Monday, October 9, 2017

Toronto-based collective, Collective Order, new release "Volume Two"..multi-talented collaboration

Volume Two is the first all-original album by Collective Order. The band initially formed in 2016 to make Volume One, a self-produced recording of jazz standards. Upon releasing the album they realized the potential the project had to be a diving board for collaboration and creativity. For many of the band members, Volume Two was their first opportunity to compose/arrange music for a full-length studio album. Drawing from a roster of nineteen musicians, each track features diverse instrumentation within ensembles that span from a quartet to a thirteen-piece. Volume Two provides the listener with an eclectic musical experience, offering a vast and varied stylistic range.  Every member of the group is under the age of 30, although the music defies their collective youth!  

It all started in the kitchen of a house in the heart of Toronto. There was a jam space in the basement and five rooms rented out by a rotating cast of musicians. This was the scene of many late nights spent drinking glasses of red wine talking about how the gig went. Between the players who lived there and the ones who just came to hang, a significant part of the Toronto jazz community had shared moments listening to records, trading thoughts on music, and expressing their goals. One of those goals was to get a group of players together to record an album of standards. The idea was to go into the studio and try to capture the magic that happens when players who have never met get on a stage, choose a standard they all know, and then somehow make it come to life. Last year, we made that record.

Stream and download the album on iTunes HERE


Official website:

After releasing ‘Volume One’, we had seventeen musicians that were keen to do it again, only this time with original compositions. The ensemble grew with the addition of Jocelyn Barth and Nebyu Yohannes and then, with our crew of nineteen, the planning for ‘Volume Two’ began. For many of us, this album is our debut as composers, arrangers, lyricists, and producers. This newness brought an exciting energy to the project and with the shared experience of making an album together already, we had developed a strong sense of community. There was collaboration, creativity, and input at every step of the process, which led to the album you’re holding right now. 

Community is the prevailing theme of our project. Looking ahead, we hope that Collective Order will continue to become more inclusive and reflective of the musical and cultural diversity that Toronto has to offer.

Volume Two was released worldwide on Friday, September 29, 2017. The release will be celebrated with a performance at Toronto’s Gladstone Hotel on Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Instrumental group Hutera from Helsinki, Finland debut release "Here It Is"...R'n'B, Jazz, Funk, Soul

Founded in 2011, Hutera is a Helsinki-based rhythm & jazz band with a groovy attitude. The musicians are hard working professionals, known from all sorts of different groups. (Marjo Leinonen Huff 'n' Puff, White Knuckles Trio, Lenni-Kalle Taipale Trio etc.)

The debut album consists of 10 new instrumenal songs, all written by the band members. One can here different styles from rhythm & blues and jazz to funk and soul. All of the songs were recorded live in studio.

The album was released as a LP-record and digitally. (one extra track on digital release).

Johannes Salomaa: Saxophones, flute
Petri Pietilä: Guitar
Risto Kumpulainen: Keayboards
Timo Tuppurainen: Bass
Niklas Ahlsved: Drums
Markus Jaatinen: Percussions

Recording & mixing: Niklas Ahlsved, Paahtimo.
Mastering: Hannu Lamminmäki
Cover art: Matias Nystedt

Vasara Records

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bassist Mike Downes' new album release Root Structure....exploring lyrical compositions

The much anticipated new album from Canadian bassist Mike Downes entitled Root Structure is set for release.  Featuring four of Canada’s top jazz musicians – Mike Downes (JUNO award winner 2014), Robi Botos (JUNO award winner 2016), Ted Quinlan (JUNO nomination 2003) and Larnell Lewis (Grammy award winner with Snarky Puppy 2017), “Root Structure” explores lyrical compositions with a deep underlying structural integrity. 

Downes undertook an extensive study of large ensemble writing (including the work of Gil Evans and Maria Schneider), culminating in a Master’s degree in composition and the release of his recording “In the Current,” (Addo Records, 2014) featuring a 12-piece chamber jazz ensemble. Inspired by new approaches to form, structure and the interweaving of improvisation and melodic development, Mike brought these ideas into his latest quartet recording.

