Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Rebecca Hennessy's FOG Brass Band new album release "Two Calls"

Two Calls is Rebecca Hennessy’s first full-length release at the helm, and marks a culmination of influences from her diverse trumpet career.  On this recording, Hennessy’s writing brings the traditions of New Orleans party brass bands, Balkan folk music, country blues and high-energy jazz-rock side by side in unique juxtapositions.  These songs, in all their diversity, evoke her myriad musical and extra-musical influences, bringing a unique mix of modern and traditional jazz with themes of nature. 

The album delivers a lot of music drawn from natural imagery, especially the title song that features a field recording of two competing bird songs that she made deep in the Panamanian jungle.  Rebecca leads FOG with her characteristically warm trumpet sound and improviser’s approach to the music, recognizable from her successful and eclectic career both in Toronto as the musical director of the Massey Hall Women’s Blues Review and as a staple in several modern jazz outfits including Hobson’s Choice and Way North.  With her style and personality, she is always pushing FOG into new territory in each song.  

Rebecca Hennessy is a highly sought-after Toronto-based trumpeter, composer and bandleader who has been performing, recording and touring with various projects since moving to Toronto in 2003 from Vancouver Island, BC. As a leader and co-leader, Rebecca has released seven albums to date and has toured Mexico, Panama, Europe, USA and extensively in Canada. She has also performed and recorded with internationally recognized artists including Adele, Ron Sexsmith, Andy Kim, Owen Pallett, Broken Social Scene, Feist, Ab Baars and Ken Vandermark. 

Marty's review: Be prepared for a journey on this album as Rebecca Hennessy and FOG take you through a few different realms of jazz combining rock, fusion, world sounds, New Orleans style brass and some beautiful, almost ambient pieces that will take you places beyond the limits of your mind. Expert and creative musicianship all round with original compositions that ebb and flow together to create a musical adventure for the senses.

Two Calls will be released internationally on Friday, May 19th, 2017.

official website:


publicity: Orange Grove Publicity

Download FREE information sheet HERE

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Peter Campbell - Loving You (A Tribute to Shirley Horn)

Announcing the gorgeous new album from Canadian-American singer Peter Campbell entitled Loving You.

Loving You is Campbell's sophomore Canadian release, and it's a tribute to the inimitable Shirley Horn. Campbell’s love affair with Shirley Horn began while he was an undergraduate at McGill University. Horn’s 1992 recording, “Here’s to Life,” proved revelatory: never before had he experienced a musician able to express so much with such seeming economy. Her impeccable taste in material; an instrumental proficiency and invention that could hold its own against any established jazz instrumentalist; and a dedication to lyric interpretation: these would become Horn’s trademarks and establish her as arguably the greatest ballad singer of her generation. Her recordings and live performances served as master classes in the art of song interpretation.

Having worked in the entertainment industry since childhood, Peter Campbell has performed on television and radio jingles as well as in cabarets and concert venues throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. His recording work includes collaborations with acclaimed New York pianist and musical director Lee Musiker and nylon-string guitar virtuoso Gene Bertoncini. Peter’s early training included vocal study with Joyce McLean of the Juilliard School and the late Paul Trueblood; musical director for Michael Feinstein and Marianne Faithfull and pianist for lyricist Alan Jay Lerner. Born and raised in New York City, Peter resides in Toronto, Canada and Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Loving You will be released internationally on Friday, April 28th, 2017.

Stream selected tracks on SOUNDCLOUD HERE

Official Website:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New York-based modern jazz trio MEM3 new album release "Circles"

Circles is the sophomore release from the New York-based collective, MEM3.  MEM3 features 3 different musicians from 3 different parts of the globe, whose collective vibe and musicianship forms a very distinct and adventurous modern jazz trio.  The trio consists of Michael Cabe on piano from Seattle (USA), Mark Lau on bass from Sydney (Australia) and Ernesto Cervini on drums from Toronto (Canada).

The album is made up of original compositions from all three musicians as well as one traditional hymn. Included is a piece dedicated to the great jazz pianist, Esbjorn Svensson, who’s own trio EST was a great inspiration for these musicians.  The group’s sound is influenced by the trio sounds of the great Oscar Peterson, Peter Erskine, the Bad Plus and the aforementioned EST.  

