From its inception, jazz has been a unique musical language that has the ability to cross cultures, genres, generations, and gaps that transcend the ideas of time and space. Over the years we have seen jazz journey from ragtime, smoky boogie-woogie, swing, bebop, cool, modal, avant-garde, and jazz modernism. There are many cross pollinated idioms now in jazz, and many artists interested in exploring various facets of this rich lineage.
Trinidadian born multiple award-winning trumpet player Brownman Ali (recently nominated for a 2015 Black Canadian Award for “Jazz Artist of the Year”) is precisely one of those artists invested in crossing all boundaries while staying true to the aesthetic spirit of jazz music. In what was one of his fourteen appearances at the Toronto Jazz Festival, Brownman does something way out of the ordinary in this performance pulling together a unique trio that featured acoustic piano, synthesizer and trumpet with effects. They took on standard American Songbook repertoire while delving into the ethereal regions of the 21st century.
Accompanying Brown’s quest into the unknown is the dependable, consistent, and grounded acoustic pianist David Restivo (5x winner of the National Jazz Award for “piano player of the year”), and appearing on synthesizers is a young, fresh and invigorating 24 year old pianist and composer named Nick MacLean. Nick is definitely an artist to look out for who has an intelligent, firm grasp of jazz music coupled with a strong theoretical, conceptual approach to his playing, improvising, and composing. His work on synth is adept, bringing interplay, bass lines, and rhythmic counterpoint between trumpeter and the pianist. Dave brings a rich harmonic language to the trio that roots itself in the tradition while taking it into the future. And Brown – grounding everything - is his usual dark-toned adventurous, exploratory self, knowing exactly how to employ highly developed techniques of control and release that engage both musicians and audiences alike as he takes us all on his explorative improvisational journeys.
Brownman is at Musideum once a month doing his Brownman+1 sessions. If you ever manage to catch a “plus”, you will be in for a real musical treat. Expect the unexpected, release your inhibitions, and allow Brown and his chosen musical partners to take you on a roller coaster ride to the moon and back with his always eclectic and electric approach to jazz improvisation.
OFFICIAL BROWNMAN WEB SITE
NICK MACLEAN WEB SITE
DAVE RESTIVO BIO