WORLD BANJO? IT WORKS!! Jayme Stone: The Other Side of Air

If you thought that (except for Bela Fleck) that the banjo was relegated to John Ford movies or New Orleans jazz, this album by Jayme Stone is going to open your ears and eyes. He uses his instrument for sublime and creative chords or rhythms, and his solos are beautifully linear journeys into the countryside. The regular working team of Joe Phillips/b, Kevin Turcotte/tp, Rob Mosher/woodwinds, Andrew Downing/cello-b and Nick Fraser/dr-perc are supplemented by a chamber band that includes strings and woodwinds. The mixture is a sublime combination of sounds and musical directions that take you on aural journeys. Material like “Radio Wassoulou,” “The Cinnamon Route” and “A Poet in Her Own Country” meld tasteful trumpet and clarinet solos, woven between the stitches proved by the strings and percussion. A four movement “Concerto for Banjo and Chamber Orchestra” is reminiscent of a mood created by Aaron Copland; ;you can envision the light breaking through the tall redwoods on this journey, just before the album ends with an enduring reading of “Tennessee Waltz” which brings you back home full circle. Inspiring!

Canada Council for the Arts

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