|Vancouver-raised, Toronto-based bassist Brandi Disterheft has been impressing jazz fans across Canada for a few years now. A musician to watch for, this first CD, aptly named Debut, should broaden her reach.
The nine tracks are Disterheft originals; solid jazz with personality and an original twist on the mainstream. One can hear Disterhefts attraction to the classic 60s Blue Note sound and Charles Mingus. Disterheft also notes Bjork and Radiohead among her many influences. Joining her on the CD are seven other talented Toronto-based musicians; saxophonist Chris Gale, trumpeter Alexander Brown, guitarist Nathan Hiltz, drummer Sly Juhas, vocalist Sophia Perlman plus two pianists, Adrean Farrugia and David Virelles.
The CD opens and closes with the trio sound of bass, drums and piano (Adrean Farrugia) in Pennywort and Little Space I Need to Fill (aka Detroit). For the other pieces, Disterheft uses a variety of formations: tenor, bass and drum trio; quartet, instrumental sextet and quintet with vocalist.
Announced by trumpet and sax, Dandy Dangle features the famous 60s Blue Note sound and a great section from pianist David Virelles which moves beyond that era. There is also some nice drumwork from Sly Juhas. The third piece, Dukes Dead is built around the bass-playing of Disterheft, strong with a beautiful tone whether bowed or plucked. It recalls Mingus the composer as well as Mingus the bassist. A quirky vocal, Auto-Beauties, follows. Typhoon the 27th Floor starting with drops of rain bass notes and saxophone swirls is a more impressionistic piece. If Only... starts as a lovely bluesy piano solo from David Virelles. The voice of Sophia Perlman effectively delivers the haunting melody.
On Sixty Dollar Train, a juicy slice of classic hard bop sound, Nathan Hiltz guitar stands out and Alexander Brown sails us along on flugelhorn over a solid rhythm section. Dah Knee Low (a reference to Danilo Perez, one of Disterheft's teachers) swings hard. Adrean Farrugias rhythmic piano also carries the heritage of Horace Silver and Herbie Hancock and supports the soloists in exemplary fashion. Chris Gale struts out on tenor and Disterheft plucks a satisfying solo. The melancholy final track, Little Space I Need to Fill (aka Detroit), is anything but filler.
Talent to enjoy now, talent to watch for in the future.
reviewed by Joyce Corbett December 2007