Spirit Door - Roger Baird’s Black and White Trio
Soft, subtle, energetic, angular, curved, telepathic spontaneous composition, haunting melodic fragments, multiple time juxtaposition, story telling imagery, loose, tight, textural soundscapes, formation flying in the musical realm, spirit leads the way. Spirit Door takes the listener on a journey. One cut runs into the next as each movement expands the image and the whole resolves as a suite.
Spirit Door was recorded live at a concert performed on Denman Island in August of 2006. Miles Black is heard playing grand piano and Scott White is on upright bass and various hand percussion. Roger Baird plays drums and percussion.
Musical collaborations going back almost twenty years resulted in the formation of Roger Baird’s Black and White Trio.
The trio takes inspiration from a multitude of influences and uses their improvisatory skills to create a unique musical tapestry. The music is cohesive and beautiful…a soundtrack for the mind and spirit. Audiences are captured by the sound and stay attentive and responsive to the music, often displaying exuberant reactions after finales.
Roger Baird started his improvised music career in NYC in 1972, after leaving Canada where he had played rock, blues, R&B and jazz. He was a founding member of The Music Ensemble which grew out of his duo collaborations with Daniel Carter. The Music Ensemble was comprised of Daniel Carter, reeds, flute, perc., William Parker, bass, Malik Baraka, trumpet, Billy Bang, violin, Dewey Johnson, trumpet, and Earl Freeman, Fender fretless bass. Kazutoki Umezu ( “Dr. Umezu”) sax and bass clarinet was a frequent guest as was Herb Kahn on bass. See http://www.tvbc.tv/roar/03.html for information on the CD release in 2001 of The Music Ensemble. While in New York from 1972 -1980 Roger studied with Sam Rivers, Karl Berger, Yusef Lateef, Becky Friend, Lee Konitz and was influenced by the live performances of Sam Rivers, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Sunny Murray, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ornette Coleman and many more. His interest in Indian music was developed through hearing Ali Akbar Khan, Yehudi Menuhin, Shankar, Zakir Hussain and other great artists playing in concert.
In 1981 he moved to Amsterdam where he played and recorded with the Louis Armfield Spiritual Jazz Quintet. A year later he traveled to Japan and played with various local musicians. From 1982-86 he traveled in South East Asia and India where he studied tabla with Mahapurush Misra, Ali Akbar Khan’s accompanist and immersed himself in various indigenous musics.
In 1986 he returned to Vancouver. He was a member of the New Orchestra Workshop, and worked with a wide variety of Vancouver musicians. In 1988 he created, ran and programmed the Glass Slipper, a venue to support creative musicians in jazz, improvised and world music. The “Slipper” was a favorite venue of both local and international artists for nine years. Beginning in 1987, he played with Graham Ord, sax and Paul Blaney, bass in the collective, Unity, which later added Daniel Lapp on violin and trumpet. Subsequently, as bandleader, he worked with Paul Plimley, Lisle Ellis, Francois Houle, Daniel Kane, Tony Wilson, Bruce Freedman, Ralph Eppel, Jim Knodle, Paul Blaney, Clyde Reed, Peggy Lee, Roy Styffe and others He also worked with Al Neil and Walter Zuber Armstrong as well as Peter Huron’s Celtic Works and Themba Tana’s Uhuru. In 1995 he performed at the Glass Slipper with Daniel Carter and William Parker. He recorded 2 CDs with Trine with Robert Dyck, piano and Jim Munro, violin and one CD with The Free Energy Band with Robert Dyck and Masa Anzai. He appears on the CD, Great Canadian Jazz, from the BRAVO Jazzman TV series with his group MuseArt featuring Tony Wilson, guitar and Bruce Freedman, sax. His world music collaborations on tabla included Maya with Pepe Danza, sitar, shakuhachi, Moe Denburg, vocals, and Blaine Dunaway, violin and Free World with Ed Powell, sitar, Celso Machado, guitar, percussion, face, etc., etc.,, and John Walsh, Uillean pipes. At the Vancouver Jazz Festival he appeared each year for twelve years with his own bands and as a sideman, along with the 2007 performance of Roger Baird’s Black and White Trio. He also appeared with international artists Marilyn Crispell, Glenn Spearman, Walter Wierbos and Dr. Umezu, among others.
Currently based in Vancouver, BC, Miles Black has a wealth of musical experience as an arranger, producer, composer, session musician, guitarist, bassist, saxophonist, songwriter, musical theatre director, music therapist and college level music instructor. He has performed on countless albums, and has played with many music greats around the world including: Paul Horn, Jay Clayton, Mark Murphy, Max Roach, Maynard Ferguson, Sweets Edison, Slide Hampton, Houston Person, Chuck Israels, Lew Tabackin, Claude Ranger and Dee Daniels among many more.. See: www.milesblack.com
Scott White, originally from Victoria, B.C., is a Music Therapist ( BMT), and concert musician, based in Berlin, Germany. He is currently one of the most sought after bassists in Germany, as well as performing yearly in Canada and Europe wide with various ensembles. He has studied with Dave Holland, Peter Kowald, played at workshops with Lee Konitz, John Abercrombie, Albert Mangelsdorf, Richie Beirach, Billy Hart, Mike Stern and others.
In Canada he has performed with legendary drummer Claude Ranger, Paul Horn, Ken Vandermark, Michael Blake, Tommy Banks, Phil Dwyer, Paul Plimley, Roy Reynolds, Floyd Standifer and many more.
He has received scholarships from UVIC, the Banff School of Fine Arts, and McGill University, and studied world music in Central America, Morocco, India, and Europe. He was musical director for a Cirque du Soleil show in Europe for 6 years, and has performed all over the world in ensembles ranging from Russian Folk, to Free jazz, to Gypsy Swing.
“ I have a beautiful old bass, and aspire to use all of the wood and metal, strings and shapes at my disposal in an original and unexpected fashion, to get ahead or behind of my thinking mind and achieve lift-off, exploring the moment, and slowing down time. I also enjoy playing a beautiful melody plain and simple, and to weave through timeless songs.” See: www.scottwhite.net