Monday, December 28, 2020

Tim Mah's Recommended Canadian Jazz Albums of 2020

Frequent Four on the Floor correspondent Tim Mah returns once again today, this time offering his extensive list of recommended music released by Canadian jazz artists over the course of 2020.

As you will see, read and hear below, there was lots of great jazz music that came out of Canada over the past year.

Tim's weekly radio program Jazz Today can be heard on CJSW Radio 90.9 fm (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on Thursday mornings from 530-7am MST. It is also streamed on the CJSW website and available through Apple Podcasts.

Next week Tim will be offering his third and final instalment, a list of recommended international jazz releases from 2020.

In the meantime, check out my interview with Tim Mah on Four on the Floor *Live* happening on Tuesday, December 29th at 7pm MST (9pm EST) on Instagram IGTV @fouronthefloorblog.

Tim and I will be discussing some of the music he's selected for this year's Canadian year-end list.

Tim Mah's Recommended Canadian Jazz Albums of 2020

The purpose of this guest post is to bring more attention to Canadian artists. Some of the artists on this list have been mentioned in the year-end lists in major publications (New York Times, DownBeat Magazine, Popmatters, etc.) however most artists do not receive that level of attention. There was an abundance of new releases, led or co-led by Canadians, from December 2019 and November 2020. Below is a list of albums to get you started on your listening journey. 

Webber/Morris Big Band “Both Are True” 

Co-led by Anna Webber and Angela Morris, below is a video of the title track “Both Are True”:


Cat Toren’s HUMAN KIND “Scintillating Beauty” 

Below is the audio for the song “Ignis Fatuus”:


Peripheral Vision “Irrational Revelation and Mutual Humiliation” 

This double album celebrates more than ten years of the collaboration that is Peripheral Vision. Don Scott (guitar), Michael Herring (bass), Trevor Hogg (saxophone) and Nick Fraser (drums) .

This is a video of the band performing “Whistle Up a Rope”:


Doxas Brothers “The Circle” 

Co-led by Chet and Jim Doxas, here is the music video of “Uno a la Vez”:


Brandi Disterheft Trio & George Coleman “Surfboard” 

Brandi Disterheft’s (bass, vocals) fifth album featured Klaus Mueller (piano), Portinho (drums) and George Coleman (saxophone). 

Below is the official music video of “My Foolish Heart”:


Steph Richards “SUPERSENSE” 

Steph Richards (trumpet, flugelhorn) is joined by Jason Moran (piano), Stomu Takeishi (bass) and Kenny Wollesen (drums). 

Here is the album trailer for “SUPERSENSE”:


Donnybrook “Live at the Bassment” 

The band members of Donnybrook consist of Ben Bishop (guitar), Jeff McLeod (organ) and Morgan Childs (drums). 

Below is the audio for “Mixed Greens (Live)”:


Mark Godfrey “Square Peg” 

Mark Godfrey’s (bass) first full length album features his quintet, including Allison Au (alto saxophone), Matt Woroshyl (tenor saxophone), Chris Pruden (piano) and Nick Fraser (drums). 

This is the audio for “No Gig Today”:


Emie R Roussel Trio “Rythme de Passage” 

This is the fifth album for the Emie R Roussel Trio. The band members are Emie Rioux-Roussel (piano & keyboards), Nicolas Bédard (bass) and Dominic Cloutier (drums) 

This is a video of the trio performing “Maltagliati”:

Rachel Therrien “Vena” 

On this album, Rachel Therrien is joined by her European quartet. 

Below is a video of Rachel Therrien and her band performing “V for Vena”:


Rubim de Toledo “The Dig” 

Bassist Rubim de Toledo is the recipient of the Western Canadian Music Awards 2018 jazz artist of the year. The musicians on this album include Chris Andrew (piano), Bob Tildesley (trumpet), Jamie Cooper (drums) and Jim Brenan (saxophone, clarinet). 

Below is the video for “Saddleback”:


Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus “Rats and Mice” 

Ohrenschmaus is Lina Allemano’s Berlin-based trio, which includes Lina Allemano (trumpet), Dan Peter Sundland (bass), and Michael Griener (drums). 

Here is a video of Lina Allemano’s Ohrenschmaus performing “Very Dirty”:


Lina Allemano “Glimmer Glammer” 

“Glimmer Glammer” is Lina Allemano’s solo trumpet album. 

Mike Rud “Salome’s Dance: The Mike Rud Trio Invites Peter Bernstein” 

Below is the official music video for “Salome’s Dance”:


Luke Sellick & Andrew Renfroe “Small Vacation” 

Below is a video of Luke Sellick (bass) and Andrew Renfroe (guitar) performing “Hills of Mexico”:


Rebecca Hennessy “All The Little Things You Do” 

This is the official video for “Magnolia”:


Alex Goodman “Impressions in Blue and Red” 

This double album features two different quartets. The “blue” quartet includes Ben Van Gelder (alto saxophone), Alex Goodman (guitar) Martin Nevin (bass) and Jimmy Macbride (drums). The “red” quartet includes Alex LoRe (alto saxophone), Alex Goodman (guitar) Rick Rosato (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). 

