Brad Muirhead

Crass Brutes Music

photo: Graham Ord / BM



The Brad Muirhead Quartet – CD Release Concert

BM4+: OLD / IN / OUT / NEW


with guest artists, JENNIFER SCOTT, vocals • BRAD TURNER, piano & trumpet



Saturday, October 7, 2017, live music at 9 pm

Pat’s Pub, 403 East Hastings (at Dunlevy)


The Brad Muirhead Quartet (BM4) is the latest incarnation of a string of groups Brad has led over the last 25 years as an outlet for his original small-ensemble music, performing mostly in & around Vancouver. Brad's approach to composition and inclination toward group improvisation require not only musical versatility, but also time to learn challenging material. The latest line-up with Jared Burrows (guitar), Brent Gubbels (bass) and Bernie Arai (drums) have brought Brad's music together in a way that is accessible even when experimental, adventurous when more conventional, and always interesting and exciting. His musical influences are many. In addition to absorbing elements of everything he hears and likes, he dabbles in visual arts as a hobby, allowing non-musical sensibilities to influence his music.

As a trombone player, the short-list of his inspirations has to include Albert Mangelsdorff at the top of the list, as well as George Lewis and Ray Anderson on the extended musical side, but also stylistic influences from great jazz players like JJ Johnson and Curtis Fuller on the more straight-ahead side of things. Julian Priester and Jimmy Knepper possibly share the top spot with Albert as a creative trombonists who span both worlds.

The album "OLD / IN / OUT / NEW" is an unusual mix of material and musical styles. As the title implies, there is old material (that has never been recorded) as well as new material from the last two or three years - all of them Brad's compositions and arrangements. It was recorded over four sessions casually scheduled around the busy lives of the musicians, starting in the spring of 2016 and finishing in February of 2017.

Some of it is straight ahead: Let's Play make Believe (aka Threnos), is a ballad with philosophical lyrics; Dark is a blues variation with a heavy 12/8 feel; Fin is a jazz-rock tune in 7/4 with a catchy groove and mildly socio-political lyrics. Ella's Song is odd-meter (13/8) but feels relaxed and uplifting and along with Little Brother maybe bridges the gap between "in" and "out". On the other end of the musical spectrum, I Had Nothing Better To Do is a very loose and intense free-improv vehicle for multiple trombones. Go Forth is similar and relentless with a groove attached some of the time and Warp 7 starts free and spacey before morphing into a curious slow-funk groove with eclectic improv and a written head played at the end.

The quartet is augmented with musical friends. Jennifer Scott delivers beautiful renditions of Fin with Muirhead on layered background vocals and Let's Play make Believe with a nice Rhodes piano solo from Brad Turner. Both of those two songs utilize a trombone section with Rod Murray, Brian Harding, Jim Hopson and Greg Farrugia, as well as Jack Duncan laying down some cool percussion. Go Forth features the quartet with Murray and Turner.

Brad Muirhead is well known to audiences across Canada and Europe for his powerful sound and inventive improvising and has been involved in the Vancouver music scene as a performer, composer/arranger and music educator for over 30 years. He has performed, recorded and toured extensively with his own groups Primal Orbit and Brass Roots as well as Vancouver's three most important large jazz ensembles: Hugh Fraser's VEJI, the NOW Orchestra and the Hard Rubber Orchestra. His latest original projects as leader include his original modern jazz outlet, BM4, a hard-hitting jazz/funk horn band called Proulsion and Idverb, which features spoken word and improvised music.

Diane Kadota Arts Management 604.728.8240

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