(TORONTO, ON) – Kenny Wheeler: Suite for Hard Rubber Orchestra represents the final large work by the famed Canadian jazz composer and features Wheeler’s long-time friend and vocal collaborator, Norma Winstone, performing with Vancouver’s acclaimed jazz ensemble The Hard Rubber Orchestra.
The Suite itself is a focused distillation of the ingredients found in all of Wheeler’s music, including yearning melodies, serpentine counterpoint, lovingly-framed symmetry, deceptive harmonic resolutions, flowingly mixed meters, dark full sonorities burnished to a lustrous bronze and, of course, the sound of Winstone’s voice, who brings her timelessly ethereal sound to Kenny’s swan song.
Kenny Wheeler left us in 2014, but he left us with a gem, lovingly performed and recorded by an ensemble of deeply devoted musicians. This is the Orchestra’s fourth CD, and it’s now out through Justin Time Records.
The Hard Rubber Orchestra is a large Vancouver jazz ensemble formed in 1990 by composer John Korsrud. The orchestra plays a wide-range of styles from traditional jazz to contemporary classical new music and have commissioned fifty Canadian composers reflecting that eclecticism, such as Linda Bouchard, Darcy James Argue, Keith Hamel, Paul Dolden, Fred Stride, Howard Bashaw, Brad Turner, Rene Lussier, Hugh Fraser and Christine Jensen.
They have created large multi-media shows such as operas, new music ice shows, avant raves, and CBC television specials, and have travelled across Canada several times and to Europe.
In 2005, HRO received the Alcan Arts Award for creation, the largest arts prize of its kind in Canada. In 2010, they performed for the Louis Andriessen@70 Festival with the iconic contemporary Dutch composer present.