December 31, 2006

Top 5 Canadian Releases for 2006

By Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen

1. Zhen, David Braid Sextet (DB). You'll listen to David Braid's Zhen and do a double-take: what do you mean there are only six musicians playing? The Toronto pianist is a masterful arranger. His sextet excels at raucous but sophisticated blues-drenched songs and more modern, moody, unfolding material alike. The soloing is stellar, as you would expect especially from tenor saxophonist Mike Murley and trumpeter John MacLeod. But the lesser-known Gene Smith is a heavy hitter, and Braid, the CD's relative young'un at 30 or so, dazzles with the breadth and spontaneity of his playing.

2. Look Left, Christine Jensen (Effendi)

3. Sidewalk Etiquette, Chet Doxas (Justin Time)

4. Bruxin', John Stetch (Justin Time)

5. My One and Only Love, Denzal Sinclaire (Verve)