Sunday, June 27, 2010

Painting With A Full Palette

A few years ago, a jazz composer told me that he was genuinely sorry when he graduated from university, because it meant that he didn't know when he would next get the chance to hear his music played by a full ensemble.

Such is the lot of the composer/arranger. Famously, during the 1950s, the great Gil Evans languished for years in the wilderness (his New York City apartment, actually) before Miles Davis swept him up, rich with a new Columbia Records contract.

From the stage in Confederation Park last night, one of Evans's most-prominent successors—Montreal-based Christine Jensen—thanked people for coming out to hear what she said was the equivalent of a month's work for a small group: three prime-time gigs with her jazz orchestra. Featuring her gifted older sister Ingrid on trumpet and electronics, Jensen's band is studded with many of Montreal's finest players, and her compositions—many of them inspired by the landscape of Vancouver Island—are rich additions to the jazz orchestra canon. It's great to hear the band, but just a shame that more people won't get the chance.


Greg Masters said...

look forward to hearing these guys, thanks for the alert

James Hale said...

The band has a new album out: Treelines on Justin Time Records.