Reviews

Sandro Dominelli – The Alvo Sessions

Sandro Dominelli
CD Review by Bill McDonald

The Alvo Sessions is the most recent addition to Sandro Dominelli’s growing discography. Like his previous recordings, this CD is comprised of a combination of his own compositions and some interpretations of those by other artists. Also, like some of his other recordings, he does not draw strictly from the “jazz world”. In this case, the Alvo Sessions includes Chris Issak’s “Wicked Games” and Keith Jarrett’s “Personal Mountains”.

Accompanied by Rez Abbasi (guitar) and Chris Tarry (electric bass), Dominelli offers up a number of interesting tracks. The common theme throughout all is the balanced interplay between the three musicians and an eastern atmosphere underscored by Abbasi’s guitar.

Highlights include the version of “Wicked Games”. Like the original, the melody is presented in a simple, clean fashion with as much importance placed on space as the line itself. The guitar solo keeps true to this premise, offering only slightly more density. This contrasts nicely with the following track, “Number 11” with musical complexity from both guitar and bass and driving rhythms from the drums.

Burn The Floor – It’s a Full-on Inferno!

Burn The Floor
By Natasha Slinko

If you want to have your heart pumping and your foot tapping, and want to feel like jumping out of your seat and dancing, then the high energy Burn the Floor is a must see.
On opening night at the Canon Theatre, audience clapped and stamped and gave this incredible show and cast three standing ovations.

With more than twenty dancers of incredible caliber, some of which were participants in the super craze of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ world-wide - from Russian with Love, to the sultry beat of Venezuela, to incredible talent from Germany, Latvia, the UK, to down under Aussieland, and of course the USA. Also joining the cast, are headliners such as Latvian Anya Garnis and Russian Pasha Kovalev (USA So You Think You Can Dance) to the elegance and grace of Australian couple, Damon and Rebecca Sugden, who took your breath away.

Two drummers/percussionists, Joseph Malone and Giorgio Rojas, filled the back of the stage and kept the flow and beat of the show moving at a high-speed pace. The cast was also joined by two very talented singers, Mig Ayesa and Rebecca Tapia, whose voices filled the air and added that extra little bit that made the show even more entertaining. The music was hypnotic and the orchestra didn’t miss a beat.

Irene Atman in Concert

Irene Atman
By Bill McDonald

While not yet a well known entity in the local Toronto scene, jazz vocalist Irene Atman made a substantial stride in that direction with her concert last Friday evening at the Jane Mallett Theatre.

Born in Toronto, Atman was influenced very early, listening to her father’s old records stored in a box in the fruit cellar. “Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Doris Day -all of the greats. I just loved them”.

Her professional career began at 19, while studying history at the University of Toronto. During that time, Atman sang with the Stan Hiltz Orchestra, recorded with the Boss Brass, and performed with Tony Bennett. She also performed with local stalwarts Guido Basso, Dave Young, Terry Clarke, and Peter Appleyard.

In 2008, she focussed on promoting her self-titled debut CD release and toured Canada and the United States. Along the way, she also made stops in Australia and Japan.

In 2009, Atman relocated to New York City to record her second CD, “New York Rendezvous”. On this recording she is backed by noted NYC musicians Frank Kimbrough (piano), Jay Anderson (bass), Matt Wilson (drums), and Joel Frahm (tenor and soprano saxophones).
In this homecoming concert, she was accompanied by Canadian A-List musicians, Dave Young on bass, Guido Basso on horn (both Order of Canada recipients), Robbi Botos on piano, Rob Piltch on guitar, and Ethan Ardelli on drums.

Kenny MacLean Releases CD – Completely.

Platinum Blonde

By Bill Delingat

Thursday April 8th marked the long awaited release of the late Kenny MacLean’s CD “Completely” at the Mod Club in Toronto. MacLean, best known as the bass player, singer and writer for Platinum Blonde “ who were inducted into the Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame at this year’s Canadian Music Week, passed away on November 24, 2008 three days after he played his last show at the Mod Club. Mclean had featured singles from his than unfinished new C.D. at the event.

