Trombonist Christian Overton has enlisted an all-star lineup of Toronto-based composers to write about their city for the Composers Collective Big Band’s new album.
The ensemble’s ambitious recording The Toronto Project features eight original compositions written by Toronto’s top composers about the neighbourhoods and aspects of the city that inspire them.
The album includes new pieces by Pablosky Rosales, Tom Richards, Maya Killtron, Erik Patterson, Chelsea McBride, Justin Gray, Shirantha Beddage, and Overton himself.
Watch a video about the project below:
Since forming in 2005, the Composers Collective Big Band’s mandate has been to present new works for a large jazz ensemble by Canadian composers.
Overton first conceived The Toronto Project about five years ago.
“I was really thinking about how in different cities, big bands have a different sound,” he says. “Toronto has its own traditional sound. If you’ve heard recordings by Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass or Phil Nimmons, there’s a certain harmonic complexity, but also a real dedication to section playing and team playing that instantly makes it recognizable as the Toronto sound. This got me thinking: What is the Toronto sound now?”
The 18-piece jazz orchestra features woodwind players Tara Davidson, Chris Roberts, Paul Metcalfe, Jared Welsh and Marcus Ali; trumpet and flugelhorn players Jason Logue, John Pittman, Brian O’Kane and John MacLeod; trombonists William Carn, Tom Richards, Pat Blanchard, Karl Silveira and Sylvain Bedard; guitarist Erik Patterson; pianist Carissa Neufeld; bassist Justin Gray; and drummer Jeff Halischuk.
The recording also includes special guest appearances by flautist Les Alt, erhu player Amely Zhou, tenor saxophonist Jonathan Kay, alto saxophonist Andrew Kay, and tabla player Ravi Naimpally, along with Rosales on tres and Killtron on vocals for their respective songs.
Here’s the track listing:
- West Toronto Ode
- Finding Home
- Inside the Toy Factory
- The Commuter
The Composers Collective Big Band’s The Toronto Project is out April 14, 2023.