The Romance of Improvisation in Canada – Various Artists

Recorded in February of 2018 in Montreal’s NFB studio this combo made up of well-known Canadian musicians like Petr Cancura, Kevin Turcotte, Marianne Trudel, Adrian Vedady and Jim Doxas take on the music of composer Eldon Rathburn (1916-2008). Rathburn was quite prolific over his career scoring over 250 films with the majority coming while he was on staff at the National Film Board of Canada. Highly respected and employable because of his versatility dabbling in sounds involving classical, bluegrass, country, blues, avant-garde, electronic, jazz, pop and dance. There was nothing he could not write and no genres that he did not mix up with others. His appreciation of jazz was paramount and it showed in his film scores. As such, the idea was birthed to arrange some of his compositions for today’s appreciators of the genre. The scores he composed for three NFB short films were used for this album – The Romance of Transportation in Canada from 1952 which was Oscar nominated, Fish Spoilage Control from 1956 and Police from 1958. Adrian Matte and Allyson Rogers took Rathburn’s music and rearranged it somewhat to provide a backbone for the five jazz musicians to improv off of. And jam they do. The music here is so free you think it might just escape from your headphones or speakers. At times vibrant while others emotional, the music here is all wondrous and there is something for everyone to sink their teeth into.

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