Top 3 // Toronto Jazz Fest // pt.1

So the Toronto TD Jazz Festival kicks off in a couple of days and us over at JazzFeast are starting to get excited.  For those who don’t know there are 2 of us writing here and there will be another list of things to see tomorrow.  But for now here are 3 that I will not be missing.

Hiromi: The Trio Project // Sunday June 24 // 8 // Nathan Phillips Square 

TorontoJazz > Info

Wow, what can really be said.  Hiromi Uehara is a musical dynamo, who takes composition in the most serious of ways.  I find that her music threads a very fine line between classic composition and jazz but when it’s all said and done she is playing on a field almost unmatched by any of her contemporaries.  On her latest album Voice (2011) she is joined by  bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips.  This album is jammed with seam filled transitions, which make for an exciting jumpy listen.  Simon Phillips plays a rock kick, with a double bass drums to boot,  and really pushes this music to a fusion-y plane.  Hiromi and her accompaniment have this phenomenal penchant for taking whatever has come before them, whether it be classic composition, hard-bop, swing, or fusion and mold them into a sound that respects the past while quietly stepping on its throat.  What I mean by that is they do it all so very well, every element of their music is finely tuned and fully conceived that it really takes from the past and pushes forth into new dimensions of dusty genres.  This can all be attributed to talent.  I don’t hear that Hiromi is really doing things with her compositions that haven’t been done before, she is just able to exploit phenomenal melodies, harmonies, and runs because she is so damn talented.


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Hip-Hop for the Jazz head

Guru

In my mind it all starts with Guru’s Jazzmatazz series.  A collection of 4 albums released over a 15 year span, Jazzmatazz is the definitive collection of Jazz Rap.  With a wide array of jazz musicians including saxophonist Branford Marsalis, trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, Jazzmatazz volume 1 set the stage for bands  like the Roots to fully explore traditional hip hop tracks with a full backing band.

here is the full Jazzmatazz volume 1 album…

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Top 3 // Jazz bands for your friends that aren’t into jazz

We all have them. You know the friend who naturally affiliates the term jazz with WW2 swing, Kenny G, or New Orleans. “It’s just too antiquated’ they bemoan, neglecting the music as stuffy, and unrelatable.  To often Jazz is overlooked because it seems that since Trane there have only been a handful of musicians really pushing and expanding the genre in new and innovative ways. We all know what Davis and Hancock did for Jazz, but are you really gonna throw on ‘Bitches Brew’ for a person who won’t stop talking about how Arcade Fire redefined pop music? Nope. It’s just not going to happen. They’ll write it off as incoherent noise and as you argue about the merits of musical invention, you’ll realize that starting in the middle and working out to the fringes is a doomed approach. Some people just need to be brought in gently, like an old man being lowered into a hot bath.

So here it be … Our top 3 … for those who don’t like Jazz.

Bad Bad Not Good

DMZ

Toronto trio BBNG have a deftness for pushing music to a place where classification would be misleading and meandering. So we’ll make it simple. If you’re into; Bonobo, James Blake, Odd Future, Toro y Moi, Caribou, Four Tet, Neon Indian, Rjd2, DJ Shadow, Squarepusher, DJ Krush, or Similar Artists check um out.

CMYK // James Blake Cover

Bad Bad Not Good2 was released // April 3 2012
And they be // Matthew A. Tavares – Piano, Electric Piano, Prophet 08
Chester Hansen – Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
Alexander Sowinski – Drums, Sampler

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Swing of Change

Originally posted on The Blue Blot:

Absolutely brilliant – no other words for it.

New York in the 30’s – Daft racist and barber Harry in a bad mood, gets hold of a trumpet and tries his hand on playing it. What power music can have, is just splendidly displayed in this short movie. The details given about his character and background are very subtle but so very clear.

Details of this graduation short film

Directed by: Harmony Bouchard, Andy Le Cocq, Joakim Riedinger, Raphael Cenzi
Music by: Denis Riedinger
Jean Christophe Mentzer (trumpet), Stephane Fougeroux (percussion), Renaud Bernad (trombone), Sébastien Lentz (horn) and Michael Cortone (tuba)

Music Record: Denis Riedinger, Studio Aquarium, Hoerdt (France)
Sound Design: Jose Vicente, Studio des Aviateurs, Montpellier (France)
Mix: Matthias Heimlicher, Keytastic! Studios, Lommiswil (Switserland)
Choreography: Tony Style, Christiane Cilluffo-Marciano.
Website: swing-of-change.com

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Rework the Standard // Afro Blue

Mongo Santamaria // Mongo // 1959

Mongo Santamaria first recorded his composition “Afro Blue” in 1959. Originally released on the album Mongo (Fantasy Records – 1959)

Afro Blue” was the first jazz standard built upon a typical African 3:2 cross-rhythm, or hemiola.[2] The song begins with the bass repeatedly playing 6 cross-beats per each measure of 12/8, or 6 cross-beats per 4 main beats—6:4 (two cells of 3:2). The following example shows the original ostinato “Afro Blue” bass line. The slashed noteheads indicate the main beats (not bass notes), where you would normally tap your foot to “keep time”.

via – Wikipedia

John Coltrane // Live at Birdland // 1963

In 1963 John Coltrane recorded “Afro Blue” with Elvin Jones on drums. Jones took the opposite approach of Santamaria, superimposing two cross-beats over every measure of a 3/4 jazz waltz (2:3). This particular swung 3/4 is perhaps the most common example of overt cross-rhythm in jazz.[5] [6] Coltrane and Jones reversed the metric hierarchy of Santamaria’s composition, by performing in 3/4 swing (2:3), instead of 6/8 or 12/8 (3:2). See: Demonstration of 2:3 cross-rhythm in 3/4 jazz waltz.

via – Wikipedia

players>
John Coltrane (soprano sax)
McCoy Tyner (piano)
Jimmy Garrison (bass)
Elvin Jones (drums)
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Come and watch

There is nothing quite like experiencing live music, and now that we are less than a month away from the Toronto Jazz Festival -June 22/July 1 – we thought we’d share some of our favorite jazz concerts throughout the years. There are literally hundreds of Live Concert Video to choose from online so please feel free to share some of your favorite Shows.

Bill Evans Trio

Recorded at the BBC Studios, London, on March 19th, 1965

Jazz 625 was a BBC jazz music programme, featuring concerts by British and American jazz musicians, which was first broadcast between April 1964 and August 1966.

via – Wikipedia

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Dub For The Jazz Fan // Part 3: The Super Ape

There is nothing within the Dub world that Lee Perry hasn’t done. He is a true musical visionary. On top of that he is easily one of the most interesting and also bizarre people in musical history. If you don’t believe me watch these bizarre Guinness ads he did a few years ago.

For any Fall fans out there I’ve recently been toying with the idea that Lee Perry and Mark E. Smith are one and the same. Mad geniuses.

If after getting to know Lee Perry a little more you still think of Flavor Flav as a true eccentric and not just some dude who caught on to the brilliance that is Lee “Scratch” Perry than I think you will have a lot of things to worry about in your future because you are a moron. Sorry.

Onto the music. No one is as shocking as Lee Perry. I know in Part 2 I had mentioned that King Tubby never fails to surprise me, this still remains true, but even more so in terms of head spinning confusion and complete bewilderment Lee Perry reigns supreme. He’s done the chilled out Dub for a late summer’s night. He’s also done the most mental, effected dub I’ve heard. For example his track “Dub Plate Pressure” is like Miles Davis circa Dark Magus. That is to say, fantastically bonkers!

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