In music and life, I’ve always been interested in what lies beneath the surface: the underlying structures that hold everything together, the strength that resides deep down. The music in this recording was composed and performed in this spirit.  - Mike Downes

The Mike Downes Quartet has been performing in various incarnations since the mid-90's. The original quartet toured Canada extensively and recorded their first album “Forces” (A & M Counterpoint, 1995) to great acclaim. This was followed by “Then” and “The Winds of Change.” Downes formed a new trio/quartet in 2012 and released “Ripple Effect” (Addo Records, 2013) which won a JUNO Award in 2014. His next recording “In the Current,” (Addo Records, 2014) featured compositions for a 12-piece chamber jazz ensemble, and his latest recording “Root Stucture” brings a return to the quartet format.

Downes has been active as a bassist, composer, arranger and educator since the 1980s, performing with visiting artists such as Pat Metheny, Chris Potter, John Abercrombie, Peter Erskine, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Dave Liebman, Jack Dejohnette and with virtually all of Canada's top jazz musicians, including Oliver Jones, PJ Perry, Renee Rosnes, Don Thompson, Terry Clarke, Guido Basso and Pat LaBarbera. His musicality, emotional depth and melodic approach to the bass have thrilled audiences in Europe, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Iceland, the United States and Canada. 

Root Structure will be released internationally on September 27th, 2017 and will be celebrated with 2 nights performance at the Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar in Toronto, Canada on Thursday, September 28th and Friday, September 29th.  

Find out more on the official website:

download FREE information sheet HERE

Friday, September 8, 2017

Creative new album from Swiss jazz trio VEIN entitled VEIN plays Ravel

Announcing an incredible and breathtakingly creative new album from Swiss trio, VEIN entitled VEIN plays Ravel.  Since forming more than 10 years ago, VEIN has played over 450 shows around the world, with many guests including Dave Liebman and Greg Osby.  Now, this genre-bending trio turns their focus towards the works of the impressionistic French  composer Joseph Maurice Ravel.  The album features one of Europe's greatest voices on the saxophone, Andy Sheppard.

Ravel is an obvious choice for VEIN.  One of the most enigmatic figures of classical music, his compositions share much common ground with their soundscape. Ravel lived in an era during which tradition transitioned into abstract modernity, just as VEIN breaks new ground without rejecting the traditional values of jazz. Likewise, Ravel encompassed many styles of music into his compositions including baroque, Spanish music and jazz. VEIN's influences are similarly multifaceted. 

Check out the video about the album here...

....and a video about working with Saxophonist Andy Sheppard here..


You can find out more on the official website:  

There certainly is no special need any more to mention the fact that today most jazz piano trios are deeply attached to musical interplay (even though this fact should never be taken for granted!)  And yet, even with the most subtle, most distinguished form of interplay, there is always one in the trio who plays the part of the primus inter pares – the pianist, of course (usually and by definition leader of the group).  

That's exactly where pianist Michael Arbenz, drummer Florian Arbenz and bassist Thomas Lähns come up with their own idea of musical interplay. In fact, what they aim to achieve with their music - their understanding of music - is nothing less than the greatest possible balance of their three voices - starting with the way they work out their own compositions and arrangements, and going right through to the soloistic parts, fully assigned to all three of them.  The result is a stupendous musical togetherness, packed with surprising melodic, rhythmic and dynamic turns, played with highest precision even in the most complex, distorted and twisted passages of their compositions, arrangements and solos.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Pianist Jamie Reynolds' new release Grey Mirror, featuring Matt Stevens and The Westerlies

Grey Mirror is the incredible new album from Toronto-born, NYC-based pianist Jamie Reynolds. Melding the modern jazz sounds of his trio (with special guest Matthew Stevens on guitar) with the intimate sounds of brass quartet, The Westerlies, Grey Mirror is an awesome collection of original music that takes the listener on a sonic journey through consonance and dissonance, the harsh and the smooth, the spontaneous and the carefully wrought. The album is an incredible mix of driving modern jazz and beautiful brass playing as the 2 bands take turns with beautiful and creative renditions of Reynolds' compositions. 

