Thursday, July 17, 2014

News From Bill McBirnie!

Hi, Everyone:

Here are several recent items (each of which is set out in more detail below my signature):

(1)  REVIEWS - (i) JAZZIZ, (ii) JAZZTIMES & (iii) DOWNBEAT

(2)  A SPECIAL GIG WITH THE MCBIRNIE BROS. AT THE REX!

(3)  THE PASSING OF PAUL HORN

(4)  IN THE WORKS - A NEW RECORDING PROJECT WITH BRUCE JONES - “GRAIN OF SAND”

(5)  …STOP…

(6)  UPCOMING GIG LISTING

Thanks very much…(both for reading and listening!)… 
 
Bill McBirnie - Extreme Flute
Phone:  (416) 652-1541
 
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.  In practice, there is."  (Yogi Berra)


(1)  REVIEWS - (i) JAZZIZ, (ii) JAZZTIMES & (iii) DOWNBEAT:

I’ve been lucky because, despite my being a rather unknown-Canadian-indie-jazz-flutist, Bernie Senensky and I have received “honourable mentions” in all three of the major US jazz publications in the past year:  (i) Jazziz, (ii) JazzTimes and (iii) Downbeat.  (…Now I guess it’s back to relative obscurity for us here in Toronto!… :-)  Anyway, here are citations from each publication (including the most recent review of the new recording, Find Your Place, which appeared in Jazziz):

(i)  JAZZIZ
The Bill McBirnie Trio
Find Your Place

"...An effervescent, joyous quality pervades the Bill McBirnie Trio's Find Your Place…[It] showcases a wide range of grooves, from bop and bossa to gospel and swing…Those new to McBirnie will be amazed at his imagination and originality on this exceptional album."  (MARK HOLSTON, Spring 2014)

(ii)  JAZZTIMES
The Bill McBirnie/Bernie Senensky Duo
Opening for Eliane Elias at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival

"Best Opening Act - Eliane Elias delivered a solid, opening-weekend show at the Old Mill Inn, focusing squarely on selections from her recent Chet Baker tribute, I Thought About You. But it was the dynamic opening duo of pianist and composer Bernie Senensky and flutist Bill McBirnie that, battling a cacophony of cutlery, truly set the expansive dining room aflame and, ironically, provided far more satisfying dips into the Brazilian songbook. For the uninitiated, check out their 2005 pairing on Paco Paco." (CHRISTOPHER LOUDON, 7/8/2013)

(iii)  DOWNBEAT
The Bill McBirnie/Bernie Senensky Duo
Opening for Eliane Elias at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival

"…Toronto’s deep pool of local talent was on display at dozens of events…Opening for Eliane Elias, flutist Bill McBirnie proved a passionate and eloquent improviser with sure-footed support from pianist Bernie Senensky. Their set included works by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Clare Fischer and a show-stopping finale penned by Senensky that [McBirnie] said was inspired by Hermeto Pascoal and Charlie Parker.” (ALLEN MORRISON, 7/16/2013)
 

(2)  A SPECIAL GIG WITH THE MCBIRNIE BROS. AT THE REX!:

The McBirnie Brothers (Jim on piano, Rod on drums and me on flute) haven’t played at The Rex in years.  So this is a special occasion, especially for me, because I hardly ever get to play with them.  I admit that I usually don’t get out to Jim’s regular Saturday sessions either (but then I figure those sessions are going to continue, like clock work, for the next 40 years…just as they have for the past 40 years plus!…(So I will get my chance soon enough, I’m sure! :-)  By the way, Rob McBride will be with us on bass (…and I understand that Rob is working on changing his last name in preparation for the gig!… :-)  So come out and heckle, if you must, because it’s certainly a rare opportunity for you to take a run at all of us, at once!


(3)  THE PASSING OF PAUL HORN:

Paul Horn passed away at his home in Victoria, BC on June 29th at the age of 84.  Since childhood, he has been my biggest influence on the instrument.  So for me, this was an acutely affecting event.  As a small tribute, here is a link to one track from my favourite Paul Horn album, Cycle.  This record was released in 1965 on RCA and was not exactly the rip-roaring commercial success that Inside The Taj Mahal turned out to be.  Indeed, Cycle has never been re-issued on CD…and likely never will be…Consequently, if you take the time to listen to this track, then you will detect the sound of “well-worn vinyl” as Paul performs a very touching version of the children’s classic, “HI-LILI, HI-LO”.  I might add that, at this point in his career, Paul was exploring odd time signatures.  However, here he executes an ironic twist by transforming what was originally conceived to be a rather jaunty waltz into a plaintive 4/4 meter.  The band is superb, consisting of Lynn Blessing (vibes), Mike Lang (piano), Bill Goodwin (drums) and Bill Plummer (bass).  The track is about five-and-a-half minutes in length and here is the link:  https://soundcloud.com/extremeflute/hi-lili-hi-lo 


(4)  IN THE WORKS - A NEW RECORDING PROJECT WITH BRUCE JONES - “GRAIN OF SAND”:

I am presently deviating from my “acoustic jazz” path and working on a new recording project with Bruce Jones.  This will be quite different from my more recent recordings (and represents something of a reincarnation of Extreme Flute!  Anyway, Bruce and I are now working on the tracks, but it will take a little while to complete.  The project will be entitled, “Grain Of Sand”.