Juno Award winning saxophonist Mike Murley co-leads his latest release with veteran Toronto pianist Mark Eisenman. The internationally renowned rhythm section of bassist Neil Swainson and drummer Terry Clarke complete the quartet. Murley and Eisenman perform four duo tracks, featuring music from Monk, Strayhorn and two standard tunes. The quartet takes on seven Murley/Eisenman compositions, reflecting the co-leaders’ shared interest in writing new melodies on standard chord progressions (contrafacts). Recent History is mainstream jazz at its best, capturing four of Canada’s most respected jazz artists in top form.
Juno award winning saxophonist Mike Murley co-leads his latest release with one of the brightest lights of the next generation of Canadian jazz artists, vocalist/pianist/composer Hannah Barstow. Jim Vivian, bassist and long-time Murley collaborator, completes the trio on this intimate recording of standards and originals. Both leaders contribute a new composition to a set of instrumental and vocal music featuring repertoire by Michel Legrand, Kenny Wheeler, Nat Adderley, Johnny Mandel and Martin Rojas.
1. Don’t Look Back
(J. Mandel, K. Dunham) 5:35
2. Who Are You
(K. Wheeler, J. White) 6:03
3. Sprawling Space (M. Murley) 7:40
4. The Old Country
(N. Adderley, C. Lewis) 5:58
5. Once Upon a Summertime (M. Legrand, J. Mercer) 4:27
6. I Will Wait for You
(M. Legrand, N. Gimbel) 5:07
7. En la Orilla del Mundo (M. Rojas) 6:08
8. In a Summer Dream (H. Barstow) 5:15
For more info:
CORNERSTONE RECORDS INC.
Cornerstone Records proudly presents Taking Flight, a new recording from saxophonist Mike Murley with special guest pianist Renee Rosnes. Also featured are regular Murley collaborators, bassists Steve Wallace and Jim Vivian and guitarist Reg Schwager. Canadian-born, New York-based Rosnes brings a new voice to the mainstream chamber jazz trio sounds Murley has produced on Cornerstone since his recordings with the legendary Ed Bickert two decades ago.
Taking Flight features a broad program of material
from some of the greatest composers in the history of the music, including
Kenny Wheeler, Wayne Shorter, Michel Legrand, Charlie Parker, and Antonio
Carlos Jobim. Murley adds two new
melodies of his own to the set, including the title track (based on “Just in
Time”) and a dedication to Lee Konitz (based on “Love Letters”). Murley, Wallace, and Schwager close the
session with a heartfelt version of the Nicholas Brodsky standard “I’ll Never
Stop Loving You”, a tribute to their mentor Bickert who sadly passed away just
weeks before this recording was made.
Winter Suite (Kenny Wheeler)
Phrase 3 (Kenny Wheeler)
Taking Flight (Mike Murley)
You Must Believe in Spring (Michel Legrand)
Penelope (Wayne Shorter)
Love-Lee (Mike Murley)
Zingaro (Antonio Carlos Jobim)
Bird Feathers (Charlie Parker)
I’ll Never Stop Loving You (Nicholas Brodzsky)
Mike Murley – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone (track 2)
Renee Rosnes – piano (all tracks except 9)
Reg Schwager – guitar (all tracks except 2 and 5)
Steve Wallace – bass (tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, 9)
Jim Vivian – bass (tracks 1, 2, 5, 7)
Recorded at Loach Studios on March 17, 2019
A CD release celebration and performance by the Mike Murley Trio with special guest Renee Rosnes will take place at The Jazz Bistro in Toronto Jan 9-11, 2020.
The North follows up their Juno Award winning debut with a new recording, The Music of Kenny Wheeler, celebrating the legacy of one of the most significant jazz composers of the past fifty years.
Canadian-born trumpeter Wheeler moved to London, England in 1952,
eventually establishing himself as one of the leading artists on the iconic Scandinavian
ECM label with albums such as Deer Wan and Gnu High in the 1970s. His prolific career stretched into the new
millennium before his passing in 2014 at the age of 84.
Wheeler’s music has had a profound influence on multiple generations of
musicians, especially in Canada, the UK and Scandinavia. Perhaps it is appropriate that an
international jazz group representing these three regions pays tribute to
Wheeler in what would have been his 90th year. The North was formed in 2015 as a
collaboration between Canadians Mike Murley (saxophones) and David Braid
(piano) with Scandinavians Anders Mogensen (drums) and Johnny Åman (bass). For The Music of Kenny Wheeler it only
seemed fitting to include British trumpeter Percy Pursglove as a guest artist.
