"... an exciting band..." - Mark Sullivan - All About Jazz
“I love what you're doing on the album - your playing sounds great and the writing is just fantastic.” Chip Boaz - Latin Jazz Corner
"I have to say that it's great on every level. The writing is sensational, the players are great and the whole thing is beautiful. I'm honored that you asked me to be a part of it." – Don Thompson - Canadian Jazz Icon
"I love the recording. Thanks so much for adding beauty to the Canadian and international musical landscape!” - Laura Fernandez, JazzFm
Will Jarvis: Con Gracias
Written by Lesley Mitchell-Clarke - The WholeNote
Category: Jazz and Improvised Published: 23 January 2017
Will Jarvis; Hilario Duran; Bill McBirnie; Kevin Turcotte et al.
This impressive debut recording from bassist/composer Will Jarvis is a collection of ten original tunes, firmly steeped in the Afro-Cuban tradition. Jarvis, who also acts as producer and arranger here, has been focused on Latin musics since the early 90s, and the muy picante CD features an impressive line-up, including pianist Hilario Duran, flutist Bill McBirnie, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte, percussionists Luis Orbegoso, Rosendo Chendy León Arocha and Daniel Stone, as well as jazz mainstays Don Thompson on vibes, Bruce Cassidy on flugelhorn, Michael Stuart on tenor sax and Trevor Dick and Drew Jurecka on violins.
First up is the lively Vientos de Cambio (Winds of Change). Written as a zesty guaguancó, the percussion work propels this tune along, as does the solid solo and ensemble work from McBirnie and Duran, as well as a tasty bass solo by Jarvis. Also, the gorgeous Cha-Cha-Cha, Como Metheny, honours the creative spirit of the celebrated guitarist, and Don Thompson’s contrapuntal vibraphone lines further imply a very Metheny-esque flavour while Kevin Turcotte’s flugelhorn solo is, simply, perfection.
Outstanding is the title track Con Gracias (With Thanks). This bolero beautifully represents contemporary Cuba and the massive impact on jazz that has been graciously given to the world by a prestigious parade of talented and brave Cuban musicians. Michael Stuart’s heartrending tenor solo conveys this heady emotional cocktail of joy and longing.
This fine CD aptly closes with the intense, contemporary cooker, Nuevo Afro, which lovingly embraces everything that is so intoxicating about Afro-Cuban musical forms. Superbly conceived and performed, this is a thoroughly satisfying, accessible and authentic journey into our most ancient and visceral musical origins.
Will Jarvis: Con Gracias
By Raul da Gama – Latin Jazz Network
Feb 12, 2016
Saying thanks for the Afro-Cuban music that Canada has had the pleasure of being a part of is one thing; paying tribute in song is quite another. And when it’s done with the exquisite sensitivity and purposefulness as bassist Will Jarvis then you have a feast fit for an aficionado. Con Gracias is further proof that Canada is a bottomless chalice of talent, one that is overflowing with a virtuosity, studied grace and wisdom that rivals the cities of the US. That no one really pays attention is no smear on Canada, but rather one on the apathy of an industry that does not seem to sniff profit north of the border. And we ought to give thanks in some respect because although this music remains relatively unknown, its creativity and purity has been preserved and not over commercialised.
Will Jarvis is a rather good example of this. The bassist has been making a quiet noise in the portals of Toronto’s Humber College, rarely playing in the city’s clubs, but raising young musicians in the secrets of the bass – and music in general. His students are twice blessed and you can easily see why. Con Gracias is a rather fine album indeed. Jarvis is a kind if fire starter who stokes the flames of the music with clave and just as cleverly cools things down with west-coast hipness. He does not do this alone.
The truly stellar cast on this recording includes pianist Hilario Durán, plucked from the pantheon of Afro-Cuban music just as Chucho Valdés, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and others were. No less an eminent figure from the Toronto music scene is flutist Bill McBirnie who plays with the grace and facility of James Galway, no less. And then is Don Thompson, a musician who has gone unnoticed for all these years, but who is a multi-instrumentalist with a frightening virtuosity on every instrument (piano, bass, vibes and God only knows what else) he plays.
Having someone such as Hilario Durán on your record keeps you in perfect clave. But Will Jarvis is no slouch either. His playing is pointed and focussed on what’s on, ahead and behind the beat. He is a master of rhythm and of melody. In general he has his fingers on the pulse of the proceedings, but every so often he cuts loose and that is when you see the melodic side of the bassist. But you must be on guard for these melodic flurries or else you will miss them as they go ever-so-smoothly by. And then there is wonderful sense of the song form of the Afro-Cuban realm. I like, especially, his beautiful bolero, Pacientemente. It is not only Cuban music that graces this performance.
There is also a classic Afro-Peruvian – the balletic and appropriately titled Ballerina – landó early on in the performance, whose star is Luis Orbegoso, another percussion colourist who has been hiding in plain sight in Toronto. The recording picks up speed from here on and Orbegoso is at the heart of the proceedings. Listen to Nuevo Afro and you’ll hear his wizardry. Listen and be amazed. This is an album which can do that to you.
Track List: Vientos De Cambio; Como Metheny; Ballerina; Espíritu Interior; Con Gracias; Descarga Uno; Canción Para Po; En Un Sueño; Pacientemente; Nuevo Afro.
Personnel: Will Jarvis: bass; Hilario Durán: piano; Bill McBirnie: flute; Kevin Turcotte: trumpet, flugelhorn; Don Thompson: vibes: Bruce Cassidy: flugelhorn; Michael Stuart: tenor saxophone; Luis Orbegoso: congas, bongos, cajón, shekere, güiro, voice; Rosendo Chendy León Arocha: timbales; Daniel Stone: timbales; Trevor Dick: violin; Drew Jurecka: violin.
Label: Willstunes Music
Release date: December 2015
Will Jarvis - Con Gracias - Solar Latin Club
Con Gracias es el debut del bajista y compositor Will Jarvis. Original de Toronto, Canada, Jarvis se caracterizado como side-man al lado de grandes como Tito Puente, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Dave Valentine, Hilton Ruiz y Luis Conte entre otros.
El amor de Will por la musica Afro-Cubana inicio en los noventas cuando acompaño a la Banda Brava de Toronto, y posteriormente al Latin Jazz Quintet de Memo Acevedo.
La grabación, la cual explora las corrientes como el Danzón, Mambo, Cha-cha-chá, Boleros y Descarga, asi como el Latin Jazz y la música Afro-Peruana, contiene composiciones escritas por Will en los ultimos 20 años. Inicia con Vientos De Cambio, una composición del mismo Jarvis en estilo afro-cubano donde Kevin Turcotte se encarga del solo de trompeta y el maestro cubano Hilario Duran hace lo propio en el piano., antes de que Bill McBirnie ejecute un bello solo de flauta, el cual le da paso al mismo Jarvis en el bajo. Como Metheny es un cha cha cha inspirado en una melodía del famoso guitarrista norteamericano Pat Metheny. Don Thompson se encarga del vibráfono. Ballerina, inspirado en la tradición afro peruana, pone de relieve la actuacion del percusionista peruano Luis Orbegoso. Espiritu Interior es un hermoso danzón con intervención notable de Trevor Dick en el violín. El numero que le da rotulo al disco es un bolero dedicado al padre de Will mientras que el danzón En Un Sueño es un homenaje su madre. Como un homenaje en la famosa Blue Bossa de Kenny Dorham, Jarvis arregla esta en latin jazz con Bill McBirnie en la flauta. Canción Para Po, corte escrito por Paulette, esposa de Jarvis, es originalmente una samba y fue transformado en un Mozambique jazz por el mismo bajista.