MEM3 is the culmination of 8 years of close musical and personal friendship between three musicians from three different parts of the globe. These three talented musicians met while they were studying in the Masters Degree program at the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City.  Their debut album Pennsylvania Grey received rave reviews across the globe. 

Circles will be released internationally on Friday, March 24th, 2017 and will be available on iTunes.

Marty's review: MEM3 bring traditional jazz into the 21st century with their new release, Circles. Their finely honed talents all come together on this 10 track collection that sees them taking influences from piano trios of the past and adding a twist of contemporary weaving that creates a soundscape of improvisational style compositions that both gel and flow. Jazz purists will certainly find this appealing and aficionados of modern jazz-fusion will lap this up for all its intricacies and exceptional musicianship from all members.

For further information contact: Orange Grove Publicity

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Friday, March 3, 2017

University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra featuring Dave Liebman and Norma Winston

The University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra (UTJO) is now in the fifth year under the leadership of Gordon Foote. The band is quickly becoming one of Canada’s finest university jazz orchestras and is the flagship group of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of Toronto.  The UTJO has traveled within Ontario to perform concerts and workshops for many high schools. They also traveled to Winnipeg, Manitoba to perform at the National Conference of the Canadian Music Educators Association. The 18-member ensemble is part of the UofT Jazz Program, which offers degrees in jazz studies at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. The UTJO works hard to produce performances that are musical and exciting, with precision and energy. Their repertoire spans many decades, and pays homage to the rich jazz orchestra tradition. 

The University of Toronto 12tet is a contemporary ensemble comprised of students in the Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate programs. Since its creation in 2012, the ensemble has established itself as a vehicle for elite players and composers in the jazz performance program and beyond. The band has been featured many times at the Rex Hotel and U of T’s Walter Hall with guests who rank among Canada’s most prominent jazz musicians. Guest soloists include Ralph Alessi, Jim Lewis and Chase Sanborn. Smaller than a traditional big band, the 12-piece format allows more freedom for soloists while still offering a wide range of ensemble textures. The 12tet sound pays tribute to classic bands, taking cues from Art Pepper Plus 11 and The Rob McConnell Tentet, but also steps further by embracing more contemporary rhythmic and harmonic inspirations.

2 new albums are being released this month. The first is called Sweet Ruby Suite and it's dedicated to the wonderful Canadian-born trumpeter, Kenny Wheeler. The album features the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Gordon Foote with special guests Dave Liebman and Norma Winstone.  

The second is called Trillium Falls and it features the U-of-T 12-TET under the direction of Terry Promane.  

Sweet Ruby Suite and Trillium Falls will be released internationally on Friday, March 10th, 2017. Available on iTunes.


For further information contact: Orange Grove Publicity

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra new album release "Common Ground"

Released this week is the amazing new album from Canadian saxophonist Kirk MacDonald entitled "Common Ground". The album features his all-star Jazz Orchestra, consisting of many of the nation's top musicians.

With an established reputation as one of Canada's leading saxophonists, Kirk MacDonald cut his first record at the age of thirteen. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, and has worked with many leading musicians in a variety of musical genres. He has performed on over fifty CDs as both leader and sideman, and has participated in numerous national broadcast recordings for CBC Radio. In addition to performing extensively throughout Canada, he has also performed in the USA, Spain, France, Italy, Holland, Monaco, Australia, Korea, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.

It is always a major undertaking to produce a recording for large ensemble - Common Ground was no exception. This is the third recording by the KMJO (The Kirk MacDonald Jazz Orchestra) and MacDonald's thirteenth as a leader. 

This CD is a follow up to the 2015 Juno Award Winning Vista Obscura (AJR025). KMJO has come a long way from their debut performance at the Halifax Jazz Festival in 2004. Since then, the group has performed extensively, released two albums, and developed a book that consists of over thirty-five of MacDonald's compositions arranged by some of Canada's finest composers/arrangers. 

