This is the first collaboration between Braid, who has released five previous and critically-acclaimed CDs on the Opening Day label, and the Canadian Brass. Although I had 50 compositions involving brass in my portfolio, some apprehension about orchestrating specifically for brass quintet motivated me to prepare by studying the exquisite work of the arrangers in the Canadian Brass library," says Braid. The result is a set of works Braid calls enjoyable to play because of their singable melodies, rhythmic movement, and fertile harmony for improvisation."
The title track, Spirit Dance," ties together Middle Eastern influences and rhythms from European folk dancesa representation of the various musical ethnicities and the relatively peaceful reality of multicultural urban Canada. Interior Castles" is inspired by the mystical book El Castillo Interior" written by Teresa of Avila in 1577, with its simple triad-based composition. Wash Away" brings together the seemingly bizarre dual inspirations of Chopin's Nocturnes and the music of Ray Charles. Temple Heaven Walk" interweaves melodies Braid heard while taking a walk through the Temple of Heaven Park in central Beijing, and Andalusia" came to be after a day of playing through Enrique Granados' piano suite Goyescas." Also included on this evocative musical journey is an extensive Theme and Variations on Jerome Kern's 'Yesterdays,'" the introspective Resolute Bay," and Prelude for Two Voices," spotlighting Canadian Brass' brilliant trumpeters. The compelling cover artwork, also titled Spirit Dance," is by Ojibway artist Doris Cyrette.
Hailed as a jazz genius to call our own" by Canada's Maclean`s Magazine, Braid, is heard often in performance across Canada, Europe and Asia. Braid, a Yamaha Performing Artist, is the recipient of the Canadian Jazz Pianist of the Year Award (2009), a Juno Award (2004), a multi-National Jazz Award and the Canada Council for the Arts' JazzID Award."
With their unbeatable blend of virtuosity, spontaneity and humor" (Washington Post) and polished musicality with impish levity to match" (The Los Angeles Times), THE CANADIAN BRASS (a Yamaha Performing Ensemble) has cast its unique blend of musical magic across the world for 40 years. Pioneers in bringing brass music to mass audiences everywhere, Canadian Brass has sold well over 2 million albums sold worldwide.