May 2017 DownBeat Magazine Review:
by BRIAN ZIMMERMAN
Northern Adventures - The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 (4 of 5 Stars)
Al Muirhead is a bright light on the Canadian jazz scene, a JUNO-nominated trumpeter with 26 albums to his name and a roster of sideman gigs that includes stints with Dizzy Gillespie and Diana Krall. Long a supportive player, he released his debut album in North America in 2014—at age 80. Northern Adventures—The Canada Sessions Vol. 1 (Chronograph Records; 57:58) is his second album in two years, and it brings together fellow luminaries of Canadian jazz for an intimate program of jazz standards. Listeners will find themselves luxuriating in Muirhead’s deep, mellifluous tone, which at times conveys the warm, downy timbre of a trombone, especially in the lower register. That’s nowhere more evident than on “Love Me Or Leave Me,” on which the trumpeter unspools fluttering ribbons of bottom-heavy bop. Muirhead and vocalist Laila Biali entwine sweetly on the ballad “The Nearness Of You.” The song is an airy, stripped-down marvel, and its serene weightlessness nearly sets it afloat.
Ordering info: chronographrecords.com