Preview selected tracks from the album HERE

Official website:

Watch the videos

Common Ground will be released internationally on Friday, February 24th, 2017

Marty's review: The KMJO take big band jazz to another level on this new release. With an 8 track collection that clocks in at a generous 88 minutes, making the average length of each track around 11 minutes, this is certainly one that highlights the professionalism of each member of the band. Starting with Kirk MacDonald's skillfully honed saxophone licks right through to the bass and percussion, this masterpiece of progressive jazz is one that will delight the serious jazz listener. 

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Multi-talented vocalist Heather Bambrick new album "You'll Never Know"

Out this month is a wonderfully swinging yet introspective album from one of Canada's top entertainers, Heather Bambrick, entitled You'll Never Know.  The album features an incredible group of musicians including bandmates pianist Mark Kieswetter (Jon Hendricks, Zoot Simms), bassist Ross MacIntyre (Matt Dusk, Emilie-Claire Barlow), drummer Davide DiRenzo (Cassandra Wilson, Holly Cole), and trumpeter Chase Sanborn (Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin), as well as guitarist Rob Piltch (Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Carol Welsman), John Johnson (Holly Cole, Manteca), and legendary flugelhorn virtuoso Guido Basso. 

The material ranges from seriously swinging standards ("Get Happy" and "I Only Have Eyes For You”), and stirring original arrangements of pop tunes (“Lovers In A Dangerous Time”) and theatre mainstays (“Far From the Home I Love”), to stunning interpretations of Newfoundland folk music (“Petty Harbour Bait Skiff”) … all delivered with an emotional and vocal maturity that demonstrates a new level of engagement and comfort in her artistry.

Recorded by Juno winners John “Beetle” Bailey and Jono Grant, this album lives where tasteful elegance, introspective interpretation, and straight-up fun all intersect!

Check out selected tracks from the album on SoundCloud.  

Heather Bambrick has been wearing many hats for many years - and all of them fit her well! She’s an award-winning vocalist, voice actor, broadcaster, and educator, working with some of the best in the business. 

Heather has performed internationally collaborating with artists such as Phil Nimmons, Fred Hirsch, Gene DiNovi, Guido Basso, Lea Delaria, Anne Hampton Callaway, Carol Welsman, Jackie Richardson, Ian Shaw, as well as the late Rob McConnell and Peter Appleyard. She is a founding member of the Beehive Singers (1994 - 2001) and Broadsway, a Jazz / Cabaret ensemble with whom she is currently actively recording and touring. Heather has been a guest performer with various Jazz ensembles, as well as with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, the Cathedral Bluffs Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. She will make her debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in 2017. 

You'll Never Know will be released internationally on Friday, February 10th, 2016.   

brand new video for "Lovers In A Dangerous Time" released today

Marty's review: Heather Bambrick's array of talents certainly shine through on this latest release. A smooth and polished production that highlights Heather's up front and clear vocals that are at home with jazz, soul and blues styles and she delivers each track with passion and much more than the required aplomb. Combined with top quality jazz musicians that shine on every note, it all comes together in a recording that will please all music lovers, jazz or otherwise. My favourite tracks, "I Can't See for Lookin'" and "Get Happy". 

Find out more on official website:

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jazz Pianist Brian Dickinson new album release "The Rhythm Method"

"The Rhythm Method" is the engaging and swinging new album from Canadian jazz pianist, composer and arranger Brian Dickinson. Featuring 10 original, and incredibly creative tracks, The Rhythm Method is a sonic adventure that bears repeat listening!

This is Brian Dickinson’s eleventh release as a leader. It features Dickinson on piano, with Kelly Jefferson (tenor saxophone), Luis Deniz (alto saxophone), Neil Swainson (bass), and Ted Warren (drums). The ten tracks are all original compositions by the leader including, “Orion”, a tribute to the great Wayne Shorter and “The Rhythm Method Suite”, a series of compositions inspired by the music of Lennie Tristano.

