Jodi Proznick’s new album Sun Songs invites the listener into wholehearted aliveness through a musical experience of deep joy, sorrow, and reverence for the dualities of life and death that are omnipresent around us.
This project is a new venture for Jodi as a composer, bassist, producer, and songwriter, who, soon after her album Foundations was nominated for a Juno Award, was faced with two sets of emotionally charged news. First, the immense joy of discovering she was pregnant and would enter the brave new world of motherhood, and second the intense sorrow of learning her mother was diagnosed with early onset dementia and would live in slow decline for the rest of her days.
Initially overtaken by the responsibilities of new motherhood and support for her mother, Jodi put her creative hat on the backburner. But the Muse could not be shelved, and she soon found herself regularly documenting words, images, and melodies to help process the titanic emotions transpiring through her. What came forth were songs that beheld the power of life’s most primal polarities – the amazing joy and gratitude of witnessing your child grow and develop, paired against the consummate pain of watching your mother lose memory, capacity to engage, and the ability to care for herself. A collection of songs emerged, 7 originals and 2 covers, in a narrative documenting the process of containing these dramatic dualities while emerging more resilient and in tune with the pendulum of life.
Sun Songs opens with Stephin Merritt’s “The Book of Love,” originally covered by Peter Gabriel and a perfect overture of a woman’s journey coming full circle through love. Other song highlights include “Ancient Yearning”, based on a poem by Vancouver poet, dancer and scholar Celeste Snowber. Her lines: “We are the language of stars, torsos swimming in light. Primal songs reside in our flesh,” deliver a melody that is indeed primal and revealing, reminiscent of John Coltrane’s “Love Supreme”. Jodi’s composition ‘Beautiful Again” is a song about the miracle of birth, inspired by the line, “You have made the world beautiful again,” from first nation poet Richard Van Camp’s poem “Welcome Song for Baby.” And while songs “3 A.M.” and “Storm” encapsulate moments of panic and worry amidst the struggle of modern-day life, the story weaves back to hope with “Let Go”, a lullaby for her mother, “Home”, and “So Near, So Far” which reflects on the importance of staying connected to loved ones that have passed on. Closing the set is a “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin, which inspires us once again to weather life’s storms with resilience and humour.
Bringing together her prodigious quartet of Tilden Webb (piano), Jesse Cahill (drums), and Steve Kaldestad (tenor saxophone), Jodi shines an even brighter light on this album with the addition of Laila Biali, whose luminous vocals lift the songs to new heights. Sun Songs was recorded at Monarch Studios in Vancouver, BC and by produced by Jodi herself, whose track record as a producer now includes two Juno-nominated albums – the first for her quartet’s album Foundations, and most recently for Jaclyn Guillou’s 2015 release This Bitter Earth. Sun Songs was engineered and mixed by David Sikula, mastered by Chris Gestrin, and released on the Cellar Live label in January 2017.
Formed in 2008, Triology is a Jazz Trio featuring three of Canada’s most sought after jazz musicians. This group was fashioned after the great early jazz trios of Nat King Cole and Oscar Peterson, and features wonderful arrangements of classic standards, as well as original tunes by the trio members.
Bill Coon: an amazing and fluid guitarist, originally from Montreal, Bill has over 25 years professional experience. He has worked with many jazz greats, including Jimmy Heath, Eddie Daniels and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Jodi Proznick – An award winning bassist, Jodi has become one of Canada’s “top call” artists. Jodi leads her own quartet, and is a member of many other amazing jazz ensembles, such as the Tilden Webb Trio, the Joel Haynes Trio, the Jill Townsend Big Band and the Oliver Gannon Quartet. Some of the legendary talents she has accompanied: Lewis Nash, George Coleman, David Fathead Newman, Ed Thigpen, Charles McPherson, Mark Murphy and Sheila Jordan.
Miles Black – with over 30 years experience, Black is a highly accomplished pianist and composer who has performed worldwide and recorded extensively. Miles has worked with many jazz greats, including Max Roach, Lew Tabackin, Houston Person and Harry “Sweets” Edison.
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The award-winning Jodi Proznick Quartet is a fresh, intense, swinging and highly interactive group led by bassist Jodi Proznick, who has shared the stage with international stars such as George Coleman, Ed Thigpen, David Fathead Newman, Charles McPherson, Seamus Blake, Eddie Daniels, Sheila Jordan and Mark Murphy. Joining Jodi are three of Canada’s greatest musical talents: Tilden Webb on piano, Steve Kaldestad on tenor saxophone and Jesse Cahill on drums. The repertoire includes originals by the band members as well as new interpretations of compositions by some of the great composers of our time, including Duke Ellington, Lennon/McCartney, Joni Mitchell and Peter Gabriel.
This group released their debut CD “Foundations” on Cellar Live on 2006 to critical acclaim. It was nominated for a Juno award and was awarded both Album and Acoustic Group of the Year at the National Jazz Awards in 2007.
The quartet has been playing together in various configurations for over 15 years. All members were students at McGill University during the late eighties and early nineties. Tilden and Steve are originally from Regina and played together in high school ensembles. Jodi and Jesse are from the West Coast and also met during their high school years. The decades-long musical and personal connection is why this group is so special.
This band is full of surprises – an eclectic mix of the old and new.