Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra – Tidal Currents: East Meets West (ENG review)

Chronograph Records – Street Date February 2nd 2024
Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra

What we know about this music group: Founded in 1997 (registered as a charity organization in 2000), the WJO has evolved to become an important part of Winnipeg’s cultural landscape, as evidenced by the continued support of the organization by the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Winnipeg Foundation, and other sponsors. Their unique approach to musical composition, showcased in their seventh album “Tidal Currents: When East Meets West,” is a poetic form of musical language. The album features a collaboration between two of Canada’s most captivating jazz authors for big band jazz: Jill Townsend and Christine Jensen.
The music born from this collaboration reflects the places that have been most dear to them, particularly the bodies of water that have surrounded them from their youth until today. It is a radiant and grand ensemble where composition takes precedence over radio-friendly formats. The four tracks on the album are over seven minutes in length and offer original cinematic storytelling, each telling a different story with a clear connection to water. The album is the work of two female artists, Jill Townsend as the conductor and Christine Jensen as the soprano saxophone soloist. We must express our pleasure in listening to this album, with its beautiful compositions, splendidly performed and with sumptuous arrangements.
It is an album that can be played on repeat, and truth be told, we would have liked to have two more tracks. This is perhaps the only criticism we can offer regarding this album that evokes the vast open spaces, prairies, lakes, and rivers—a return to nature that is good for the heart and soul—so why deny yourself the pleasure? A pre-launch concert for the album will take place with Jazz Winnipeg on January 28, 2024, at 7:00 PM at the Fort Garry Hotel. Get your tickets here.
The editorial teams at Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have deemed this album from the WJO as one of their celebrated “Essentials.”

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 26th 2024


To buy this album

Saxophones: Christine Jensen (alto, soprano), Neil Watson (alto), Niall Cade (tenor), Monica Jones (tenor), Kyle Wedlake (baritone)
Trumpets: Shane Hicks, Jenny Taylor, Richard Gillis, Matthew Walden
Trombones: Joel Green, Jeremy Duggleby, Francois Godere, Isabelle Lavoie
Piano: Will Bonness
Guitar: Larry Roy
Bass: Karl Kohut
Drums: Fabio Ragnelli
Conductor: Jill Townsend