Christine Jensen and Andrew Homzy are among seven Canadian jazz musicians and arrangers contributing work to Thank You Kinda Blue: Reimagining Kind of Blue, a Miles Davis-inspired concert at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon on June 22. (Photos courtesy Randy Cole/Andrew Homzy)

Nanaimo jazz musicians honour Miles Davis at Saskatchewan Jazz Festival

Christine Jensen and Andrew Homzy wrote compositions inspired by album ‘Kind of Blue’

Jazz musicians Andrew Homzy, who moved from Montreal to Nanaimo, and Christine Jensen, who moved from Nanaimo to Montreal, are meeting in the middle when they present new work at the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival in Saskatoon on June 22.

The two were among seven Canadian composers and arrangers selected to contribute to Thank you Kinda Blue: Reimagining Kind of Blue, a concert by the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra paying tribute to the 60th anniversary of the album Kind of Blue by renowned jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. Jensen describes the album as “impressionist music.”

“It’s a seminal recording that really left a very large footprint on music, especially American music,” she said. “Because it’s 1959 that this happened, this recording, and in the jazz world especially it was probably the first time we really heard music that left the traditional jazz format of harmony.”

The guest arrangers – bandleader Homzy, saxophonist Jensen, Toronto pianist David Braid, Montreal-based saxophonist and pianist Paul Suchan, Saskatoon trumpeter Dean McNeill and from Winnipeg pianist and trombonist Jeff Presslaff and trumpeter Richard Gillis – were each asked to produce one original piece of work inspired by Kind of Blue. Jensen said she’s approaching her composition “like a fantasy.”

“It’s like I’m nearly cutting out memories from the recording and making my own composition out of those,” she said. “So they can be one bar, they can be a feeling from the rhythm section or from the drums and they can be a bass line and they can be a melody, but nothing more than a bar of something or two.”

Homzy broke the rules a bit and will be submitting two pieces of music and asking the organizers to pick the one they like best. The pieces are based on the Kind of Blue track Freddie Freeloader. One of them is an imagined collaboration between Davis and his contemporary Duke Ellington. The other one incorporates a hip-hop-style rhythmic bass.

“I took a little melodic phrase and I developed a whole piece out of that small phrase,” Homzy explained. “So it’s inspired musically by that particular phrase but it’s set over this hip-hop beat with a full jazz orchestra.”

Jensen participated in a similar concert for Canada’s sesquicentennial and said the most fun part was hearing what the other composers come up with. Homzy said he’s also interested in hearing how the Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra interprets the works.

“The basic composition is always going to be there, but the interpretation of it can be quite different…” he said. “Every time a jazz piece is played it’s going to be different. And those differences can be quite substantial.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo is the next stop on ‘The Amazing Race Canada’

Episode will air on Tuesday, July 30 at 9 p.m. on CTV

Tourism Nanaimo invites celebrities to sample ‘real’ Nanaimo bars

Tourism organization creates video, invites actors Seth Rogen and Dan Levy to visit

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Lower age for B.C. e-bike riders

13-year-old letter writer asks politicians to look at trying to change the law

Pirates will play for pennant in home park

Mid Island sweeps road doubleheader Tuesday to set up Wednesday’s final regular-season games

Nanaimo man wanted Canada-wide after walking away from Victoria halfway house

Warrant issued for Jesse Goodale, convicted of aggravated assault

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Nanaimo reaches senior B lacrosse semifinals

Re/Max Timbermen to face Coquitlam Adanacs in best-of-five series

Vancouver Island teacher suspended for professional misconduct

Grade 8 shop teacher admits to use of vulgar language and profanities toward students, parents

Northern B.C. double homicide, suspicious death: A timeline of what we know

Two teens from Port Alberni are now wanted Canada-wide in connection to the three deaths

B.C. wine industry legend Harry McWatters dies

Among his accomplishments, McWatters founded the province’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge Estate

Provincial health body refuses to release full findings of cancer triage system audit

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions

Southern resident killer whale died of blunt trauma, likely from ship

J34 was found more than two years ago near Sechelt, but the necropsy findings have now been released

B.C. rail crossing death highlights risks for people in wheelchairs: watchdog

Transportation Safety Board points to ‘persistent risks faced by persons using assistive devices’

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Most Read