The Ostara Project, The Ostara Project, Cellar Live ***1/2

A feelgood but hardly indulgent celebration of spring the vocals soaked 'Storms and Oceans' written by Ostara's co-leader bassist Jodi Proznick rewards prolonged attention as the arc of the piece allows plenty of closely arranged ebb and flow …

Published: 22 Nov 2022. Updated: 14 days.

A feelgood but hardly indulgent celebration of spring the vocals soaked 'Storms and Oceans' written by Ostara's co-leader bassist Jodi Proznick rewards prolonged attention as the arc of the piece allows plenty of closely arranged ebb and flow between the Cherise-like vocals of Joanna Majoko and the horns and rhythm section of the ensemble.

Euphonious throughout, melody has not been exiled to another space or place, The Ostara Project was recorded at a Vancouver studio earlier this year.

Proznick surfaces very pleasantly in a deft bass solo towards the end while 'Bye Bye Blackbird' sounds brand new at the beginning before Majoko's soulful rendering of the lyrics gives the game away but still makes you forget how familiar the Ray Henderson and Mort Dixon song in the canon since first being recorded in 1926 and so luminously rendered in the 1950s by Peggy Lee on Songs from Pete Kelly's Blues remains. Yet another strong release from Cory Weeds' valuable centrist Cellar Live operation. The Ostara Project, photo Cellar Live/Bandcamp

Tags: NEWALBUMS

Hilario Durán and David Virelles, Front Street Duets, Alma Records ***1/2

Two Cuban jazz piano giants from different generations and improvising traditions: the elder, more modern-mainstream inclined Hilario Durán (69) based in Toronto and the younger avant icon David Virelles (39) based in New York uniting to record at …

Published: 22 Nov 2022. Updated: 11 days.

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Two Cuban jazz piano giants from different generations and improvising traditions: the elder, more modern-mainstream inclined Hilario Durán (69) based in Toronto and the younger avant icon David Virelles (39) based in New York uniting to record at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio on an album of newly arranged traditional Cuban material and Durán originals plus a magisterial reading of the jazz standard 'Body and Soul'. Highlights of a very absorbing piano summit include the highly dynamic tumbao, 'David’s Tumbao'. Hilario Durán and David Virelles recording at the Glenn Gould studio - photo: press