Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Jazz drummer/composer Harry Vetro's debut album Northern Ranger..a beautiful and deeply Canadian album

In 2017, as Canada celebrated 150 years of confederation, 23 year old Hamilton drummer Harry Vetro took to the road. He traveled coast to coast, visiting communities in Canada's six indigenous cultural areas (Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains, and Eastern Woodlands) in an effort to connect with musicians and artists from different backgrounds, and to better understand the land's long cultural history. 

Northern Ranger - Vetro's debut album - tells the story of his travels. A jazz musician by training, Harry melded his own style of improvised music with folk and classical influences to create a deeply personal statement, one that speaks to the country as a whole. 

A recent graduate of the University of Toronto Jazz program, Vetro leads an active performing career. Past performances include the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Ottawa Jazz Festival and Orillia Jazz Festival. 

Marty's review: Harry Vetro's impressive debut is an evocative and exhilarating production that combines elements of jazz, classical and world music to create an ethereal landscape of visionary musical images. Each composition sounds as if you have arrived at a destination and are taking in the scenery around you in a 360 degree turn. Subtle and conceptual instrumentation creates an atmosphere that is stratospheric and engaging in many ways.

official website:

Proceeds from this album will assist in starting an outreach initiative for youth with limited access to music education. The program will be titled "Northern Ranger Outreach" and Vetro will be partnering with his father, who is an educator and musician with connections in the school system. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

In demand jazz drummer Ethan Ardelli debut album "The Island of Form"...textured landscapes

Sydney, Nova Scotia born/Toronto based drummer Ethan Ardelli has been one of Canada's most in demand jazz musicians for more than a decade. The Island of Form - his hotly anticipated debut album - features Chris Donnelly, Luis Deniz, and Devon Henderson, and is a showcase for Ardelli's highly developed compositional skills and drumming prowess.

"The Island of Form" is a collage by artist Michael Poulton. It was given to me by my cousin Sharon and her partner Christine as a house warming gift. There are a number of overt as well as subtle symbols in the collage that connected with me.  This collage - an assemblage of different forms that combine to create a new whole - aligns perfectly with my vision for my album. I'm inspired by many disparate things, and I wanted to take elements from each of these different creative worlds and bring them together in a new form."

Always a cultural omnivore, Ardelli has always sought out inspiration in a wide variety of places: from foreign and art films to classical composition and music from around the world - in particular the music of Cuba

Other songs on the album reflect the influences of Richard Wagner and Charles Wuorinen ("Accretion" and "The Serpentine Path"); Bela Bartok ("Dunraven"); the great Toronto pianist and teacher Frank Falco ("Shangri-La Pearl", a beautiful dedication to Ardelli's wife Jessica.) 

The album was recorded at Sear Sound in New York City by James Farber, the legendary engineer behind many touchstone jazz recordings that rank among Ardelli's favorites, including works by Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Brad Mehldau, Paul Motian. It was mastered by acclaimed engineer Greg Calbi, a jazz scene stalwart who also worked with John Lennon. 


Marty's review: the diverse and exceptional talents of Ethan Ardelli and his unified musical partners come together on this adventurous and visionary release that is ethereal and sophisticated in its deliverance.  Combining elements of jazz-fusion, classical and world music, each track creates a story in itself that takes the listener to levels of sonic ambiance, something like a magic carpet ride over fields of stunning and textured landscapes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Jazz saxophonist Troy Roberts and Nu-Jive new album release "Perspective"...a creative journey

Troy Roberts’ latest release Nu-Jive Perspective is the convening of five soulful beings who take the listener on a creative journey through the architecture of Troy’s original compositions. The music is an eclectic, yet head-bopping concoction of Soul, Funk, R&B and Gospel music, all musically glued together by each member’s deep sense of Jazz etiquette. This particular lineup tours as Roberts’ ‘NU-JIVE’ band – an outfit that has captured the attention of many of the jazz luminaries he now works with, and although this is his 8th record as a leader, it is his 3rd album with this configuration of five best friends from around the globe.

Hailing from the remote location of Perth, West Australia, saxophonist Troy Roberts has received numerous accolades including 3 Down Beat Jazz Soloist Awards, 2 Grammy Nominations, and was the only Australian semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music at the young age of 19, he has performed around Europe and the US extensively with artists such as James Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Christian McBride, Sammy Figueroa, Dave Douglas, Orrin Evans and Kurt Elling to name a few, and also completed a Masters Degree at The University of Miami. In 2012, he shared the stage in an international septet comprised of jazz giants Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Vinnie Colaiuta and Zakir Hussein for Herbie Hancock’s launch of International Jazz Day at The UN, NYC.

