Category Archives: Music

Heavy Snow

Rumours of the demise of the CD format continue to come up against the hard reality that not only is the format alive and well, there are labels still dedicated to investing in cover art. ECM comes to mind as … Continue reading

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Saxophilia

This latest CD cover project is for composer Colin MacDonald’s Saxophilia, a saxophone quartet dedicated to playing and commissioning new works for saxophone by Canadian composers. Recently, on a cold, grey afternoon at the venerable Ironworks Studio on Vancouver’s working … Continue reading

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Ben Monder’s Power of Now

Ben Monder is a musician who reminds us how important it is to focus within, re-imagine time and bring discipline and lightness to what some would call the practice of playing an instrument. And despite the prevalence of technology in … Continue reading

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Anja Lechner & François Couturier

Munich-based cellist Anja Lechner and Paris-based pianist François Couterier are two musicians whose body of work has exemplified the diversity, delicacy and unapologetic beauty of the “ECM sound” over the past 20+ years . They have played with (among many … Continue reading

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Friends

Many years ago I bought a Deutsche Grammophon box set of the complete, recorded cycle of Bartok’s string quartets. The musicians were none other than the great New York-based Emerson Quartet, who I’ve subsequently enjoyed in concert countless times. Through … Continue reading

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loscil 2016

Scott Morgan (aka loscil) has a new release out on Kranky Records called Monument Builders. Somewhat darker in tone than past releases it bears all the hallmarks of a classic loscil release. I’ve written more about this on the VR … Continue reading

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Mats Eilertsen

If you came of age in the vinyl era you may have expanded your musical horizons by scanning the credits on record sleeves and booklets. You may have noticed that certain musicians, engineers and producers’ names kept coming up time … Continue reading

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New Cathedrals – Simin Tander and Tord Gustavsen

This past June, Coastal Jazz brought a very unique trio to town that defied my expectations to deliver one of the most sublime concerts of the year at Christ Church Cathedral. Tord Gustavsen has led a traditional piano trio for … Continue reading

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Seeing the Forest with Anat Fort

There was a time when I didn’t understand why anyone needed more than one or two great jazz piano trio recordings. But once I came to see the format as one of the most efficient and flexible configurations for revealing … Continue reading

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Time is a Blind Guide – Thomas Strønen

I first heard of Thomas Strønen via his work with Food on the Rune Grammofon label in 2004. The CD was called (wait for it!) Last Supper. Food’s core was always Thomas and saxophonist Iain Ballamy but each release expanded … Continue reading

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