Mark Takeshi McGregor. Starts and Stops. Mark Takeshi McGregor is more than just a highly skilled virtuoso. Only a handful of musicians out there could match his ability to create music that does not let go until the very end. McGregor interprets every piece as if it were his last, and he does it with wisdom and devotion.[...] Read more

Recordings Piotr Grella-Możejko Issue 147

Cassandra Miller. Traveller Song / Thanksong. The Canadian-born composer Cassandra Miller often uses existing music as the starting point for her own work. In the case of Warblework, written for Quatuor Bozzini, she incorporated the songs of four North American thrushes. She does something similar in the two pieces on Traveller Song /[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 147

ICOT Chamber Orchestra. Recurrence. Repetition, in many guises, is the theme of this resonant and evocative new recording from the ICOT Chamber Orchestra, which features some of Canada’s finest chamber musicians playing new works by five Canadian composers.   Nature’s pleasing repetition appears in[...] Read more

Recordings Helen Pridmore Issue 147

Eve Egoyan and Mauricio Pauly. Hopeful Monster. Expanding her reach beyond contemporary notated music interpretations, Toronto’s Eve Egoyan has created her first all-improvised session with these ten selections. Her partner here is Costa Rican-born Vancouverite Mauricio Pauly, who manipulates all sorts of prepared acoustic and[...] Read more

Recordings Ken Waxman Issue 147

Sophie Dupuis. Comme Bon Lui Semble. On Comme Bon Lui Semble, Sophie Dupuis crafts eerie atmospheres with a dreamy haze. The New Brunswick-based composer and violinist is an expert at writing diaphanous melodies using ghostly extended techniques. With this album, which takes its inspiration from visual art, she showcases her[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 147

Kris Davis. Diatom Ribbons Live at the Village Vanguard. Kris Davis’s 2019 album Diatom Ribbons was a giant step forward in the Canadian pianist’s discography, if not in the continued integration of electronics and turntables with jazz. She’s hardly been quiet since then. A duo with saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, a second album from[...] Read more

Recordings Kurt Gottschalk Issue 147

Witch Prophet. Gateway Experience Discovery and understanding are tenets of the work of Witch Prophet, aka Ethiopian-Eritrean Canadian musician Ayo Leilani. Her 2020 album DNA Activation was a prism reflecting the range of the African diaspora experience. On her third album, Gateway Experience, the Toronto-based artist[...] Read more

Recordings Leslie Ken Chu Issue 145

Spektral Quartet, Julia Holter, and Alex Temple. Behind the Wallpaper Behind the Wallpaper occupies the unknown space just before a transformation is complete. Inspired by composer Alex Temple’s gender transition, the album explores themes of renewal and realization and is performed by Chicago’s Spektral Quartet and singer-songwriter Julia Holter.[...] Read more

Recordings Vanessa Ague Issue 145

Rasmussen / Flaherty / Rowden / Corsano. Crying in Space Mette Rasmussen is a Danish alto saxophonist who has worked in diverse and distinguished contexts, including Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra and the all-star multinational quartet Hearth. Here she joins Connecticut-based saxophonist Paul Flaherty, a free-jazz warrior whose wily name for[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 145

Éliane Radigue. 11 Dec 1980. Quatuor Bozzini. Éliane Radigue: Occam Delta XV. In approaching the work of French composer Éliane Radigue, one is recommended to let go of any preconceptions of what music should sound like. The music moves outside the realm of rhythm patterns, melody, and fixed pitch, with slow and subtle changes in sound and in the layering of[...] Read more

Recordings René van Peer Issue 145

Roxanne Nesbitt / Ben Brown / Marielle Groven. Play Symbiotic Instruments A brief note accompanying the latest record from Montreal free-jazz purveyor Small Scale Music highlights things before players: The titular “instruments,” we read, represent “a collection of resonant objects and systems played by an ever-evolving group of musicians.[...] Read more

Recordings Brennan McCracken Issue 145

Joëlle Léandre. Zurich Concert During her long career, Joëlle Léandre has been a constant explorer of the possibilities of her string bass and of exploratory musical languages, moving from creative collaborations with composers John Cage and Giacinto Scelsi to a devotion to free improvisation. This June, L[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer Issue 145