Dobbin's Den


September 2003

DOROTHEE BERRYMAN is probably best known as an actress. She was in both Denys Arcand's "Le decline de l'empire Americain" and, more recently, its sequel, "Les invasions barbares". The latter was recently voted the best Canadian feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival and it's now looks to be Canada's Academy Award nominee for best foreign film. In 1998, Ms. Berryman began a second career as a singer and on September 12th she completed a series of record sessions at Studio Victor which will be make up here second CD Due for release in October, the session spotlighted a guest appearance by Greg Clayton, a veteran jazz guitarist and regular feature at Modavie Restaurant. A trio of Eric Harding, Dave Watts [another Modavie regular] and Camil Belisle were there to add just the right backing on items like P.S. I LOVE YOU [the CD's title track], EVERYTHING I'VE GOT, I WALK A LITTLE FASTER and SOMETHING COOL with vibraphonist Jacques St. Jacques and Normand Bock added on AN OCCASIONAL MAN and Juan Tizol's CARAVAN. Ms. Berryman's many fans will not be disappointed.

Earlier in the same studios SUSIE ARIOLI recorded for Justin Time with engineer John Snyder imported from the U.S. as producer. Noted for his jazz work with A&M Horizon and his own Artists House labels, John has reactivated the latter and recent releases "Winter Dreams" by Nancy Harrow and "Island" by Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler are well worth owning. Bad news is that the label has no Canadian distribution at the moment.

Other recent releases of the first class variety are:

ALLEN EAGER. "In The Land of Oo-Bla-Dee" [Uptown] A marvellous CD of previously unreleased material from this tenorman from the 1947-1953 period where he's joined in his prime by the likes of Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Serge Chaloff and Dick Twardzik. This label is owned by Montreal based Dr. Bob Sunenblick and includes a beauty of a booklet with notes by the doctor and Ira Gitler.

OSCAR PETERSON "Vancouver 1958" [Just A Memory]. The trio with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown, a second volume of previously unreleased material from Canada's West Coast. FYI, when I wrote the notes to this one it was "Joy Spring", the gremlins changed that to "Joyous". The error as to the month Oscar was born is mine.

GERRY MULLIGAN-JOHNNY HODGES. "Mulligan Meets Hodges" [Verve]. A beauty of a 1959 session with the reedman backed by Claude Williamson, Buddy Clark and Mel Lewis including "18 Carrots for Rabbit" by Jeru.

GEORGE RUSSELL. "Stratusphunk" [OJC/Riverside]. A 1960 sextet session with the pianist leader, trombonist Dave Baker, trumpeter Al Kiger and tenorman Dave Young with bassist Chuck Israels and drummer Joe Hunt heard on originals by Carla Bley ("Bent Eagle"), David Lahm ("Lambskins"), Baker ("Kentucky Oysters") and the leader.

MARK MURPHY. "Memories of You" [High Note]. One of the great living jazz singers in a salute to the late Joe Williams. Pianist Norman Simmons is here along with reedman Bill Easley,

DEBORAH BROWN. "International Incident" [33 Jazz]. An American singer based in Europe doing songs by Thad Jones, Johnny Griffin, Horace Silver and Bert Joris. This one arrived courtesy of Jimmy Heath, who is a staunch supporter of this relatively obscure singer.

CONNIE EVINGSON. "Let It Be Jazz" [Summit]. For mop head fans, this one is subtitled "Sings The Beatles".

JOE LOVANO. "On This Day At The Vanguard" [Blue Note]. A second recorded outing by Joe's nonet, this time live. Great compositions, great arrangements and some top notch playing. Joe is joined by two other tenor players, George Garzone and Ralph Lalama with a rhythm team of John Hicks, Dennis Irwin and Lewis Nash. Joe's "At The Vanguard" is a rousing "Stompin' at the Savoy" contra fact.

MICHAEL BRECKER. "Wide Angles" [Verve] . More great playing and arranging, this is Michael's "Quindectet", a 15-piecer.that includes Robin Eubanks, Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander, Adam Rogers and John Patitucci.

LEE KONITZ. "Live Lee" [Milestone]. More superb saxophone with Lee's alto joined by pianist Alan Broadbent in duo performances captured live at Ruth Price's Jazz Bakery in L.A.

JOHN HICKS. "Fatha's Day" [High Note]. Another in a series of dedications, this one to Earl Hines, with one of my favourite pianists joined again by Dwayne Dolphin and Cecil Brooks III and including "Rosetta" and "My Monday Date".

JEAN-MICHEL PILC. "Cardinal Points" [Dreyfus] More great playing by this pianist, a major hit at the 2002 Jazz festival. Ari Hoenig, James Genus [replaced on "Trio Sonata", a 4 part work, by Francois Moutin.

T.S. MONK. "Higher Ground" [Thelonious]. Monk's drummer son on a new label. Joined by pianist Ray Gallon, reedmen Willie Williams and Bobby Porcelli and trumpeter Winston Byrd and a guest spot for vocalist Miles Griffith. Music by Ray Bryant, Donald Brown, Cedar Walton and Ray Bryant {"Cubano Chant"} are among the nine tracks.

VIRGINIA MAYHEW. "Phantoms" [Renma]. A fine reedwoman finally getting some deserved attention. Ingrid Jensen is here as well with Allison Miller on drums and on bass Harvie S. [aka Swartz].

CHARLES McPHERSON. "Live at the Cellar". [Maximum Jazz] Another of my favourite players, live in Vancouver with pianist Ross Taggart, bassist Jodi Proznick and drummer Blaine Wikjord, the latter two familiar to Montrealers from their stays here. Great straight-ahead bebop including "Blue 'n' Boogie".

MICHEL DONATO. "Jazz en Liberte, Montreal 1969" [Just A Memory]. An important document issued for the first time. Recorded at l'Ermitage this one includes the late Brian Barley, cutting edge drummer Claude Ranger and the trumpet of Alan Penfold in a varied program music by Wayne Shorter, Steve Goldberg, Ranger and Chuck Wayne (credited to Miles Davis).

THOM GOSSAGE.| OTHER VOICES. "The New Beyond" [Effendi]. A second outing from this great little group, one that includes the drummer leader, Remi Bolduc, Frank Lozano, Gary Schwartz, Miles Perkins and guesting, Josh Lebofsky.

Lots of jazz activity in Montreal coming up in October, watches this space.

© Len Dobbin 2003
Montreal, Quebec, Canada