“I miss him so much. We decided, because of Kenny, that we would get back together. It was great to play together the other night. We wish Kenny was there.” – Mark Holmes, March 12, 2010, speaking at the Royal York Hotel Awards ceremony about their Hall of Fame performance. Mark would also be performing Kenny’s song “Don’t Look Back” at the C.D. release night.

HIP KITTY

Hip Kitty Cover

by Sandy Graham

If you could harness the raw originality of the 1960s Jefferson Airplane and the dynamic power of Heart from the 1970s and ‘80s and transport them to the 21st century, you’d probably end up with a sound very similar to HIP KITTY.

Make no mistake, this is not an ordinary band with a cute name. These folks can play! And sing! And write great songs!

From the very top of The Art of War CD, with the ethereal orchestral intro leading into the first cut “The March of Tzu” right through to the 14th track “A Same New Day,” this group will grab your auditory attention and will not let you go until the last note stops ringing.

My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding

by Ron Bennison

Performances Resume February 26, 2010

First Block of Tickets Now On Sale for Performances Until March 21, 2010

Venue: The Panasonic Theatre – 651 Yonge St. Toronto (just south of Bloor)

My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding returned to The Panasonic Theatre February 26th, 2010 to a sold out house. It was first performed in July 2009 at the Bread & Circus Theatre in Kensington market as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival where it was discovered by David Mirvish, expanded and launched in the Panasonic theatre the Mirvish 2009-2010 season.

Darrelle London: Edible Word Parade

Darelle London

Unsigned

This 9-song collection is loaded with offbeat pop appeal. Farm girl London writes and performs on piano and while she cites Carole King as an influence, a much more apparent one is Tory Amos, in reference to song structure and offbeat arrangements.

The songs carry sharp observations sheathed in whimsical almost spontaneous sounding melody lines and breezy delivery a la Lily Allen.

The sweetness of the voice and childlike overtones is at once engaging and disarming to the point where it's easy to miss stuff first time around. Much of the lyric is at variance with the shiny, happy surface wrapping and only this tension keeps some songs from being a touch too precious.

Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein

By Ron Bennison


Closing out the 2009/2010 Mirvish subscription season, this production opened March 17 and runs until April 18, 2010. 
 Venue: The Princess of Wales Theatre – 300 King St. West  Toronto, Ontario

Warning:  Strobe lights are used in this production.  Recommended for ages 12 and older. 

REVMATIC: Cold Blooded Demon

Revmatic

Fist Records

This is not exactly a new album but representative of the kind of good work that cane be passed over in the rush to the next big thang.

Cold Blooded Demon is the third album from this Kingston are foursome who over 9 years has refined a catchy mix of vintage Metallica, commercial hard rock and Southern fried grooves.

From the opening blast of Head My Way to the pin ya to the wall power of She’s A Drug and Lie To Love Me, as unlikely a romantic twosome as you could hope for, Revmatic exhibit a balls-out confidence that works in getting even the weaker tunes into the club.

Lotsa fuzzed out guitars and fist pumping anthems, the standout in the regard being Bad Behaviour and for all the overwhelming power, there a commercial sensibility here that’s responsible for some good hooks such as on Lie To Me and the title track.

BASIA BULAT: Heart Of My Own

Basia

Secret City Records

Never mind the obvious differences, there’s a track on this album called “Gold Rush’ that’s a significant clue to what this collection’s all about. More than anything else, it resonates best with Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush” in terms of scope, ambition and a unique approach to pushing the form forwards.

The tunes here are largely shaped by Bulat’s imagined idea of a mythic Yukon before she’d ever set eyes on the place and the fact they were all written on the road, a new experience for Bulat. Even the ones not overtly Yukon-influenced carry an ambience of re-imagined times and places.

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