Merry Happy!

All right jazz fans.  Two days before the big event - here at the fake office we are wishing you a calm, relaxing holiday season filled with friends and family and hopefully some cheer.   Take some time for yourself and maybe even recharge the batteries - looking forward to a great 2015!

In like a lion!

Well - here we are - December and we are moving right along.  The most wonderful time of the year - and we mean that.  Most of the Death Defying family will be once again presenting the Duke Ellington Nutcracker Suite early this month (december 5th) at Festival Place in Sherwood Park and in an awesome two for one deal - both Jim Brenan and Rubim deToledo will be having their CD release parties at the Yardbird Suite December 12th and 13th.  

On the update front - Craig's Autonomic Robots has sold out of physical copies - Downloads still available, but you won't get the great artwork by Michael Mateyko - more to be printed soon.  

And we hope that you all have a great holiday season!- that you get to hear great music - get to make great music and you get to recharge the batteries for what already looks to be a very exciting 2015!

 

 

Cue the music!

Well it happened again.  Each year for the past several we have had numerous artists nominated for a WCMA in the jazz category. Sometimes we win - sometimes we have a great time.  

 

This year, two of our artists were nominated in the jazz category - Jerrold Dubyk and Jim Brenan.   

 We are happy to announce that Jim Brenan is the recipient of the most outstanding jazz award of 2014!   

 

Cue the music!

Finally!

 

Squarespace - our very own personal web site developer (and probably several million others as well) has finally created a blog app for my phone.  Woot! Now I can blog from the comfort of, well, anywhere.  

This past weekend several DDR artists performed at the Yardbird Suite playing the music of the Thelonious Monk Big Band.  Jim, Craig, Allan, Ray all made an appearance and the band was happening - reminded me of the old days - rowdy, hot, with musicians taking chances - the place to be on a Saturday night.  

And one more thing - tonight several of our guys have been nominated for the Western Canadian Music Awards - we are keeping our fingers crossed for Jim Brenan and Jerrold Dubyk. 

Cb

Finally!

Squarespace - our very own personal web site developer (and probably several million others as well) has finally created a blog app for my phone.  Woot! Now I can blog from the comfort of, well, anywhere.  

This past weekend several DDR artists performed at the Yardbird Suite playing the music of the Thelonious Monk Big Band.  Jim, Craig, Allan, Ray all made an appearance and the band was happening - reminded me of the old days - rowdy, hot, with musicians taking chances - the place to be on a Saturday night.  

And one more thing - tonight several of our guys have been nominated for the Western Canadian Music Awards - we are keeping our fingers crossed for Jim Brenan and Jerrold Dubyk. 

 

Cb

Houston - we are GO!

Ok - unlike any government in the world - we promised, we delivered and not only that - we are launching our new website EARLY!  Take that PC's

Today we go live with our brand new web design - in here you will find all the artists on our label - links to their sites, and in the very near future access to purchase music from them in a legal way (there's a legal way?) - yep

Please check it out, enjoy the artists, dig deeper into your own community of musicians, support them, encourage them - they will like it and you will feel great.

 

Cb

New Website......coming soon

Hey all – here at the Death Defying fake offices we have been working hard to roll out a re-design of our website. Pictures, music, commerce, even the much anticipated dog photo page may make an appearance. Stay tuned – we plan to go live on June 1st.

Soon after we will present a new release by co-founder Craig Brenan called ‘Autonomic Robots’, music for six winds and drums featuring Craig on trombone, John Ellis on Tenor Sax and Ted Poor on drums.

Can’t wait.

Jim-tastic

Hey all - this summer I have been posting the first album that started it all from the artists on Death Defying Records.  John, Earl and now Jim weigh in on what turns out to be a pretty serious decision.  If you enjoy reading these - comment on the first album that inspired you - The Album that started it all: this is a tough one, I have been thinking about this ever since you asked the question and a lot of early records come to mind such as Phil Woods/Ritchie Cole side by side, Grover Washington Jr Wine light, Tom Scott Apple Juice and Spyro Gyra morning dance.

