The choice of album title for this debut release by the duo of Kornel Wolak and Chris Donnelly is a fitting one. You see, pianist Donnelly is an acclaimed Juno-nominated jazz artist, while Polish-born clarinettist Wolak (formerly with Quarteto Gelato) is in demand internationally as a classical player. Together, they forge a beautifully melodic sound encompassing both worlds.
Their repertoire ranges from Brahms to Gershwin (a "Porgy and Bess" medley) to Oscar Peterson's "Hymn To Freedom", all given a fresh twist. The production work of Peter Cardinali is typically
A Juno nominee and Jeunesse Musicale Award winner, saxophonist/composer Chet Doxas has toured internationally in the EBU Jazz Orchestra. He has performed and recorded with Oliver Jones, John Abercrombie, Rufus Wainwright and more, and his talents as composer and lyrical player are well showcased here. There's a tinge of fusion in his style, and his tunes are both adventurous and accessible. He is ably accompanied here by three top NYC players. After three Canadian gigs this past week, the Chet Doxas Quartet plays The JazzAhead Festival in Germany on April 26. Dive is also set to be released on
Shannon Graham is a multiple threat, as a saxophonist/singer/violist/composer. As co-artistic director of the Spectrum Composers Collective, she's at the forefront of a chamber jazz movement, and that style is showcased on this eclectic album. Abetted by the high-calibre instrumentalists in large jazz ensemble The Storytellers, she has delivered one impressive debut disc. Check out the aptly entitled "So Much Like A Dream" for a sample of their inventive sound. The Toronto Jazz Festival helped support the recent album launch in Toronto via the TDJ Special Projects Initiative.
The cello is not generally viewed as a jazz instrument, but in the capable hands of composer/cellist Kye Marshall, it becomes just that. Marshall does blend classical strains into her sound effortlessly, as on "I Remember Johann Sebastian". Her quartet comprises such ace players as veteran Juno-winning bassist Don Thompson (a frequent collaborator on earlier records), drummer Ethan Ardelli, guitarist Andrew Scott, percussionist Mark Duggan, and violist Kent Teeple. Creative tune titles ("River Reverie", "Summer Sizzle") complement the adventurous yet always melodic compositions. She has