Stream selected tracks on Soundcloud HERE

Veteran jazz pianist Brian Dickinson has been a mainstay on the Toronto jazz scene for over thirty years. As well as leading his own trio, quartet, quintet and (most lately!) big band projects, he can be heard in bands led by Pat LaBarbera and Kirk MacDonald. He has also worked and recorded with Kenny Wheeler, Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz and Tom Harrell among many others.

Marty's reviewThe professionalism, experience and creativity of Brian Dickinson and his quintet all come through on this most enjoyable release. Classic jazz lines combined with a contemporary edge make this album a masterpiece that must not be overlooked. Every track is a unique piece that is cohesive in its production and where each musician excels at their craft. The line up consists of Brian Dickinson - Piano, Luis Deniz - Alto Saxophone, Kelly Jefferson - Tenor Saxophone, Neil Swainson - Bass and Ted Warren - Drums.

Find out more on official website

The Rhythm Method will be released internationally on Friday, January 20th, 2017.  They will celebrate the release with 3 nights at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto,
January 26th to 28th.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School CD release The Twilight Fall...Contemporary Big Band

Based in Toronto, The SOCIALIST NIGHT SCHOOL -- under the leadership of fast-rising, 24-year old award-winning composer, orchestrator and multi-instrumentalist Chelsea McBride -- is a 19-piece modern big band whose melody driven, lyrical compositions often hide the complex writing style at work. This is high-minded jazz orchestra writing, in the spirit of Bob Brookmeyer, Maria Schneider and Darcy James Argue -- but with a contemporary, modern twist.

The Twilight Fall is the group's first full-length recording and is a very specific vehicle for Chelsea's story-telling, with each tune having it's own narrative direction accompanying it, and outlining a life-cycle that starts you at birth, and then -- one tune at a time -- moves you forward through a life-time of experiences. Each tune is to be treated as a soundtrack to this life-cycle and I highly encourage you to read the "Compositional Narrative" (download here) in order to appropriately frame each tune. This is a very well thought out recording, both from an orchestration standpoint, and as a unique Chronicle of 10 tunes, where each tune is one small element of a larger whole.

Legendary trumpet player Randy Brecker (long-time mentor to Socialist Night School trumpet soloist and label executive Brownman Ali) had this to say about the recording:  "... this is a record that deserves a full, focused top-to-bottom listen to truly hear the depth of Twilight Fall’s engaging story”.

Chelsea McBride's SOCIALIST NIGHT SCHOOL is a unique cross-generational collection of some of Toronto finest musicians, where award-winning veterans like William Carn, Colleen Allen and Brownman Ali find themselves standing next to some of Toronto's hottest jazz 20-somethings, handpicked by McBride for this project.  

Chelsea has long envisioned a big band without borders, without prejudice and without limitations, able to execute her challenging material as a singular organism -- this project is the culmination of that vision. Her complex original compositions (often changing meter from bar to bar) has been called "picturesque", "cinematic" and "joyful" by Canadian media, but what's more striking on this recording, is the long-form narrative at work.  For example, for the album's title track -- The Twilight Fall (track 3) -- during live performances Chelsea asks this of her audience : "Close your eyes and picture your six-year old self in onesie pajamas falling through a purple sky with orange clouds. Until you land in a carnival -- broken, tilted Ferris wheel on one side, dusty abandoned carousel, chipped paint, fading, on the other.  You see the gates open, and the buttons for the carousel are exposed in front of you, so you approach, teddy bear in one hand, the other outstretched to turn on the machine – when grey, translucent spirits, begin to swirl around your head. This is the Twilight Fall".

Marty's review: "The Twilight Fall" is what I would call a progressive jazz epic, done in a big band style, with creativity that takes the listener on a journey through several elements of contemporary jazz. The instrumentation is strong on brass and keyboards with solid backing by some very fine musicians. Some tracks range from 7 to almost 10 minutes in length but this actually adds to the quality of each piece, resulting in a musical experience that delights in many ways.

The Socialist Night School's The Twilight Fall was produced by Kevin Stolz (a gifted young Toronto producer who has overseen many of Chelsea's projects) and will be released internationally on Friday, January 13th, with a CD Release Party scheduled at Toronto's Lula Lounge on Sunday, January 15th.  

Here is the album's BANDCAMP page.