November 2005

David Buchbinder
Shurum Burum Jazz Circus CD Release
November 10 & 11, 2005 The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar Toronto
See You and Raise You One
by Roger Humbert
David Buchbinder’s national CD release party for Shurum Burum Jazz Circus was billed as an evening of “music and mayhem”.

Mayhem it was as The Rex Jazz & Blues Bar started to buzz. Tables near the stage were moved and chairs brought in for the the string section; musicians arrived with their instruments, greeting each other and hugging, David welcoming them, checking the mikes and stands, working through the sound check. While the audience chattered, the musicians took their places softly blowing/plucking/bowing runs of notes. Out of David’s trumpet came the first sustained line of music, the CD’s “Overture”, at first soft, then more insistent, calling the musicians and the audience from the mayhem into the music.

Co-produced with Roberto Occhipinti, Shurum Burum Jazz Circus is David Buchbinder’s first solo effort. In recording the individual tracks of this CD, Buchbinder uses ensembles ranging from a sextet to a full 11 member formation.

The range of sounds on Shurum Burum Jazz Circus is kaleidoscopic: bebop, circus, European village fanfare, klezmer, Roma, Latin, Middle-eastern, Buchbinder’s compositions modulate among them quickly and often. There is also a lot of variety in the sources of the music. “Overture” and “Clubland” are from films scored for director Saul Rubinek; “Invectus”, “Swagger”, and “Fireplug” first appeared in a CBC Radio Words and Music presentation. “Stone of Folly” is the complete score of an animated short film by the same name. “Monkfish” is an homage to Thelonious Monk who was, along with Charles Mingus, a major influence on Buchbinder. Despite the prevailing variety of threads, the CD is not a mayhem of music: rather it has the feel of a musical suite scored for a variable ensemble.

David Buchbinder & Peter Lutek
The music makes mercurial shifts from soft lyricism to organized pandemonium. “Samarkand” for instance is right out there. It is circus with a klezmer flavour: listening to it you can envision people dancing, taking buffonesque steps in huge shoes. There are also classical, or I would say classical over-the-top elements. There is a strings passage near the end of “Samarkand” that has a classical flavour before Buchbinder’s trumpet brings us back to the klezmer buffonesque. As a composer, Buchbinder is able to put different musical traditions together in a coherent way that elevates these forms, in a way that takes them beyond their own limitations.

The last tune, “If Truth Be Told” works for me as a finale. This piece gathers all the emotion and commotion that went before into a single space and lets it just open like one single blossom.

World music is a big thing these days. In many cases, it doesn’t even have to be a blending of traditions before it’s called world music. But with Shurum Burum Jazz Circus Buchbinder goes further and broader with crossover blending, raising it into real world music, in the way Bartok and Dvorak saw their native folk tunes and raised them one.

Personel on Thursday November 10, 2005

left to right on photo above
— front row —
Carina Reeves – cello | Bridget Lamarche-Brown – viola | Parmela Attariwala – violin.
— back row —
Greg de Denus – piano | Perry White – soprano and tenor sax, bass clarinet
Levon Ichkhanian – electric guitar | Roberto Occhipinti – acoustic bass
David Buchbinder – trumpet, fluegelhorn | Barry Romberg – drums, percussion
Peter Lutek – soprano, tenor and baritone sax, clarinet | Stephen Donald – trombone

We welcome your comments and feedback
The Live Music Report
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Roger Humbert
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