August 1996


All of Hal's monthly reviews will be made available here in Hal's "Picks From the Past".

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Francois Bourassa Trio - "Echo":

Pianist Francois with brothers Yves (drums) and Guy (bass) Boisvert create some exciting, fresh music in this recording. All original compositions which received much adulation during their visit to Toronot from Montreal during the du Maurier Jazz Festival in 1995.

Jazz Inspiration label (JD9313). To Order

Renee Rosnes Quintet - "Ancestors":

"Ancestors" is another in a string of remarkable recordings from this young and extremly talented artist. Ont this session she has Nicholas Payton on trumpet, Chris Potter - tenor, soprano and alto flute (remember him creating fire with the late Red Rodney's group?), Peter Washington on bass, Al Foster on drums and Don Alias adding some extra percussion. The end result is an inside view of some of Rene's life and what each event has meant to her, music that is at times both captivating and agile. The band sounds like they have been working together for some time.

EMI Canada label (72438-34634-2-8). To Order

David Hazeltine Quartet featuring Slide Hampton - "4 Flights Up":

Having not heard too much about or from pianist Hazeltine until this recording, I was pleasently surprised to hear some great originality. One will hear some inspirations from piano players, ie: Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Cedar Walton et al, but David has his own voice. With the wonderful sound of Slide Hampton's trombone added to this group there is a feeling of pleasure in each tune. Hampton does not record enough for these ears, so it is rewarding to find him in this company. Peter Washington is on bass and Killer Ray Appleton on drums.

Sharp Nine Records label (CD 1002-2). To Order

Danilo Perez Trio - "Panamonk":

There is no such thing as too much Monk, and these interpretations of some of Monk's tunes are done with much care and admiration for the master's compositions. This recording is obviously dominated by Monk's tunes, and this young Panamanian pianist takes us on another journey into the music, bringing out a new flavour and twist to each piece. Terri Lyne Carrington is the drummer, Avishai Cohan - bass, Jeff Watts - drums and on one track vocalist Olga Roman is added. Of the 12 tracks, 4 are by Danilo who proves he can write interesting music that is as equally exciting as his mentor's.

Impulse label (IMPD-190). To Order

Fraser Macpherson with Oliver Jones and Neil Swainson - Ellington "87":

This recording was done at the 5th annual International Conference of the Duke Ellington Study group, the first such held in Canada in 1987. Fraser died in 1993 but left behind a legacy of superb performances, this being one of those. In the company of pianist Oliver Jones and bassist Neil Swainson, Fraser explores the music of Ellington with much spontaneity and wit, weaving magic into each of the 13 compositions recorded in concert. If you have none of his recordings in your collection, start with this, if you already have some, then add this gem to the library.

Sackville label (SKCD 2-2043). To Order

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