Robert Lee: bass
Mingjia Chen: voice (3, 4, 7, 8, 10)
Caity Gyorgy: voice (1, 2, 5, 6, 9)
Allison Au: alto saxophone (1, 2, 4-9)
Trevor Giancola: guitar
Augustine Yates: piano (1, 2, 5, 6)
Geoff Claridge: clarinet (3)
Michael Davidson: vibraphone, crotales (3, 4, 10)
Jacob Wutzke: drums (1-9)
Ascension is the debut album from bassist and composer Robert Lee, one of the most exciting new artists on the Canadian jazz scene. Lee’s music is a compelling hybrid of modern chamber music, jazz, and contemporary folk. This album is inspired by the bands of Brian Blade and Christian McBride; the intimate songwriting of artists like Bon Iver and Iron & Wine; and the emotionally provocative films of the great Hayao Miyazaki.
Lee’s songs are inspired by deeply personal stories and experiences. The pieces Ascension, and Ethos are about the search for greater meaning in life. Love and a longing for human connection are central themes in the songs Day Dreams and Sleepless (with lyrics penned by Lee.) Emerald, Cardinal on the Cobblestone, and Wild Wind are heavily influenced by film music, and by Lee’s fascination with the relationship between image and sound. Lee also drew from a variety of musical genres and sounds to create truly modern compositions like Eclipse, Pulp Fiction, and Burton’s Bounce.
Ascension is an auspicious debut by an exciting new musical voice, featuring many of Canada’s finest young improvising musicians.
Release Date: Friday, April 10th, 2020
CD Release Celebration: April 17th, 2020 at Heliconian Hall in Toronto