acclaim beyond his native Canada, Montreal-based pianist Yves Léveillé has made an accomplished series of albums going back to 1999 with Signal Commun, the first of several releases on Effendi Records. Léveillé's music possesses a strong jazz vocabulary, but the pianist also has an abiding classical temperament. A disc ...

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Article: Album Review

JazzLab Orchestra: Loguslabusmuzikus

Read "Loguslabusmuzikus" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Jazzlab Orchestra has been a fixture on the jazz scene in Canada for nearly two decades. Their unique heavy sound features six brass and reed players with a relatively standard piano, bass and drum rhythm section, and they've captured that sound on several standalone recordings and presented it on more than 300 concert stages across North ...

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Article: Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Consecrated

Read "Consecrated" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The searching spirit that drives the work of composer and pianist Earl MacDonald is both a reflection on musical curiosity and, to a deeper extent, a statement of faith. Bringing both of those identity-shaping aspects to the fore like never before, MacDonald uses Consecrated to work toward a higher purpose. Reshaping and resetting a series of ...

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Article: Album Review

Nick Maclean: Can You Hear Me?

Read "Can You Hear Me?" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Nick Maclean plays in his comfort zones with his ensemble work in the funkified electric jazz group Snaggle, and in his New York City-style, Herbie Hancock-influenced modern jazz group, the Nick Maclean Quartet. But the solo format—at least in the recording studio—is new territory to him. Undaunted by the prospect, he offers up a double ...

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Article: Album Review

Noam Lemish: Erlebnisse

Read "Erlebnisse" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Long a part of the Toronto jazz scene, pianist Noam Lemish hasn't at all been limited to that genre. He has made plenty of jazz recordings, some of the best of which include drummer George Marsh: their self-produced duo album Nightfall (2013) is an especially winning slice of post-bop jazz. But Lemish may be at his ...

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Article: Album Review

Noam Lemish: Erlebnisse

Read "Erlebnisse" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Pianist Noam Lemish carries multiple talents in his jam-packed bag of tricks: jazz artist, classical composer, improviser, accompanist. The Toronto- based artist-educator is probably best known for his leader/co-leader work in several different ensembles, including his jazz quartet and a twelve piece chamber jazz orchestra and jazz choir. With 2021's Erlebnisse he pares things down and ...


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