Recorded in Copenhagen in Feb 2019, The
Music of Kenny Wheeler represents compositions spanning the breadth of
Wheeler’s career. “Peace for Five”, from
the 1977 Deer Wan album, is a wide-ranging suite that affords the musicians
ample room to bring their individual voices to the music. Wheeler’s timeless ballad “Wintersweet” is offered
a unique treatment by Pursglove with the use of extended trumpet techniques evoking
images of the song’s title. “W.W.”, the powerful title track from the 1984
Wheeler recording, showcases the group at its free-wheeling best. “Kind Folk” and “Onmo” are drawn from the
1997 classic Angel Song
recording. “Phrase One”, recorded multiple times by
Wheeler, poignantly represents the lyricism and melancholy that is central to his
Wheeler’s artistic legacy is an inspiration to all members of The North
and to countless other musicians and listeners around the world. The Music of Kenny Wheeler is a humble
tribute to a quiet man whose beautiful and powerful music touched so many.
David Braid, piano (CANADA)
Mike Murley, saxophone (CANADA)
Johnny Åman, bass (FINLAND/SWEDEN)
Anders Mogensen, drums (DENMARK)
Percy Pursglove, trumpet, flugelhorn (UK)
of Kenny Wheeler:
Peace for Five Suite
recorded by Bo Larsen at Mill Factory Studios in Copenhagen, Feb 25/19
“The North” is a jazz quartet creating music combining the experiences of jazz musicians living in Canada and Scandinavia. Multi-Juno Award winners David Braid and Mike Murley are long time musical collaborators as are Danish drummer Anders Mogensen and Finnish bassist Johnny Åman. All leaders in their own right, these musicians share common roots in the jazz tradition while reaching forward as improviser/composers to reflect their personal and cultural experiences.
Saxophonist Murley’s composition “The Split” conjures images of his native Nova Scotia through the lens of a Coltrane influence. Braid’s “Lele’s Tune” is a wide ranging suite that showcases the compositional skills that have brought the pianist international acclaim as an artist who seamlessly combines classical and jazz music. Mogensen and Åman are a formidable rhythm section who bring their vast experience and Scandinavian perspective to the group.
After playing dates in Canada and Europe in 2015 and 2016 their debut album “The North” was recorded in Copenhagen and was celebrated in Nov 2017 with a cross-Canada tour supported by the Canada Council, JazzDanmark and the Danish Composers Association.
U of T Jazz has been privileged to have Dave Liebman as a visiting artist/adjunct professor since 2013. His tenure has culminated in two important recording collaborations with students and faculty. The student collaboration with the University of Toronto Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Gordon Foote produced Sweet Ruby Suite, featuring the music of Kenny Wheeler with guest artist Norma Winstone. Recorded by the UTJO in March 2016, this critically acclaimed release has most certainly brought international attention to the world-class level of the U of T Jazz program.
On Jan 6, 2017 members of the U of T Jazz Faculty came together with Liebman in our concert space at 90 Wellesley St West to produce Live at U of T. Bassist Jim Vivian and I have worked and recorded with Liebman at various times over past years with our relationship stretching back to the Banff Jazz Workshop in the early 1980s. Drummer Terry Clarke and Liebman are both veterans of the international jazz scene dating back to the late 1960s and their musical rapport was instantly apparent. The result of this collaboration is a recording that I believe truly captures the spirit and spontaneity of live jazz in an intimate setting.
Mike has been a bro for decades, at one point sounding more like me than me! He has developed into a truly mature jazz player, as described… spontaneity from the get-go, with the highest of skill levels. The same can be said for Jim, dating back decades… ready for whatever comes down the pike. This was the first time I played seriously with Terry and he is indeed a master, with the ability to switch styles and grooves on the spot. Added to this mix, these are among the sweetest guys around…always fun, but dead serious when it comes to the music.
Cornerstone Records proudly presents “Ship Without a Sail”, a new trio recording from saxophonist Mike Murley featuring bassist Steve Wallace and guitarist Reg Schwager.
A follow up to the 2014 release “Looking Back”, this new CD continues to present mainstream chamber jazz at its best. Always swinging and lyrical, the trio represents a link to the Toronto jazz tradition shaped by legendary artists such as Ed Bickert (guitarist on the first two Murley trio recordings, both Juno Award winners), Guido Basso, Rick Wilkins and the late Rob McConnell.
“Looking Back”, a new Cornerstone CD by saxophonist Mike Murley’s Trio, was released at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto on May 22, 2014. Featuring guitarist Reg Schwager and bassist Steve Wallace, this program of jazz standards follows in the tradition of Murley’s previous Juno Award-winning trio recordings that featured Wallace and the legendary Ed Bickert.
Click here to read a glowing review of the recording by the Ottawa Citizen’s Peter Hum.
Click the CD store tab to purchase “Looking Back” and other recordings.