The Tyler Hornby Trio at Centre 64, March 21, 2013, 7:30 pm
In the recording industry the big name Jazz labels are BlueNote (of course), Verve, Columbia , Impulse and others. Nominally these are North American labels and as such tend to reflect the jazz of North America. Outside the country and outside the box is ECM, a German label founded by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969. ECM, with a well defined musical and marketing philosophy, has to date issued more than 1200 albums spanning many idioms. The unifying “thing”, despite the multitude of projects, personalities and styles of music, for ECM is “the sound”. I can’t define it but each ECM recording has the “ECM sound”. On hearing the Tyler Hornby Trio (Tyler Hornby- drums, Piotr Lemanczyk – bass and Maciek Sikala – tenor and soprano saxes) the “ECM Sound” immediately came to mind. Described as a stripped down spacey sound with lots of room in the music for inventive improvisation. Almost by definition ECM is a European sound and it is fitting that with two polish musicians on board (Piotr and Maciek) the end product of Tyler Hornby’s collaboration is decidedly European in tone. Tyler may be from Calgary but the overall timbre of the band is from Europe. It is a step away from the usual standard jazz ensemble of bass, drums, piano and solo instruments. With only a bass to anchor the band (no chordal instruments), drums for rhythm and a solo instrument (either tenor sax or soprano sax) there is lots of room in the music and, while busy, it is not cluttered. The focus of their repertoire is mostly original material (Home Pictures, Hip Triplet, Able to Fly, Fast Fill-In Tyler, Big Mountain Bounce) a couple of standards and classic tunes, (Dave Brubeck’s In your Own Sweet Way, You Don’t Know what Love Is and John Coltrane’s classic harmonic tour de force Giant Steps) were included. You Don’t Know What love is had an interesting twist – they played it in “7’s”- I guess that means 7/8 (count 1,2 -1,2 – 1,2,3 or some variant there of). Jazz, and for that matter most music, does not belong on a concert stage. It belongs in a small intimate setting such as a club or a civilized bar. Failing that then Centre 64 is the next best thing. The sound was good, the lighting great, the setting perfect and the music superb. This was the first concert in a three concert series sponsored by the Kimberley Arts Council. Over the next couple of weeks there will be two more concerts in the series. The next one will feature Andrea Superstein and it will be at the Kimberley United Church on Tuesday March 26th, 2013 at 7pm. Oh, by the way, thanks should go to Laurel Ralston and the Kimberley Arts Council for also stepping outside the box and presenting such interesting music. Here are some more images from the evening – for a larger view click on the image.