Saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Joel Miller created a 21st-century chamber symphony, inspired in equal parts by Afro-Peruvian folk music, early 2000s indie rock, and large ensemble jazz orchestras.
The album title is a spin on what Miller calls the “epic fantasy” that centres the record, “What You Can’t Stop.” The three-part rhapsody of Song Story is conducted by Christine Jensen, which allows Miller to be heard on soprano and tenor saxophones. Deerhead Hoof is a nod to the San Francisco indie rock band Deerhoof; Miller has long been a fan of pop and rock music and is no stranger to integrating those sounds into his music. The final piece of the puzzle is the rollicking “Dance of the Nude Fishes,” a simple joyful melody played by the whole orchestra.
Miller’s ensemble is made up of Montreal’s most in-demand freelancers in the jazz, classical and Latin music communities, including members of Miller’s previous bands Mandala, Dream Cassette and Honeycomb. Expertly recorded at the renowned Studio Piccolo by John D.S. Adams (Tafelmusik, Yo-Yo Ma, Jane Bunnett), Miller has achieved his “symphonic dream.”
released October 4, 2019
Joel Miller - tenor & soprano saxophones, conductor
Billy Kerr - flute
Nadia Sparrow - flute
Mark Simmons - clarinet
Luc Jackman - clarinet
Jennifer Bell - bass clarinet
Bruno Lamarche - tenor saxophone & clarinet
Jocelyn Veilleux - horn
Lex French - trumpet
Bill Mahar - trumpet
Dave Grott - trombone
David Ryshpan - piano
Erin Donovan - percussion
Steve Raegele - guitar
Fraser Hollins - bass
Kevin Warren - drums
Sacha Daoud - percussion (tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Kullak Viger Rojas - percussion (tracks 2, 7, 8)
Christine Jensen - guest conductor (tracks 1, 2, 3, 10)
Produced by John D.S. Adams
Recorded by John D.S. Adams on November 6, 7 and 8, 2018, at Piccolo Studio, Montreal, Canada
Mixed by John D.S. Adams at Stonehouse Sound, Mahone Bay, Canada
Additional engineering and editing by Kevin Warren
Mastered by Guy Hébert at Karisma Studio, Montreal
Cover and Illustrations by Yesim Tosuner, Backyard Design
All music composed and arranged by Joel Miller (SOCAN)
©2019 Joel Miller. Made in Canada. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Canada Council for the Arts & Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.