Altered Laws

Date and Venue 25 June 2008 @ 8.30pm | Cellar Resaurant & Jazz Club, 3611 West Broadway

Reviewer Barry Arnett

Vancouver based virtuoso pianist and composer Miles Black returned once again to the Cellar Resaurant Jazz Club where he recorded his superb CD Some Enchanted Evening live at the club in August of last year and eventually released in December.

This time he was joined by gifted musicians, Tom Keenlyside (Flute & Saxaphones), Bernie Arai (drums) and Doug Stevenson (Bass) who make up the group Altered Laws. They came together on this perfect summer evening to provide a wonderful evening of distinctive sounds that combined Latin, Brazilian fusion, and mainstream jazz.

The quartet played some original compositions by Keenlyside and Black from the group's albums, Metaphora and The Outsiders. Metaphora was nominated for a 2008 Juno for the Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

Each song’s title and short introduction by Keenlyside set the mood and pace of the piece. “Tides” swept one to a secluded beach where man and nature converged. “Pablo” was introduced as a tribute to the fifties cool sound. Sure enough, Thelonious Monk was indeed “heard” at his funkiest best. The piece “99”, with its obvious reference to “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, was a view from Madison Square Gardens with all the action and pace of No. 99 in his prime.

“Pratfall” was Black at his swinging best. Praiseworthy also, were “Back Bacon,” “Pumpkin” and “One o’clock Slump” for the time and place we have all seen.

The Cellar offered an ideal venue and setting for jazz enthusiasts to come out to relax and see some of Vancouver’s best.

The Cellar and Coastal Jazz & Blues Society are collaborating to present a brand new series called Cross-Border Jazz. This series aims to bring musicians together to explore the collaborative process of this great music called jazz. Cross-Border Jazz will pair top musicians from Vancouver with top musicians from other communities around North America, and present them in concert at The Cellar. It will be a great chance for Vancouver jazz fans to hear musicians that they may otherwise not have the chance to hear.

© 2008 Barry Arnett