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The Jazz Side of Gordon Lightfoot

March 1, 2017 Comments off

 

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Nanaimo drummer James McRae has put together a unique show featuring acclaimed Vancouver vocalist Jennifer Scott, pianist Miles Black, and bassist Rene Worst performing original jazz arrangements of Gordon Lightfoot’s most beloved songs.


Sponsored by Allison Pianos, this show on Saturday, March 18th at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria at 8pm, is sure to sell out. Reserve early!

An exclusive Island Jazz interview with McRae follows. 

Where did you get the idea for the Lightfoot show?

Although this idea came to me about 2 1/2 years ago, the process developed in stages. I was humming the song Early Morning Rain in my head and thought it could lend itself to jazz improvisation because Lightfoot writes songs with really strong melodies. I started reharmonizing the song and came up with some ideas that I thought were not bad.

I did a few gigs with Patrick Courtin and Marisha Devoin Read more…

Mike Allen On His New Album Honouring Bob Murphy and His Upcoming Vancouver Island Tour with Miles Black

January 8, 2017 Comments off

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Vancouver saxophonist Mike Allen releases a new duo album January 10 featuring tunes recorded with Bob Murphy and Miles Black. He’ll be touring Vancouver Island with Miles later this month to promote the album. Island Jazz interviewed Mike by email to learn more about the genesis of Bob’s Piano, his tribute to the late Bob Murphy.

1. How did the new album Bob’s Piano come about? 

I wanted to do something that would honour Bob Murphy, who died rather suddenly in the fall of 2015. He and I enjoyed getting together to play duo at his home. We played together in other groups as well but the duo playing was always especially memorable. He often Read more…

On the Edge and Live off the Floor with the Kelby MacNayr Quintet

January 30, 2012 Comments off

A new incarnation of the Kelby MacNayr Quintet, featuring four internationally acclaimed musicians, moves into Hermann’s on Thursday for a two-night live concert and recording session stand.

Given the quality of the players –Miles Black (piano), Phil Dwyer (sax), Daniel Lapp (trumpet), Tom Wakeling (bass), and MacNayr on drums – this promises to be one of the more adventuresome jazz events of the year.

“These musicians are all people that I have been fortunate to work with in different settings here in Victoria, in Vancouver or in Washington State,” says MacNayr. ” Each brings a certain energy and chemistry – I’m excited to see what happens!”

MacNayr has chosen to record in front of a live audience, rather than going into a studio where the group would have the luxury of several takes to perfect the material, an approach that is bound to ensure that everyone is on his game and the excitement level is high.

Some of the best recordings in jazz have been produced at live concerts.  The Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard, The Paul Desmond Quartet Live (recorded at Bourbon Street in Toronto), and Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert are just three that come to mind.

MacNayr is taking bold new steps with his latest projects. This may be the best yet.  Highly recommended.

Thursday and Friday, February 2nd and 3rd at Hermann’s Jazz Club.  Advanced tickets are available from Hermann’s and Larsen’s Music. $20/$18 (VJS, UJam) $15 student. Reservations recommended. (250) 388-9166 or at info@hermannsjazz.com.

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