These albums definitely peaked my interest in jazz music (I really just enjoyed the music) but I'd have to say I never really imagined becoming a musician or even thought of repeating what I heard on records until I heard John Abercrombies Night (1984) featuring Jan Hammer, Jack DeJohnette and Michael Brecker. I really fell for the track Ethereggae-Breckers solo is pretty simple but has a great singing quality. This album led me to a bunch of other fantastic records like the Brecker Brothers straphangin' and heavy metal be-bop which led me to more and more great music.

Check the vid below - 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFOwTODVeK4]

Earl MacDonald - first impressions

Part 2 of the album influence comes from Earl MacDonald - enjoy - cb Body and Soul

This question brought to mind a vivid memory from high school of listening to “Mira, Mira”, a Matt Harris piece from Maynard Ferguson’s LP, “Body and Soul”.  I remember thinking “wouldn’t it be cool to tour with a band like this someday, playing similar great music”.  It’s ironic that until now, I hadn’t remembered this, and hadn’t pieced it together that by touring with Maynard (1998-2000) I accomplished an aspiration I had inadvertently set for myself in high school.

The other album that comes to mind from this period is “Pat Metheny Group”.  I listened to this hundreds of times, and learned to play all of Lyle Mays’ piano / synth work on “Phase Dance”.  My high school combo performed this piece at the Optimists Music Festival, and I remember feeling so hip, playing Lyle’s solo.  I still think this record stands the test of time.  Check the video below.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhtSbptacb0&w=425&h=349]

John Hyde - the beginning

This summer I will be posting some information about the death defying artists - this new thread focusses on the first album that started it all - as musicians we all have one - Here's John Hyde's

I was born in 1955 and at the time my father had an extensive jazz collection which he must have played all the time when I was sleeping. I discovered some of his collection after I spent time in Montreal studying jazz and when I played the presage Lp "All Morning Long" by Red Garland I had the feeling I knew exactly what was coming as the needle rolled over every groove. Everything on this album is what I love about jazz, hard swinging and massive solos that I could listen to forever. This is the era that is dwelling in my subconscious mind.

The question you ask deals more with the conscious mind, so I have to say Miles Davis "Bitches Brew" really caught my attention as a jazz album. It was a bridge to the rock, funk and blues music I was listening to as a young player. I was really smitten with the emotional content of that album as well as the beautiful artwork and fantastic production.The players on that album represented some of the finest innovative players in jazz (Dave holland, Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Don Alias, Tony Williams).  Miles did a lot to bring my generation into the world of jazz and create a new direction.

Boston and beyond

It was old home week here at the Deathdefyingrecords fake office.  I had the very good fortune of reconnecting with a great pianist friend of mine from my NEC days.  Tyson and I started together at NEC in the graduate program and he is one of those people that you can connect with right away - very open and very interesting - even now he holds these same characteristics.  He was on tour with a serious country music heavyweight and we got to hang for a few hours before he headed down to Montana.  Chinese food and a lot of conversation (thanks Buddy Wonton) -  I loved hearing about his path from grad school to country music greatness.  A self proclaimed indie/jazz/pop/county artist, Tyson is a survivor - he reads the winds like a true sage and makes big decisions that have put him in good stead.  Very smart, very happening, very much at peace with himself as a musician and the path he has taken - awesome to see, and be reminded of again.  Not one to complain about the industry - he truly saw where the music industry was heading way before it happened and acted - I like that.  Check him out at http://www.reverbnation.com/tysonrogers

