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Reviews of this week’s releases


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FOLK/ROOTS Andrina Turenne

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Andrina Turenne

Bold as Logs


Hard as it is to believe, Bold as Logs is singer/songwriter/guitarist Andrina Turenne’s first solo album, even though her music career dates back two decades and runs through acts such as the funky, blues and soul of Rudimental (which also featured Sarah and Christian Dugas), the ethereal vocal magic of Madrigaïa and the Juno-winning folk/pop of Chic Gamine.

She’s also worked as a musical director and bandleader on multiple theatre productions, on radio and TV, on countless one-off projects and special events, and she’s sung on more than 50 albums.

Since Chic Gamine disbanded in 2015, Turenne has regularly performed as a solo act, showcasing her rich, powerful vocal prowess while also developing her songs and sound. Eventually she enlisted Winnipeg-based guitarist and producer Grant Siemens (Corb Lund, Del Barber, Romi Mayes) to help her make a record and they pulled in guitarist/drummer Damon Mitchell (New Meanies) to form a trio that woodshedded Bold as Logs in weekly sessions through the pandemic’s strictest lockdowns. They eventually settled in to record at No Fun Club studio, and this 11-song album is the exuberant result.

Album opener Out of Luck immediately sets the tone for Bold as Logs, enveloping listeners with its effervescent groove, throbbing bass, chiming guitar (wait for the solos) and sweet, layered vocals — this is clearly a record that will move you with its intoxicating blend of bluesy, soulful R&B, rootsy rock and old-time folk music (check out Handsome Ghost or Tourtes printanières). Siemens, Mitchell and Turenne (dubbed LOGS in the album credits) fit together like the decades-long compatriots they are, and Turenne’s songs of love, longing and belonging are ebullient expressions of life’s beauty and sadness, in both English and French, accompanied by precise and perfectly pitched instrumentation and moods. When you hear this, you’ll be longing to see it performed live. HHHH out of five

STREAM THESE: Out of Luck, Long Winter Nights, Tourtes Printanières

On YouTube: Long Winter Nights and August Lament

— John Kendle


Jonas Brothers

The Album (Republic Records)

With Winnipeg located far from most stops on the Jonas Brothers recent tour, their latest work, The Album, offers at least sweet consolation.

The Jonas Brothers are all about love in their latest project. Now married with kids, they use every lyric to nudge toward their homes. Even so, the experimentation into new genres makes it special and fresh.

From the track Miracle we are introduced by a sexy groove with show stopping high-pitched verses, while keeping that carefree vibe they are known for.

Even romantic ballads gain extra spice, such as Vacation Eyes, a track with great potential to be a first dance tune at weddings for the new generation. “I got vacation eyes, I’m gonna have them for the rest of my life.” The upbeat drums and the use of a chromatic harmonica elevate the song, making it more engaging and amusing — a jollification of your classic, slow love track.

The trio of Nick, Joe and Kevin released their single Wings, with White Lotus actress and super fan Haley Lu Richardson leading in a music video that resembles a “get ready with me” tutorial from heaven.

Their second early released single Waffle House focuses on the competitive dynamic that every sibling knows way too well. “Headstrong father and a determined mother. Oh, that’s why some nights we try to kill each other.”

In the lyrics the brothers reveal that no matter what happens, everything will be figured out when sharing a special ordinary moment with loved ones. “Deep conversations at the waffle house,” they sing in the chorus.

On the topic of love and family, there’s an impossible to miss heartfelt acoustic melody about fatherhood and their baby girls, titled Little Bird.

The brothers, who broke hearts all over the world as they said, ‘I do,’ reflect about that bittersweet moment in the future when they will not be their girls’ No. 1 guy anymore. “Cause I know if I’m doing my job correct / Nights like these will happen less / So please just keep me in your heart / When you fly into somebody else’s arms.”

Jonas Brothers’ The Album is a celebration of love in all its forms, perfect for people that see life through adoring rose-tinted glasses. HHHH out of five

STREAM THESE: Vacation Eyes, Little Bird

— Martina Rebecca Inchingolo, The Associated Press


Artie Roth

Resonants (TPR Records)

This album is the third release by the Artie Roth Quartet: Roth on acoustic and electric bass and compositions, Mike Filice on tenor, soprano and flute, Sam Dickinson on guitars, and Anthony Michelli on drums and percussion.

The quartet clearly comes across on this third time out as solidly experienced and sensitive to each other. This is wonderfully entertaining music with variety and an underlying sense of celebration. Perhaps this is not accidental as the music was written during the pandemic and recorded with the eventual return of some recording freedom.

The album opening here is very neat. It starts with a quiet bass solo with a gentle underlying accompaniment until after several minutes it segues into a driving full on tune called Sky Blues. Filice’s tenor and then Dickinson’s guitar simply own this track and set up the album well. Circle Maker slows the tempo and surrounds the music with electronic effects that are terrific.

As with many contemporary bands, this quartet blends elements of earlier recognisable jazz grooves with rock, funk or ambient music influences. Tracks like Refrain are an example of rhythms that straddle the influences. Title track Resonants drifts through both electronic and acoustic moods in a wonderfully gentle and floating melody. Maturity in a jazz quartet means that transitions are flawless and solos move with no rough edges. Without consciously thinking it, you know the band simply knows what it is doing.

I definitely need to expand on Roth’s role. His leadership is very strong both through his playing and compositions. He is always a presence while never overwhelming the mood or the emotion of the track. His solos are stellar, perhaps especially acoustically on the jaunty time signature of Held, and funkier with electric bass on Out of the Abyss.

In total then, a terrifically entertaining album of accessible, strongly presented current jazz by a strong group of friends. HHHH1/2 out of five

STREAM THESE: Sky Blues, Circle Maker

— Keith Black


Freiburger Barockorchester with Pablo Heras-Casado

Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7 Unfinished (Harmonia mundi)

In this upcoming release, Pablo Heras-Casado leads the Freilburger Barockorchester through two Schubert symphonies: No. 5, D. 485 and No. 7, D. 759 the latter work known as his Unfinished symphony comprised of only two movements (albeit still the length of a full classical symphony).

The first offering, penned at age 19, belies the Austrian composer’s lifelong admiration for Mozart, with Heras-Casado bringing out its inherent grace and melodic contours, first heard in the opening Allegro. A particular highlight is the slower Andante con moto, that shimmers with ear-pleasing harmonies and graceful, arching thematic material. The following section punches with rugged accents during the Menuet, followed by its (slightly) kinder, gentler counterpart, Minuet. The finale Allegro vivace similarly drives forward with propulsive energy, often evoking the effervescent wit of Haydn’s symphonies, with the maestro keeping a firm rein on the players throughout.

Symphony No. 7 influenced by the growing popularity of Rossini’s operas in Vienna, underscored by the composer’s own visit to Italy in 1822, brims with darker intensity, beginning with the cellos and double basses’s solemn opening recitative. The musicians dig in hard during the Allegro moderato, before rendering the luminous chorale in finale Andante con moto, that provides a measure of repose before the floodgates open again; this shadows-and-light performance creating a fine addition to the Schubert discography. HHHH (FOUR) out of five

STREAM THIS: Schubert’s Symphony No. 7, D. 759, Allegro moderato

— Holly Harris

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