The ukulele and suitcase duo of Jean Martin and Justin Haynes play the music of Myk Freedman. "All you’ll hear on this recording is a ukulele and a suitcase. But amazingly, paradoxically, that confining element is its liberation, and ours. Lovely, lyrical moments are everywhere. Time gets established in subtle ways, and subtly falls away. Geographies pass. We leave the streets for the dunes. Melodies expand and contract. If there was once a wall of sound, then this disc is a window. Open it and enjoy a new view." Don Rooke, June 26, 2008
This is Blah's long-awaited debut release. An eclectic assortment of unfortunate accidents that stumbles and falls somewhere in that exquisite grey area between pure old-fashioned entertainment, pre-harmonic bop, and Canada's new wave of avant garde mariachi. Jean Martin and Nick Fraser (aka Skins) simultaneously play one drum kit, Justin Haynes plays home-defretted guitar, Ryan Driver plays a bristle from a standard street-sweeper (as a bass), and Tania Gill plays melodica. The results are truly unprecedented. It's Only Life! features wild-hearted interpretations of fascinating original compositions by each member of the band (with a few Mexican classics interspersed). Blah blah blah blah blah blah...
Legendary saxophonist and composer Anthony Braxton releases the first saxophone duet recording of two ghost trance compositions. Braxton is joined by Toronto saxophonist Kyle Brenders in this double cd studio recording. "To call a musical duet a "dialogue" implies that the music functions the way language does. The comparison is particularly tempting in the case of Anthony's music and the "language" types that are its building blocks. Any comparison here, however, has little to do with the well-worn paths of call-and-response that may remind us superficially of conversation. It's better, perhaps, to think of duet music in general as a historical language and of Anthony's pieces as a beautifully original dialect in which to say what he and Kyle need to say, to each other and – thankfully – to us." Scott Thomson, October 2008.
A recording of wide-ranging, freely improvised solos and duets by Montréal clarinetist and bass clarinetist Lori Freedman and Toronto trombonist Scott Thomson played, as Mark Miller says in hisliner notes, "with a folksy sort of virtuosity – amiable, agreeably unpretentious and without the patented sheen of the conservatory."
Daring jazz-based improvisations by alto saxophonist Evan Shaw and drummer Jean Martin. Each player's highly individual, energetic soloing and the uncanny interplay between them are underpinned bysaxophone-section-like overdubs that demonstrate the orchestralconception in which this inimitable duo works.
Picked by Exclaim! Magazine and Delire Actuel Magazine CFLX, Quebec as one of the top ten Experimental/Avant-Garde albums of 2007 "The music of Barnyard Drama is spawned from the same gene pool as Sophia Loren meets Leadbelly in the dark, covered with Corn Husker’s hand lotion’." Ron Gaskin. “it's cannily over-the-top in a nicely understated way” M. Miller. “...archetypal carneys living in the modern world” J. Southworth. Barnyard Drama is Jean Martin drums loops turntables, Christine Duncan voice, w/Justin Haynes and Bernard Falaise on guitars
This studio recording deftly interlaces and frames the spontaneous improvisations of Toronto reeds/guitar multi-instrumentalist Colin Fisher and drummer/producer Jean Martin into extended and dynamic song forms with results that range from delicate to euphoric.