Fuller's favourite fruit

For the longest time I have been a fan of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers - this is no secret to anyone who knows me.  I never did get to see them live, however a friend of mine went to New York and saw them at a club - while they were playing she called me and left a message of them playing one of my favorite tunes - one by one - very nice - very thoughtful. It was a few years after that that I got the opportunity to study with Curtis Fuller  - THE trombonist with the group - no matter which version of the group you listen to (my favorite is from 61-64) Curtis is the best trombonist Art ever played with - hands down.  Regardless - Curtis was coming to the school I attended and he needed a student assistant - I leaped at the chance, and with the help of fellow Canadian Steve Fisk (killer guitarist) I picked him up at the train station.  Here is as close as I can remember what the meeting was like:

Short dude, very concerned and very chatty.  He immediately found me (I was holding a sign) and we did the usual pleasantries.  Once I got the stars out of my eyes, Curtis asked for the pre-arranged bananas and two bottles of water - (hmmmmmm very odd to me that this was a request but we complied)   Once he had the food and drink - he pounded a banana and proceeded to talk about his travel and performance anxiety, he said that bananas are the key to keeping it together - mentioned Coltrane a lot and how bananas were very important to keeping his system balanced -

OK at the time this was kind of weird - but guess what?  I tried it  - it works, bananas before a gig - try it - you'll like it.

victor!

Met Victor Wooten this past year - he was nice - so nice in fact that he gave me his book "the music lesson."  I would love to say that I ran home and devoured the book, but that would be a lie - I skimmed it, and got a good (or what I thought) understanding - well this past week I really read it - completely - I even nerded out and took notes - referenced other philosophers, made charts and graphs etc. . . . good book - lots to think about - what did you think?  let me know.

Eric Bloom

Had a gig with Eric Bloom at the beatniq this past weekend - dudes got the chop - trained at NEC (my brother's  Alma mater and with his teacher Jerry Bergonzi )- working with soullive and lettuce - nicely done - www.ericbloommusic.com

blue note - only half lame in 2011

I own a total of 3 blue note albums - somehow I always thought they were the lame cousin of impulse, riverside, etc. . . .I also thought that Blue note jumped the shark when they paired Willi Nelson's demented ramblings with Wynton Marsalis - and then they came out with a live album  - for shame! then - somehow - a blue note add made it through the filters at gmail  - it mentioned trumpet player Ambrose Akinmusire - I was intrigued and checked him out - and am happy I did  - nicely done Blue Note - you are only half lame  -

www.ambroseakinmusire.com

Brad Turner

Had the opportunity to work with Brad Turner over the weekend - holy crap he sounds good - super strong chops, great ideas - and a great hang

the cool thing about Brad is that he was killing it working with a group of students - this is no one trick pony - dude has thought about his craft on a very deep level - do yourself a favor - check him out.

http://www.bradturnermusic.com/

Earl the Pearl -

More accolades for the recent Death Defying project member, Earl MacDonald - as if a Juno nomination wasn't enough, Earl has recently won the 10th Annual Independent Music Award for best Jazz Composition - oh snap! The Independent Music Awards celebrates artists that follow their own muse – with over 250 Nominees there’s plenty to please the most discerning music fans.

check the link below

http://www.independentmusicawards.com/imanominee/10th/Song/Jazz

And it begins -

OK - after the huge success of our last five releases (Juno nominations, Western Canadian Music Awards Nominations and Winner) we begin the discussion for the next project - 7zark7 was interesting, Origins was really fun  -  but we think it is time for the Brenan Brothers to up the ante - details coming soon -

John McLeod

I had the opportunity to work with recent juno award winner John McLeod and I can say he is truly a gifted musician and great guy - congrats John on the Juno - you have had a long and distinguished career.  On another note - the Juno posts the judges names each year for the categories - hmmmmm - I wonder why Western Canadians get blanked year after year - as most of the judges came from out west  - just sayin'

what up

ok jazz fans - life is good - we are getting a billion requests about our catalogue, the artists, and how to join our collective of sorts.  If you are interested in joining the family - email Jim  - you can get to him by going to his website at www.jimbrenan.com  

first three people to contact Jim about this get a free CD of your choice from the catalogue - oh yeah and a limited edition death defying records t-shirt

 

happy email