New Release: The Idea of North

New Release: The Idea of North

Andrew Rathbun’s CD The Idea of North was inspired by the late classical pianist Glenn Gould’s radio documentary of the same name, though the latter debuted back in 1967 (after Gould had retired from public performing). Rathbun, a fellow Canadian, used the diversity of his homeland’s geography and climate, plus the solitude of much of the landscape, as stimulus for his compositions. The saxophonist penned six sketches to give his musical interpretation of Canada. “Harsh” unfolds into the avant-garde, with his hard-blowing tenor sax interacting with the tense rhythm section. As Rathbun switches to soprano sax for the tantalizing post-bop “December,” one can feel the sense of isolation and loneliness during a winter journey far from civilization. The interplay of trumpeter Taylor Haskins and pianist Frank Carlberg is a highlight of Rathbun’s demanding “Rockies.” Rathbun also incorporates music by others, with a haunting treatment of Wayne Shorter’s ballad “Teru” (playing tenor) and a majestic setting of 18th century German composer Christoph Gluck’s Minuet and Dance of the Blessed Spirits, where he again switches to soprano. Andrew Rathbun’s The Idea of North needs no film footage to convey the wonders of Canada. – Ken Dryden, ALL MUSIC GUIDE Andrew Rathbun – saxophones Taylor Haskins – trumpet Nate Radley – guitar Frank Carlberg – piano Jay Anderson – bass Michael Sarin –...
LA Jazz Scene review: Where We Are Now

LA Jazz Scene review: Where We Are Now

by Scott Yanow Tenor and soprano-saxophonist Andrew Rathbun on Where We Are Now explores postbop jazz, which is music that falls into the large area of being more advanced than hard bop but not quite as free as avant-garde jazz. Rathbun, whose soprano sound (but not his notes) recalls Wayne Shorter, is particularly original as a tenor-saxophonist and a composer. He is joined by guitarist Nate Radley, pianist George Colligan, bassist Johannes Weidenmuller and veteran drummer Billy Hart. Unfortunately the liner notes say little about Rathbun’s nine originals so one has no clue what the background is for the four-part “Son Suite.” However the music does not require any explanation since the playing is at a very high level, Rathbun, Radley and Colligan perform concise and meaningful solos, the ensembles are clean and this is an example of modern mainstream jazz of the early 21st...
jazzblog.ca review: Where We Are Now

jazzblog.ca review: Where We Are Now

by Peter Hum Excerpt: Rathbun’s CD, Where We Are Now, features a quintet tackling Rathbun’s meaty, moody compositions. Guitarist Nate Radley, a notable post-Kurt Rosenwinkel player, is more a front-line member than rhythm-section man on the disc. Pianist George Colligan more than satisfies the requirements of Rathbun’s challenging material. Bassist Johannes Wiedenmuller anchors things perfectly while drummer Billy Hart is the band’s extra something – on Where We Are Now, Hart’s broadly splashing as only he can. Full review @ Ottawa...
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