GENRE: Straight Ahead Jazz
With nearly two dozen concerts behind them in 2011 alone, and a tremendously successful debut album, The Jazz Council looks forward to the new year, when they will be taking over the entire Kootenays, the rest of BC, Canada, and finally, the whole world. Already “huge in Japan”, The Jazz Council has a unique approach to jazz and their audiences. Non jazz-heads will never leave a JC show saying that “the songs all sound the same”, or “that was boring”. On the contrary, The Jazz Council firmly believes that jazz is, at its core, pop music, and can be both authentic and accessible. Their original compositions (8 of which make up their debut record) and their covers weave together many different strands and sub-genres of jazz, giving the listener’s ears a well-balanced diet, while their ability to select sounds from a specific palette gives them a unique, clear sound that is all their own.
Bernie Primbs, is a Grant MacEwan Music graduate, who has played the sax now for 15 years. He has a great love for preforming and simply having a good time on stage. He plays the baritone and tenor saxes. He can also be found playing in a local show band called Boogie Supreme. When not playing his horn, Bernie can be found doing first aid with the ski patrol in Kimberley, or maybe even painting your house with HP Services. He has a great love for the outdoors and nature.
Trumpeter and flautist Laurel Ralston studied classical music performance at the University of Ottawa, and she is now having a blast trying her hand at jazz. In August, she attended Jazzworks 2011 to find out more about the mysteries of chord progressions and improvisation, and as a result she feels that there may be hope for her yet. Laurel is currently Second Trumpet with the Symphony of the Kootenays and she is also an active conductor, serving as director of the Kimberley United Church Choir and Kimberley Community Band. In her spare time, Laurel corrects grammatical errors on the chalk sandwichboard signs of Kimberley and ponders ways to make her master’s degree in philosophy pay off financially.
Joel Kroeker picked up the bass out of necessity. He was already fluent on several other instruments, including guitar, piano, and saxophone, but the ensemble needed a bass. Joel has a great ear, which compensates for his less-than-adequate sight-reading skills. He’s been dabbling in music his whole life, always pursuing that elusive song that will inspire the world. Joel appreciates all genres, though he more than often chooses to listen to classic rock on his iPod. Jazz has always intrigued him; he finds its complexity both challenging and rewarding. If Joel were a chord, he’d be a Dm7: evocative and enchanting.
Kimberley’s Tim Plait (everybody’s favorite pianist) started piano lessons with Arne Sahlen in 1995. In Victoria, he studied piano in the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s Diploma Program with instruction from Susan DeBurgh. He also studied vocal accompaniment with Robert Holliston and organ with Nicholas Fairbank. Tim currently teaches piano and music theory in Kimberley. Tim has also served as the Kimberley Summer Theatre’s accompanist and music director for four seasons.
Sven Heyde took a Diploma of Music Performance from Grant MacEwan College before completing his BA and BEd. He is a versatile percussionist who has studied with Paul Walker (U of L), Brian Thurgood (Grant MacEwan), and Tyler Hornby (Mount Royal). He also plays with redGirl, a melodically-inspired-folk-rock-alt-country band; as an occasional player for Symphony of the Kootenays, and as a pick-up player for Cranbrook blues band Grand Larceny.
The CD: The Jazz Council’s first album, titled “Dawn”, debuted September 16th 2011 at the Stage Door in Cranbrook, followed by several more shows throughout the Kootenays from September to December. Check out the Jazz Council Gig Calendar for dates near you. Their first album exclusively features original charts by quintet members Sven Heyde, Joel Kroeker and Bernie Primbs. Visit the Jazz Council Online Store to buy the album, or you can buy digital and hard copies of the album from CDBaby and iTunes. BC Musician Magazine recently called this album “readily accessible and played with great energy and a high level of proficiency”.
Bernie Primbs: During my time at Grant MacEwan University I wanted to to take on a project to write a song for the jazz band. I loved playing fast tunes over rhythm changes, so I felt this would be a perfect approach for my song. It was a sax feature with 5-part harmonies. This is the original unison version of the head. It is titled after my wife’s middle name. (click on the title to hear a sound bite).
Sven Heyde: The title of this song is a reference to two things: Firstly, that I stole the first two notes from Bird’s “Confirmation”, and secondly, that it is, according to Bernie, “The hardest head I’ve ever had to play”. I was pleased with how the tune turned out anyway, despite the difficult changes and melody. I think it flows nicely. (click on the title to hear a sound bite).
¿Quieres Casarte Conmigo?
Bernie Primbs: I wrote this song for my wife. “Quieres casarte conmigo?” is Spanish for “Will you marry me?” When I proposed to her in 2008 on Fisher Peak, I got so nervous that I forgot my speech. I then thought I would surprise her at the wedding by re-saying my proposal speech in front of her and everyone else. But I forgot the speech again. Since then I’ve been trying to find the best way to give her her speech and thought, “In a song. I will write a Latin song that will have a proposal speech as the lyrics in Spanish, because they say Spanish is the language of love.” Stay tuned for the 2nd version of this song featuring a vocalist, to come at a later date.
Rainy Night Caper
Joel Kroeker: For me, this song brings to mind a bank heist set in the 1930s. I wanted the tune to feel simultaneously sneaky and suave. The chromaticism combined with the 5/4 time signature makes the melody both challenging and fun to play.
Sven Heyde: In writing this tune, I was aiming for that groove that sits in the area between swing and Latin. The A sections are in a 6/8 Afro-Cuban feel, called Bembe, and the B sections are more swung. Ideally, that transition happens smoothly, so sometimes you’re not quite sure what feel you’re in. The tune is named for my son, Søren Immanuel, who was born on July 20th.
Sven Heyde:Named after my wife, this is the first tune I wrote for this group. I like the way that it takes so long for the melody to resolve. It’s in the key of G, and the melody keeps suggesting that it’s heading to the tonic, but it never quite does. In the B section you think you’re home, but the chord is wrong, and it doesn’t arrive until the very end, keeping a slight state of tension the whole time. There’s no metaphor for our marriage hidden in there.
Everyone Could Use a Minor Funk
Bernie Primbs: This song was my first stab at writing since music college. I’ve always wanted to write a funk tune. I wanted it to have a very busy horn line to take advantage of the 16th note feel, but still to keep it “danceable”. The solo section is tons of fun! Who doesn’t like to solo to funk?
Sven Heyde: I started this tune wanting to write something that shifted to a 6/4 feel, mainly to drive Joel crazy. I was playing around with some chords and ideas when my daughter Eva sat down with me at the piano and started plunking on the keys. She really likes the consonant intervals, like octaves, fifths and fourths, hence the resultant leaps in the beginning of this head. Kind of ironic that it ended up being in a minor key I guess. (click on the title to hear a sound bite).
For those of you who don’t know, the band will be losing two amazing members this fall. The bass player Joel Kroeker and pianist Tim Plait are each off to explore the world. There will be an exciting new lineup of Jazz Council-lors for audiences in September. In the meantime, their last theatre gig together will be on August 11 at The Stage Door in Cranbrook. Tickets will be $15 at Just Music in Cranbrook and Black Bear in Kimberley, and will be available July 18. Bernie Primbs will be featured on a beautiful rendition of Harlem Nocturne, Laurel Ralston will play Darn That Dream for you, and we’ll be making our debut as a jazz-cum-heavy metal band as well, playing two tunes from Led Zeppelin’s Four.
For information and bookings contact:
Phone Laurel Ralston at 250-427-3050
or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
the website is at http://thejazzcouncil.com/