“Instead of writing new pieces for The Westerlies to play, I wanted to see what it would be like to hear the same songs expressed from two angles on the same record. Hence the mirror-image nature; the versions by the brass and the jazz quartet are recognizably the same song, but could not be more different in timbre and feeling. There is consonance and dissonance, the harsh and the smooth, the spontaneous and the carefully wrought." - Jamie Reynolds

Jamie Reynolds is a Canadian pianist, keyboardist and composer who has lived in New York City since 2005. He graduated with honors from the University of Toronto in 2004, where he studied with David Braid, Mike Murley, Phil Nimmons, and many others. Jamie moved to New York in 2005 to study privately with Fred Hersch and Craig Taborn. He has performed at New York's top jazz clubs and has toured extensively in Canada, the U.S., and Europe, including a performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Since moving to New York, Jamie has collaborated with many wonderful musicians, including the jazz saxophonist Rob Scheps, of whose Core-tet Jamie is a longstanding member; the singer/performer Laila Salins, whose album “Elevator Into the Sky” set the poetry of Anne Sexton to music; the bassist and composer Michael Oien; the Emmy-winning Irish tenor Michael Londra and many others. 

Jamie released his debut album, “Time with People”, an acoustic piano trio recording of original music, in 2012. His second,“Counterpart”, features electric instruments and effects and was self-released in 2013.  Jamie lives in the Bronx with his wife, singer Melissa Stylianou, and their young son. 

Find out more and sample the music on the official website:

Stream and download "Counterpart" on Bandcamp HERE

Grey Mirror will be released worldwide on the Fresh Sound New Talent label on Friday, August 4th, 2017.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tony Allen Pays Tribute to Art Blakey On New Studio Album

Blue Note Records recently announced the digital release of Tony Allen’s new EP, A Tribute to Art Blakey. On the 4-track EP, which is a preview of the legendary Nigerian drummer and Afrobeat pioneer’s forthcoming first album for Blue Note, currently scheduled for release in autumn 2017, Allen pays tribute to his longstanding idol, the American jazz drummer and Blue Note legend Art Blakey.

The EP was recorded live in Allen’s current hometown of Paris and features a fiery 7-piece band interpreting the Jazz Messengers classics “Moanin’,” “A Night In Tunisia,” “Politely” and “Drum Thunder Suite” through an Afrobeat prism. The EP was produced by Vincent Taurelle, whose production credits also include Allen's previous album Film of Life.

While American jazz - in particular the recordings of Blakey and Max Roach - had a big impact on Allen during his early musical development in Nigeria, the music of Africa was also hugely influential for Blakey (aka Abdullah Ibn Buhaina) throughout his career. In the late-1940s Blakey spent time travelling abroad in West Africa exploring the culture, religion, and of course, the drumming. Blakey later recorded several albums that were heavily influenced by African music including Orgy in Rhythm (1957), Holiday for Skins (1958), and The African Beat (1962), which featured the Nigerian drummer and percussionist Solomon Ilori.

Drums: Tony Allen
Bass: Mathias Allamane
Piano: Jean-Philippe Dary
Tenor Saxophone: Yann Jankielewicz
Trumpet: Nicolas Giraud
Saxophones: Rémi Sciuto
Tenor Saxophone: Jean Jacques Elangue

Available on iTunes (link below)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NYC/Toronto Jazz Guitarist Alex Goodman new album release Second Act

Second Act, the new album from NYC-based, Toronto born guitarist Alex Goodman, signals a new beginning as much as the closing of a particular period, and the album’s eleven striking compositions more than live up to that promise. A stunning departure from the chamber-jazz style of Goodman's previous album, Border Crossing, the music on Second Act balances inventive composition and thrilling improvisation, with pieces that boast exhilarating, fluidly angular melodies and intricate architecture but which spark electrifying spontaneity from Goodman and his deft quintet

You can check out a great EPK from the band here.

Sample a track from the album HERE.

Given the agility of the playing and the depth of communication throughout the album, Second Act features a band that has obviously spent a good deal of time getting to know each other’s sonic personalities. Goodman is joined by four peers who have also come to the city from a variety of disparate places and experiences: saxophonist Matt Marantz (Texas), pianist Eden Ladin (born in NYC but raised in Israel), bassist Rick Rosato (Montreal) and drummer Jimmy Macbride (Connecticut). They’ve each formed relationships with such envelope-pushing artists as Avishai Cohen, Will Vinson, Lage Lund, Nir Felder, Terence Blanchard and Jonathan Batiste, while working together in a variety of settings, spurring each other onward into exciting new territory.

