Near the end of her first piece, I became aware of something else. A survey of the room confirmed that everyone was watching and listening. They were quiet thoughout the entire first set! Well, except for clapping (a good thing). Anyone who has been to the Rex knows thats like A Miracle on Queen Street.
By all accounts, when the Mike Murley Septet played the previous two nights it was packed (the good) and noisy (the bad) but the music was great. Tara studied with Mike Murley for 5 years. She has also studied with Alex Dean and Kirk MacDonald at the University of Toronto, among others.
Lately, Taras been studying Wayne Shorter and Jane Bunnet and said she intends to start digging into the music of Steve Lacy soon. She also admires Joshua Redman and played a piece inspired by his music in the second set, Jig for Joshua.
Tara played soprano for all but one tune in the first set. She used to play more alto but has been finding her voice in the soprano more recently.
The second piece she played, I Remember Jan which she wrote after performing in Finland, was dedicated to another wonderful soprano sax player, Jan Garbarek. Her clear tone and aesthetic lines did recall his music. In fact, her sound was so clear and light that at one point, eyes closed, it became a jazz harmonica.