WJO CD DETAILS
Tidal Currents: East Meets West is the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra’s seventh release since their inception in 1997. Upon the WJO presententing this commission opportunity to Jill and Christine, the two composers have had time to reflect on what places mean the most to them, including the bodies of water that have surrounded them both in their youth up until the present. You will hear Jill capturing images, sounds and smells of her east coast upbringing, unfolding into Christine's westcoast childhood memories. The music moves into the waters surrounding them at present, including Jill's now west coast land and waterscape, and Christine's explorations of her Montreal environs, including the powerful St-Lawrence seaway. They will blend their compositions into one suite with the WJO
Tidal Currents - East Meets West
Inside The Wave / Jill Townsend........................................................................7:07
Tidal Currents / Jill Townsend……………........................…………….......................7:34
Crossing Lachine / Christine Jensen..................................…….................… 7:03
Rock Skipping Under The Half Moon / Christine Jensen ………… 7:41
Jill Townsend’s Notes:
INSIDE THE WAVE
Inside the Wave was inspired by the rugged west coast and majestic ocean waves near Sooke, BC. The opening theme played by the saxes represents the waves as they uncurl and unfold onto the shore. An abrupt change of meter and feel midway through the movement emphasizes the unpredictable character of coastal weather.
Small waves washing over tiny rocks close to the shore are reimagined using the sounds of piano, bass, drums, and muted brass. As with tidal currents, the music also ebbs and flows. Cascading horns provide a backdrop for the beautiful sound of Christine Jensen’s soprano sax.
Christine Jensen’s Notes:
ROCK SKIPPING UNDER THE HALF MOON
This composition is inspired by my birthplace of Sechelt, British Columbia. I practiced rock skipping there, on the beautiful Sechelt Inlet with the gorgeous coastal mountains in the shadows. This piece starts out with the shimmer sounds of the small inlet waves calling us down to the shoreline. With two notes, we start the practice of rock skipping. The theme also takes place over the swaying rhythms of a slow waltz that mimics the feel of lapping of waves on the shoreline. It gets extended, as I continue to climb intervallically with the lines, pulling them longer and higher, again alluding to achieving a longer row of rock skips with the end.
This is inspired by my current love for paddle boarding across the St Lawrence river right at the base of the Lachine Rapids in Montreal. During the summer, I let go with the most thrilling paddles on this majestic body of water, full of currents whirling around me. At the same time I am able to glide fast over them, while looking at stunning horizons at this unique vista on water.
A prolific composer and arranger, Jill Townsend is the leader of the critically acclaimed Jill Townsend Jazz Orchestra. JTJO has released two recordings to date earning them international recognition, and their 2015 recording Legacy, featuring the music of Ross Taggart was voted #1 in CBC’s Top Ten Outstanding CD’s of the Year. In addition, the Canadian National Jazz Awards twice nominated JTJO for Large Ensemble of the Year.
Jill has composed and arranged music to feature several guest artists appearing with her large ensemble including legendary B3 organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, renowned trombonist/arranger Ian McDougall, saxophonist Greg Yasinitsky, acclaimed trombonist Jiggs Whigham and Kansas City B3 organist, Chris Hazelton.
Jill was commissioned to arrange music for the 2018 Cellar Live release Explosion, by the Cory Weeds Little Big Band. Her music has been recorded and performed by many ensembles throughout North America including the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra and Calgary based Prime Time Big Band, featuring award-winning saxophonist PJ Perry. She also served as co-director of the Seattle Women’s Jazz Orchestra for two seasons.
Jill teaches jazz arranging and private composition at Capilano University, and is the Director of the Dues Big Band at Douglas College.
Montreal-based alto and soprano saxophonist
Christine Jensen is regarded as one of Canada’s most compelling composers and improvisers. She recently won the Downbeat Critic’s Poll for Rising Star Big Band, Arranger, and Soprano Saxophonist. She is also recipient of the Oscar Peterson Prize by the Montreal International Jazz Festival for her contributions to the Canadian jazz scene.
Born in Sechelt and raised in Nanaimo, she has gone on to receive two Juno Awards for her jazz orchestra recordings Habitat and Treelines. Habitat received the coveted 5 stars in Downbeat, along with being included at the top of their critics polls for Jazz Album of the Year in 2014. Her collaborations with Orchestre National Jazz Montreal have had her conducting Terence Blanchard, The Music of Carla Bley, as well as recording her commissioned suite Under the Influence. She performs globally with her sister Ingrid Jensen on trumpet with various projects, including their Juno-nominated group Infinitude, as well as with Swedish pianist Maggi Olin. Highlights sharing the stage include performing with Phil Dwyer, Ben Monder, Gary Smuylan, Geoffrey Keezer, Lenny Pickett and Donny McCaslin.
As a guest artist Jensen has conducted and performed with large ensembles across Europe and North America, including the UMO Big Band-Finland, Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Frost-UMiami, and New School-NY. She is on faculty at McGill University where she teaches composition and directs Jazz Orchestra 1.
“Jensen writes in three dimensions, with a quiet kind of authority that makes the many elements cohere. Wayne Shorter, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler come to mind.” –Downbeat
ALBUM PERSONNEL. († SOLOISTS)
This project was made possible by The Canada Council for the Arts, along with additional support from the SOCAN Foundation, the Shevchenko Foundation, Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council.