To enhance the music’s already wide-ranging palette, Goodman added layers of human voice to the pieces after the initial studio sessions, writing new parts for the wordless vocals that interweave with not only his originally written material, but also the band’s in-the-moment interpretations. He enlisted a talented pair of fellow Canadians to sing the parts: Felicity Williams, a longtime collaborator who also appears in a similar role on Border Crossing, and Alex Samaras, a key contributor to the Canadian jazz and new music scenes. Goodman often layers the two vocalists’ contributions, offering him the option of employing sinuous lines or lush, swelling choruses as desired.

After five years in New York City, Alex Goodman has not only established himself as a rising star and significant voice in the jazz mecca, but has gathered together a gifted group of peers, each of whom are quickly forging a path forward for the music’s next generation. The guitarist/composer began his career in his native Toronto, becoming an integral part of the scene in the Canadian city and receiving a wealth of accolades across the country. The CBC News hailed him as having “taken the jazz world by storm [and] attained a level of fame and success in the insular jazz community that few other Canadian guitarists can match.” In 2014 he received international recognition winning both first prize and the Public's Choice Award at the Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Competition in Switzerland.

Second Act will be released internationally by Lyte Records on Friday, June 23rd, 2017.

Official website:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NYC jazz guitarist/composer Andrew Hartman’s new release "Compass"

Compass is jazz guitarist/composer Andrew Hartman’s second album as a leader. It features a stellar cast of musicians including saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Ike Sturm, and drummer Zach Harmon. 

The pieces and album as a whole reflect a period of travel and series of moves in the guitarist’s life between cities and countries. Hartman, an Ohio native, lived alternately in his home state, London, England, and on the high seas, before settling into his adopted home of New York City. The 9 originals and 1 arrangement (Paul Simon’s “America”), span roughly 5 years of writing and performance, and were road tested in a variety of groups and settings before reaching their present state on Compass. Hartman’s arrangement of the Paul Simon classic “America” feels especially poignant given the present climate of our country and world.

sample tracks and download the album here:

official website:


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Aaron Shragge's jazz quintet Innocent When You Dream new album "Dirt In The Ground"

Innocent When You Dream's Dirt In The Ground is Aaron Shragge’s second release interpreting Tom Waits’ stylistically diverse  repertoire by creating instrumental versions of his most memorable songs. The album dives deep into the diverse collection of Waits' material, exploring the colors and tonality of his distinct lyricism, through unique instrumentation and arrangements.  Covering a wide  period of Waits' career, the record includes such songs as "In The Neighborhood", "Ol’ ‘55" and " Down  in The Hole".   

“Snaky and funky sounds abound! Innocent When You Dream weave their artistry and style into a tapestry of atmospheric playground material that takes the ear on both fascinating and dangerous journeys to the lands beyond your typical jazz stylings. Gorgeous sounds from Aaron Shragge, move the music into a deep and tranquil space, adding breath and scope to the many melodies and moments that oat in and out throughout...” Juno Award Winning Trumpeter/Composer Ingrid Jensen 

Using lyrical content and mood as the starting point for exploration, the band moves beyond the realm of covers creating a distinctive sound that draws from Jazz, rock, blues, World music and the avant-garde. The recording features some of Canada's leading jazz artists including:  Jonathan Lindhorst, Ryan Butler, Nico Dann, Joe Grass (Guitarist for Patrick Watson) and Dan Fortin (Myriad3).

Aaron Shragge is an active in the NYC improvised/creative music scene serving on the board of Festival of New Trumpet Music NY. Having collaborated with such notable musicians as Dave Douglas, Ben Monder, and William Parker, Shragge has performed at  renowned festivals such as the Montreal International Jazz Festival, L'Off Jazz Festival, and the Festival of New Trumpet Music.  Aaron graduated from the distinguished New School Jazz Program and furthered his education receiving a masters degree. FREE information sheet HERE

Official website:

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.