Andy Ballantyne – Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Clarinet
Rob Piltch – Guitar
Adrean Farrugia – Piano
Neil Swainson – Bass
Terry Clarke – Drums
For his new album Play On Words, Toronto saxophonist Andy Ballantyne set up a challenge for himself: to pay tribute to many of the great jazz saxophonists of the past by inhabiting their musical worlds, both as a composer and as a performer. The saxophonist’s unique musical voice is always in evidence on this collection of original compositions. With the assistance of a world-class musicians Rob Piltch, Adrean Farrugia, Neil Swainson and Terry Clarke, Ballantyne brings his own perspective to a diverse range of styles from the classic age of jazz.
Throughout this recording Ballantyne seeks to make a personal statement while honouring the jazz tradition. The veteran rhythm section he has assembled is more than up to the task. Piltch, Farrugia, Swainson and Clarke consistently establish the perfect groove, provide inspired solos, and most importantly interact with one another on the magically intuitive level that defines jazz at its best.
Regarding his all-star band, Ballantyne has this to say: “There is a special kind of magic that happens with Terry Clarke on drums and Neil Swainson on bass, not just because they are masterful musicians, stellar soloists and always supportive accompanists, but because they have a shared history playing with many of the greats, including some of the saxophonists honoured on this recording. Guitarist Rob Piltch never ceases to amaze me with his taste and economy and Adrean Farrugia’s brilliant piano playing combines a deep understanding of tradition with a fearless sense of freedom. He can always be counted on to stir the pot at just the right moment.
Release Date: October 25th, 2019 on G-B Records