Troy Roberts ‘Nu-Jive Perspective’
official website:

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Marie Goudy 12tet stunning debut release The Bitter Suite...introspective and timeless

Toronto trumpeter, singer and composer Marie Goudy’s debut album The Bitter Suite is an ambitious and beautiful act of storytelling – a vivid depiction of young love as reflected in the distinct character of each of the year’s four seasons. This haunting, lyrical song cycle features her lifelong friend, vocalist Jocelyn Barth, and 10 of Toronto’s most exciting young instrumentalists.

In four movements, the lyrics express the excitement of new summer love; the warmth and comfort of a new partnership in autumn; the distinctive chill that only heartbreak in winter can bring; and the wistfulness of spring, when new growth brings a reminder of past loves now lost.

The Bitter Suite is an exciting addition to Canada’s large jazz ensemble tradition. Producer John MacLeod – one of Canada’s best known big band leaders and trumpeters – helps connect it to that storied history. In addition to jazz influences, The Bitter Suite is also heavily informed by Mariachi music, a style in which Marie has worked for years - it features pieces written in the Son Jailciense and Huapango styles. Marie seamlessly integrates these sounds into her music: she has created an incredible new fusion of jazz and Mariachi that brings to mind both Kenny Wheeler’s gorgeous Music for Large Ensemble and of Miles Davis’s texturally innovative Sketches of Spain.

Closing the album is ‘Remember The Days’, a evocation to Marie and Jocelyn’s time growing up together. As an album, The Bitter Suite is ultimately a tribute to Marie and Jocelyn’s musical and personal relationship. It is a poignant and heartfelt record, sure to please all curious ears.

Listen and download on Bandcamp:

official website:

A native of Toronto, trumpet player/vocalist Marie Goudy started her professional career at the age of sixteen. By the age of nineteen, she had already played with many notable musicians including Benny Golson, Cleo Laine and Maria Schneider. Since then she has performed with Michael Buble, Donny McCaslin, and many others.

She graduated from the University of Toronto's Masters in Jazz Performance program in 2017. She has made her mark on the Toronto music scene playing jazz, funk, mariachi, folk and Latin music, and was a featured soloist in the 2018 SOCAN Awards. Marie has played on three JUNO-nominated albums with folk-funk singer/songwriter Alysha Brilla and toured to France, Chile, Yellowknife, and Singapore with that group.

Marty's review: this conceptual and cohesive release takes contemporary jazz to another level by harnessing the distinctive sounds of Mariachi with elements of bop to create a progressive symphony that is visionary and textured. The added bonus of vocalist Jocelyn Barth is an extra layer that is both sensitive and unique and makes the recording introspective and timeless.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Toronto-based pianist Jeremy Ledbetter new release "Got A Light?..stylish and sculptural

The Jeremy Ledbetter Trio’s debut album is a controlled explosion of big musical ideas, stylistic variety, vivid colours and compelling musical storytelling. This new project features three Canadian virtuosos -- pianist and band-leader Jeremy Ledbetter, drummer Larnell Lewis of Snarky Puppy fame, and bassist Rich Brown (Steve Coleman, Dapp Theory) -- at the top of their game. 

Ledbetter has made a fine career so far out of traveling to remote corners of the globe from Venezuela to Myanmar in search of musical inspirations. As the leader of acclaimed Caribbean jazz ensemble CaneFire and calypso legend David Rudder’s producer and musical director, Ledbetter is used to working with large bands and more rigorous definition. So it was a welcome change of pace not to have to leave his home city to create his first jazz trio record. 

Working with killers like Larnell and Rich, you don’t have to play it safe,” says Ledbetter. “They inspired me to really work without a net, and let my own compositional personality shine through. Whereas most of my music so far has been rooted in ideas inspired by traditional music, this album is about painting my own pictures and creating a cinematic kind of atmosphere. It's a contemporary jazz album that's telling stories I hope anyone would be able to understand and relate to. This record is the first truly original representation of my own musical soul, and that’s a great feeling.

Eight of the songs are Ledbetter’s original compositions, plus a cover of “Gift Shop” by The Tragically Hip as a tribute to the great Gord Downie, recorded a week after his passing. Venezuelan world-jazz diva Eliana Cuevas makes a guest appearance on "Her New Wings", and the exquisite "Suspirito" features a duet between Ledbetter's piano and Reimundo Sosa on Afro-Cuban batá drums. 

official website:

Marty's review: the unified virtuosity of the JLT comes through on this release as they explore the boundaries of exhilarating and expansive jazz over nine masterful compositions. Their combined textured musicianship elevates their unique talents, creating an all-round togetherness that combines several genres of jazz from fusion to classic to Latin American. The result is a layered and finely-calibrated collaboration that is stylish and sculptural.