Browsing: Vocal Jazz

Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal — Under the Influence Suite Justin Time JTR 8597-2 Two years after its debut release on the ATMA label, Montreal’s premiere jazz orchestra, the ONJ, has finally released its second effort, this one on Justin Time. Its move from a classical label to a jazz one certainly makes sense. The presence of saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen may explain this, because Justin Time has already produced two albums of her own big band. The title of this latest disc pretty well tells the story, as it is a programmatic work that pays tribute to five…

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Based on previous experience, the live jazz scene really shifts into overdrive early in October. Not so this year. In fact, it’s off and running just after Labour Day. On September 6, Upstairs Jazz Bar presents a season-opening concert and record launch pairing Israeli saxophonist Tevet Sela and John Roney (see opposite page for album details). At the same venue, French native and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, now firmly ensconced in town since his move here two years ago, holds his monthly trio gig, with dates on Sept. 18, Oct. 27 and Nov. 18. Now in its fifth season, the Orchestre…

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Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival Montreal, until June 18 The most convivial and bilingual event of the season, the Montreal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival takes place in the heart of the city on the Main. What makes it different? A program determined by lottery! Theatre, comedy, dance, music, and drag…no less than 153 talented companies from all over the world will be battling for your attention. The best way to pick is by reading the audience reviews posted in Parc des Amériques ­– an exercise that’s sure to make you a real fringier. My bets are on inVitro, by Pretium Doloris, the…

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INTERVIEW: with Lawrence Brownlee (and Opera Philadelphia general director David Devan). The busy life of one world-class tenor just got that much busier, and the American opera scene stands to benefit mightily by it. On March 30, Opera Philadelphia announced that renowned tenor Lawrence Brownlee will be its newest “artistic advisor” – a role in which the artist will carry an impressive brief of prerogatives for advancing the programming, outreach, and project development of a company already regarded as among the most progressive, energetic and innovative in the country. Brownlee is, of course, an international performance star, appearing regularly on…

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On Stage By the looks of it, there is plenty of live jazz at the Maisons de la Culture this season, and the following listings merely scratch the surface. In what might be one of his final appearances, Oliver Jones will play on November 18 at Maisonneuve. Bassist Michel Donato, for his part, hasn’t called it a day yet; on December 2, he’ll perform on a double bill at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, first by improvising in and around the Bach Cello Suites, backed by drummer Pierre Tanguay, then join forces with two other veterans, pianist Pierre Leduc and…

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+ Sir Roger Norrington is celebrating the unorthodox at the Proms this week. “As a rule, conductors stand on their dignity. They take themselves seriously. They like to be revered. In his own idiosyncratic way, Norrington himself is all three: dignified, serious and revered. But he is also a lot of fun. He wants to connect with his audience. So when his listeners laughed out loud at a musical joke during his performance of a Haydn symphony, he was not offended but delighted.” + Speaking of the Proms, read a review of Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing…

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For her widespread influences, Xenia Rubinos’s music defies neatly bound classifications. Now living in Brooklyn, Rubinos draws heavily on her Cuban and Pueto Rican heritage to create a personal brand of experimental soul that explores ideas of race and economic strata. The Afro-Latino jazz grooves are evident as well as indelible inspiration from neo-soul potentate Erykah Badu. Her most recent offering, Black Terry Cat, riffs off hiphop influences and the current political surround to create an exploration of how coloured women fit. The sonic texture finds its roots in the forceful pop hits of Beyonce to the cross-over success of…

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Today’s Daily News Roundup asks whether Classical music is as calming as we are lead to believe. Plus a new appointment to the Philadelphia Orchestra, and more. + Is Classical Music calming for our brains? Gramophone’s Andrew Mellor deconstructs the notion. “Let’s not deny great music its reassuring, contemplative and soothing qualities. But let’s not pretend that’s all it does either. Music of all kinds – whether heard live at the Philharmonie in Berlin or via your phone on the top deck of the 196 bus – has the ability to temporarily realign the chemical balance in our brains. It’s a…

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In an interesting mix of West African Songhoy lyrics and electric guitar blues, the four member Songhoy Blues play trance-like grooves that shouldn’t be relegated into ‘fusion’ or ‘world’ music just because they aren’t western. From Mali, the Songhoy Blues play what they call ‘desert blues’ to capture the nostalgia and dislocation caused by wartime migration. Their droning guitar riffs and lyrical strains build into an infectious swelter, while the drum beats and guitar solos can’t help but raise heartbeats and get feet tapping. Video of the Day: Songhoy Blues – NPR Tiny Desk Concert

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Here is your Daily News Roundup megapost for July 13 to 15. We apologize that the website experienced some turbulence during that period – we are working tirelessly to fix issues as they arise! + La Scena Musicale is launching its 2015–16 fundraising campaign. Learn what you can do to help here. + Read Norman Lebrecht’s weekly album review. This week he critiques a disc of Polish violin concertos performed by Piotr Plawner and the Kammersymphonie Berlin. “Piotr Plawner is a dexterous soloist and the Kammersymphonie Berlin offer decent accompaniment, but the interpretations are safe and somewhat anonymous. Compare the Panufnik…

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