Here is the video for “No Man’s Land” (written by Alex Goodman):


Ernesto Cervini “Tetrahedron” 

The band members on this album are Ernesto Cervini (drums), Rich Brown (bass), Luis Deniz (saxophone) and Nir Felder (guitar). 

Below is a live performance of the band performing “The Sneaky Two”:


Frank Lozano & Gentiane MG “Convergence” 

This is the video for “Era” (Frank Lozano – saxophone, composition; Gentiane MG – piano):


Okan “Espiral” 

Here is the official music video for “Espiral”:


Quinsin Nachoff “Pivotal Arc” 

Below is the video for “String Quartet – Movement 1”:


Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra “Urban(e)" 

Here is the video for “Excerpts from the Firebird” (Igor Stravinsky): 


Dan Fortin “The Latest Tech” 

This album consists of nine solo bass compositions from Dan Fortin.

Below is the audio for “American Desert”:  


Andy Milne & Unison “The reMission” 

This is Andy Milne’s (piano) first trio album. He’s joined by John Hebert (bass) and Clarence Penn (drums). 

This is the album trailer: 


Ben Wendel “High Heart” 

Vancouver-born, Los Angeles raised and New York based Ben Wendel released his latest album at the end of October. The musicians on the album are Ben Wendel (saxophone, EFX, bassoon), Michael Mayo (vocals), Gerald Clayton (piano, Fender Rhodes), Shai Maestro (piano, Fender Rhodes), Joe Sanders (bass) and Nate Wood (drums). 

Below is the video for “Drawn Away”:


Kari van der Kloot “The Architects” 

This is vocalist Kari van der Kloot’s second album. 

Below is a video of a live performance of “Same Song”:


Laila Biali “Out of Dust” 

“Out of Dust” is Laila Biali’s follow up to her 2019 Juno award winning vocal jazz album.

The following is an acoustic version of the song “The Monolith”:


David Virelles “Transformacion del Arcoiris” 

This is a solo album from David Virelles (piano, synths, percussion), who worked on these tracks during the pandemic quarantine. Marcus Gilmore plays MPC drums on one track.

Matthew Stevens and Walter Smith III “In Common 2” 

Matthew Stevens (guitar) and Walter Smith III (saxophone) released their first collaboration (“In Common”) in 2018. The band included Joel Ross, Harish Raghavan and Marcus Gilmore.  "In Common 2" includes Linda Oh, Nate Smith and Micah Thomas. 

Below is the album trailer:


Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis “Blood Moon” 

This is a concert of Ingrid Laubrock (saxophone) and Kris Davis (piano) performing at the Jazz Gallery in New York for a Skopje Jazz Festival livestream:


Here is a list of more Canadian artists with 2020 releases that you can check out:

Alex Moxon Quartet “Alex Moxon Quartet” 

Alvaro Rojas “Gran Kasa”

Angela Turone & Chris Platt “Sounds of Brazil”

Audrey Ochoa “Frankenhorn”

Claire Devlin Quartet “Anyone”

Diana Krall “This Dream of You”

Evan Shay “New Normal”

François Houle “Recoder” and “Vortex” (with the ITACA 4et - Nicola Fazzini, Alessandro Fedrigo and Nick Fraser)

Gillian Margot “Power Flower”

Gordon Grdina “Nomad,” “Resist,” Safar-e-Daroon,” and “Prior Street”

Harrison Squared “Trout in Swimwear”

Jean-Michel Leblanc “Varietes Narratives”

Jen Hodge All Stars “The Girl in the Groove”

Jerry Granelli Trio “The Jerry Granelli Trio Plays Vince Guraldi and Mose Allison”

Jocelyn Gould “Elegant Traveler”

John Stetch “Blue Canada”

Koffman Hiltz Quartet “Mumbo Jumbo”

Larnell Lewis “Relive the Moment”

Local Talent (James Hill, Rich Brown and Ian Wright) “Higienopolis”

Marika Galea ‘Nuance”

Mark Segger Sextet “Liftoff”

The Nimmons Tribute “To the Nth”

Pat Collins Trio (feat. Reg Schwager & Tom Szczesniak) “Time Well Spent”

Patrick Boyle “Swivel”

Petr Cancura “Another Way Home (feat. Kenny Wollesen, Tony Scherr & Rob Jost),” “Life is a Gong Show (with the group Songs of Tales - Jean Martin, Jesse Zubot, Gordon Grdina)” and “Don’t Let It Stop (feat. Charlie Hunter & Geoff Clapp)

Pulsart Trio “Swing Theory – EP”

Rob Clutton “Offering” and “Counsel of Primaries”

Sarah Rossy “The Conclusion”

See Through 4 "Bog Standards" and "False Ghosts, Minor Fears"

Ways (Brodie West and Evan Cartwright) + Simon Toldam “Fortunes”

Will Bonness “Change of Plans”

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