CBC Music’s jazz community continues its mission to compile a list of 10 essential Canadian jazz albums with a little help from its friends.
Al Henderson is a bass player acclaimed in Canada’s jazz community for his work wearing any number of hats: composer, arranger, jazz educator, sideman (with Jane Bunnett, Diana Krall and Flip Phillips, to name a few). And we can’t forget bandleader. His group, the Al Henderson Quintet, was called by Mark Miller in the Globe and Mail as being “a thinking fan’s quintet.” Perhaps most famously, Henderson co-led the influential Canadian group Time Warp.
When it came to choosing his top three picks for our Canadian Jazz Essentials list, Henderson went for three significant bandleaders in their own right.
1. Don Thompson Quintet, Love Song for a Virgo Lady
"This was originally a double LP release on the Sackville label (a couple of tracks were reissued on Jazz in Canada Volume 1, DSMM3017). Not only does it feature Sonny Greenwich, who was an iconic figure for many of us, but it also includes Ron Park, a tenor player who passed away far too young. Don Thompson, Michel Donato and Jerry Fuller are also important and influential figures in Canadian jazz."
2. Brian Barley Trio, Brian Barley Trio
"Brian Barley was another tenor player who passed away young. This record is a rare example of his playing, but it's especially important to me for Claude Ranger's playing on 'Le Pingouin.' For those not familiar with him, Claude Ranger is one of the great jazz drummers of the 20th century."
3. The Ron Collier Orchestra with Duke Ellington, North of the Border
"This recording features Ellington as guest soloist with the Ron Collier Orchestra performing Canadian jazz compositions by Collier, Nelson Symonds and Gordon Delamont. The band features important players such as Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, Fred Stone, Rick Wilkins, Moe Koffman and Bernie Piltch. It’s really a unique recording – Ellington never did this sort of thing."
Canadian jazz essentials: Mark Eisenmann's picks
Canadian jazz essentials: Paul Novotny's picks
Canadian jazz essentials: Michelle Grégoire’s picks
Canadian jazz essentials: Juno winner Phil Dwyer’s picks
Canadian jazz essentials: Juno winner Mike Murley’s picks
Canadian jazz essentials: Reg Schwager's picks
on Jul 11, 2012