New Hermitage. Obey Convention XI. Chamber jazz is an intriguing subgenre; programmatic chamber jazz even more so. Halifax-based quartet New Hermitage weaves gently undulating textures out of a unique instrumentation consisting of woodwinds (Andrew MacKelvie), harp (Ellen Gibling), guitar (Ross Burns), and cello (India Gailey[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman Issue 133

Flying Hórses. Reverie. Redolent of icy streams, brittle emotions, and breathtaking, lonely landscapes, Reverie might be the perfect album for a long, cold winter. This is the second full-length release from Montreal pianist Jade Bergeron, and it’s not surprising to hear that she once lived and worked in[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 133

Bob Bell. Necropolis. Since its release in 1978, Bob Bell’s Necropolis has grown in stature to become one of Canada’s most highly sought after private-press LPs. The glassy-eyed Vancouver longhair gazing out from the album’s cover photo—strikingly shot from an ant’s eye view pointing[...] Read more

Recordings Jesse Locke Issue 133

Terry Rusling. The Machine Is Broken. Despite his collaborations with notable poets (Gwendolyn MacEwan, Bob Cobbing), affiliations with pioneering studios at stalwart institutions (BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and others), and ties to that legendary beacon of Toronto subculture the[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Amirtha Kidambi & the Elder Ones. From Untruth. “Eat the rich or die starving.” Repeated mantra-like at the end of the first song on Amirtha Kidambi’s impressive new record with her band the Elder Ones, From Untruth, that sentiment somehow lands less as provocation than as simple statement of fact, a moment of clarity[...] Read more

Recordings Daniel Glassman Issue 133

GGRIL. Façons. Tour de Bras, microcidi014; Phillipe Lauzier, Éric Normand, and John Butcher. How Does This Happen? Tour de Bras / Ambiances Magnetiques, AM247 CD. Through his singular drive, devotion, and inventiveness, Éric Normand has made Rimouski, a small Quebec city over 500 kilometres from Montreal, a thriving centre for free improvisation. He has an improvising orchestra, GGRIL (Grande Groupe Régional d’Improvisation Lib[...] Read more

Recordings Stuart Broomer

Bekah Simms. Impurity Chains. Gilded from the depths of the underworld of the Internet age, Toronto-based Bekah Simms’ corrosive debut album Impurity Chains is an eclectic collection of her chamber works, many of which involve deeply intertwined electronics. Performed by various artists, Simms’ works here are[...] Read more

Recordings Monica Pearce Issue 132

The Oakland Elementary School Arkestra. The Saga of Padani. In the 1990s, a progressive California music teacher named Randy Porter instituted a program with his grades 4, 5, and 6 students that was centred on combining improvisational and composed music. The results would have been interesting on their own, but with the participation of notable[...] Read more

Recordings Rob Caldwell Issue 132

The Necks. Body. Whether intentionally or coincidentally, both the band name The Necks and the album title Body refer to parts of a guitar, an instrument that is prominently featured on the trio’s twentieth release. The fifty-six-minute, four-movement piece starts in familiar territory, with a[...] Read more

Recordings Lawrence Joseph Issue 132

Jessica Moss. Entanglement. It is entirely possible to lose yourself, along with your stress and your awareness of time and place, as you sink into the depths of this Entanglement. The second solo album by Montreal-based violinist Jessica Moss, best known for her long association with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial[...] Read more

Recordings Mary Dickie Issue 132

Overleaf. Overleaf. The recently formed Overleaf assembles three of Toronto’s most distinct yet unsung voices in a compelling and elusive amalgam. Synthesist (and occasional bamboo flutist) Heidi Chan (aka Bachelard), saxophonist Kayla Milmine, and Mira Martin-Gray, who has an uncharacteristically[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring

Samuel Andreyev. Music with no Edges. The six works on Toronto-born, Strasbourg-based composer Samuel Andreyev’s brilliant new disc were conceived separately over the span of a decade. Yet the album’s gripping first two minutes serve as a perfect introduction to his world.   Vérifications[...] Read more

Recordings Nick Storring