Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra – Twisting Ways

Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra – Twisting Ways

March 28, 2021

Music by David Braid & Philippe Côté
Feat. Sarah Slean & Karly Epp
Poetry by Lee Tsang

Sarah Slean (1-4)  Karly Epp (5, 6)
Neil Watson – Alto & Soprano Sax
Sean Irvine – Alto Sax (1-4)
Shannon Kristjanson – Alto Sax (5, 6)
Jon Stevens – Tenor Sax (1-4)
Paul Balcain – Tenor Sax (5, 6)
Mike Murley – Tenor Sax (5)
Lauren Teterenko – Tenor Sax
Ken Gold – Bari Sax
Jeff Johnson – Lead Trumpet (1-4)
Shane Hicks – Trumpet & Flugelhorn (Lead: 5, 6)
Richard Boughton – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Richard Gillis – Trumpet & Flugelhorn, Conductor
Andrew Littleford – Trumpet & Flugelhorn (5, 6)
Joel Green – Lead Trombone
Jeff Presslaff – Trombone (1-4)
Keith Dyrda – Trombone (5, 6)
Francois Godere – Trombone
D’Arcy McLean – Bass Trombone
Rhythm Section
David Braid – Piano
Stefan Bauer – Vibraphone
Karl Kohut – Bass
Eric Platz – Drums

In 2019, two jazz composers from French and English Canada joined forces with the support of the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra to compose a 25-minute, multi-movement art song called Twisting Ways. A UK-Canadian collaboration, the piece combines the poetry of Dr. Lee Tsang (Liverpool) with music by Montreal-based composer, Philippe Côté (“Amazing” – NYC Jazz Record) and three-time-Juno Award winning Toronto pianist/composer, David Braid (“Uncategorizable” – Paris Transatlantic). The music is masterfully performed by the Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, directed by Richard Gillis, and featuring acclaimed vocalist, Sarah Slean (“Compelling”– Time Magazine). 

The album also features vibraphonist Stephan Bauer (NYC) on a variation from Côté’s, La fleur et la roche from his acclaimed album Lungta with David Binney (“a grand sweeping accomplishment” – Ottawa Citizen) and Braid’s Lydian Sky from The David Braid Sextet Live, Vol 2 ( “astonishing” – All About Jazz). Lydian Sky features new words by Tsang, plus performances by multiple Juno winning saxophonist Mike Murley and vocalist Karly Epp (a finalist in the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition).

The album’s central piece Twisting Ways begins with The Hand, sung from the perspective of a central character that takes the form of a nightingale, which is guided in turn by a mysterious force called The Hand. The second half revolves around the companion piece Hope Shadow, sung from the perspective of the mysterious force itself. Together, these texts explore imagery related to the human spirit and its transgressions. Slean’s performance infuses the music’s narrative with brilliant colour and emotion, redefining what a vocal jazz album can be.

Release Date: Friday, May 7th 2021