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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