Janice Finlay's latest CD features outstanding Canadian jazz artists playing straight from the heart. Released in early November 2011, the disc is comprised on nine tracks: eight originals and a standout remake of the jazz classic Bye Bye Blackbird.
Winnipeg saxophonist Janice Finlay draws deeply on the blues to open her sophomore recording as the boss with "The Houston Shuffle", a nod to the big sound of saxophonist Houston Person. Finlay showcases her skill as a player, composer and band leader on this nine-tune disc of original compositions and her version of "Bye Bye Blackbird", performed almost as a lament rather than the usual upbeat fashion. Her "Harbinger of Swing to Come - Movements I & II" is a gem for great soloing by Finlay amd tight ensemble play. Guitarist Ron Halldorson stands out on the tune and adds a swinging vibe throughout the disc. (4 stars) CHRIS SMITH - Jazz Reviewer for The Winnipeg Free Press (November 19, 2011)
THE ARTISTS on the CD:
JANICE FINLAY: Janice Finlay is a respected Canadian jazz composer, arranger, saxophonist and flautist whose style is lyrical, soulful, and compelling. She started piano at a young age, but the instrument's poor fit sent her searching for a better match for her musical voice. After a stint on euphonium, then clarinet, in tenth grade Janice purchased a saxophone to fill a position in a friend's family band. She has not looked back and has followed her jazz muse through a jazz performance degree from McGill University in Montreal to a prestigious composition residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida. She is a first call woodwind player in Winnipeg and has had the chance to back many visiting jazz legends including Mel Tomé, Frank Foster, Louie Bellson and Frank Foster.
"Saxophonist Janice Finlay is a great player...." Chris Smith, the Winnipeg Free Press
"The (Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra) brass had their chance to blow as well as guest saxophonist Janice Finlay who is always a pleasure to hear as she took her own improvised solo" Holly Harris, the Winnipeg Free Press
"Finlay's saxophone was the anchor for their sound with catchy song writing that weaved with the passion of musical storytelling. Her theoretical wisdom spoke to the masses while piquing the interest of those with a trained ear." Jon Thompson, Kenora Miner and News
DON THOMPSON - Order of Canada recipient and award-winning multi-instrumentalist DON THOMPSON shines on vibraphone and piano on Anywhere But Here. Don has enjoyed a long and illustrious career, playing bass for five years with George Shearing and travelling the world as a member of the Jim Hall trio in the mid-seventies. He was a long time member of Rob McConnell's Boss Brass, was part of Paul Desmond's Toronto band, and in the mid-sixties was a part of the now-famous John Handy Quintet in San Francisco. Don is equally at home on piano, vibes, bass and drums, and is a gifted and prolific composer and arranger. Don's list of credits is long and noteworthy; more information can be found by searching on Wikipedia.
JODI PROZNICK - An acoustic bassist who is a rising star in the international jazz community, JODI PROZNICK was named Bassist of the Year at both the 2007 and 2008 National Jazz Awards (Canada). A band leader as well as a highly sought after performer, Jodi's feature CD "Foundations" was named album of the year at the 2007 National Jazz Awards and was also nominated for a Canadian Juno Award. While a student at McGill University, Jodi won the bass competition for the 1998 IAJE Sisters in Jazz Group and in 2004, The Jodi Proznick Quartet was awarded the Galaxie Rising Star of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. More information on Jodi's burgeoning career can be found by searching Wikipedia.
QUINCY DAVIS - Drummer QUINCY DAVIS hails from New York City and has set up shop as a jazz faculty member at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. Davis has toured with notable leaders Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Regina Carter and Tom Harrell, covering more than ten different countries and appearing in many well-known jazz clubs such as the Blue Note in New York City. Davis is also a respected and experienced jazz educator. For more information on Quincy's impeccable pedigree, visit his site, quincydavis.com
RON HALLDORSON - Guitarist Ron Halldorson is a jazz elder who has chosen Winnipeg as his home. Equally talented as a bassist, Ron worked for many years in a trio with guitar legend Lenny Breau. He is also an award winning slide guitarist and has numerous credits as a studio musician. Despite his quasi "retirement" a few years ago, he remains an extremely busy first call musician and performs regularly throughout Canada.
ERIN PROPP - Erin Propp is a vocalist who brings depth and beauty to the music she sings. She is featured on the sole vocal piece on the CD, Remember Me, a demanding piece both technically and emotionally that she easily makes her own. Her haunting voice is also heard on the second half of the last cut of the CD, reminiscent of the work of the great Norma Winston. Erin is a recent graduate of the University of Manitoba's jazz vocal program and leads her own groups as well as being a sought after Winnipeg performer.