THIS DISC ONLINE AT AMAZON
a trio comprised of saxophone, guitar and drums/percussion. Drawing
on the avant-garde groundwork of fellow Canadian Paul
Bley, the musicians, in the absence of
the bass and strict meter, are compelled to explore improvisation and sound
from a different perspective, in the process, re-evaluating the traditional
roles of the instruments in the context of improvisation.
The natural choice
of musicians for Stich to complete his trio were Mike
Murley and Geoff
over 2 decades, Stich, Geoff and Mike have been playing together in many
different musical contexts. The wide-ranging experience of these
three musicians makes them well equipped for the challenges that Modern
The objectives and
long term goals of Stich Wynston's Modern
Surfaces involve the continued musical
explorations of this idiom as well as the release of a second CD and extensive
touring on an international level.
The men behind the music.
drummer/composer is one of the most creative musicians in Canada.
Stich has honed his skills by working with such diverse artists as: Julius
Hemphill, Holly Cole, Daniel Janke, Tom Walsh, Hemispheres, Vektor, Lorne
Lofsky, Phil Dwyer, Jon Ballantyne, and alternative-pop artist Jane Sibbery.
Stich is also one of the founding members of the Shuffle Demons.
He has been touring internationally with The Shuffle Demons for over three
decades performing in clubs, concert halls and on festival stages worldwide.
Geoff Young has improvised at festivals and clubs on three continents.
Out of 30 years experience gained as a freelance guitarist Geoff has developed
a unique approach and voice on the instrument. This concept is embodied
in the debut CD from the Geoff Young trio : [in between] romhog 108 which
was rated four stars by jazz critic Mark Miller in Canada’s national newspaper,
the Globe and Mail.
Remarkable for his ability to play in a
multitude of musical styles, Geoff has performed and recorded with a diverse
array of artists and ensembles including Marilyn Crispell, Kenny Wheeler,
Paul Bley, Keith Tippet, Nick Marchione, Donny McCaslin, Maryem Tollar
and many more. Geoff’s arrangements and compositions for the band Random
Access Large Ensemble were nominated for the 2009 Juno Awards in the contemporary
jazz album of the year category.
An engaging, lyrical saxophonist,
Mike Murley is one of Canada’s most celebrated and well-respected jazz
artists. Currently active as a leader in various formations from duo to
septet, Murley also maintains a busy schedule as both a sideman and an
Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Jazz Program. He
has played on fourteen Juno Award-winning recordings since 1990, seven
as a leader or co-leader, seven as a sideman. His most recent Junos
include The North (2018), Metalwood’s Twenty (2017) and his trio’s Test
of Time (2013).
Since moving to Toronto from his native
Nova Scotia in 1981 Murley has enjoyed a career that has spanned a wide
stylistic spectrum. Recordings with legendary Canadian artists
such as Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, and Rob McConnell showcase the saxophonist’s
talents in the mainstream standard repertoire. On the more contemporary
side, Murley has collaborated frequently with the younger generation of
improviser/composers including pianist David Braid and guitarist David
Occhipinti. He is also well known for his work with the three-time
Juno Award winning electric jazz group Metalwood. In addition he
has recorded and performed with numerous other Canadian and international
artists including John Abercrombie, David Liebman, Paul Bley, John Schofield
and Kenny Wheeler.
for more on Mike!
All track info.
|Unaware of the Sound
She Was Making
|The More Things Change,
The More They Stay the Same
|What Do You Want
|All tunes SOCAN/ASCAP
Stich discusses all 14 of the tracks, as they appear on the CD.
This is a solo piano piece which was inspired
by the great 20th century German composer Arnold Schoenberg. In my
fourth year at University, I took a music seminar where we studied the
Schoenberg piano piece 'Opus 11', which is still one of my favourite pieces
of music. I have a wonderful recording of Glenn Gould performing
this piece as well as the complete piano works of Schoenberg. I chose
this particular title because I composed this piece of music at a time
in my life when I was purging of the effects of emotional stress.
This piece was inspired by Dave Liebman and
a group he used to have in the 70's called 'Open Sky' with Bob Moses on
drums and Frank Tusa on bass. The title is self explanatory as you
can hear the backdrop of birds which came from an environmental recording
I have. I wanted to incorporate a pleasant and beautiful aspect of
the environment in which we live. After the theme is stated there
is an open improvised section where we attempt to play off the birds.
So, we had the birds playing in our headphones while we recorded the music.
They were not superimposed after the fact.
This piece is a dedication to my late grandfather
who used to entertain my sister and I when we were kids by telling us funny
stories about a fictional character that he invented named 'Hamentosh McFarfel'.
As you can hear, the theme is very angular and the performance is quite
More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same
This is a ballad I wrote which is a nice contrast
to some of the other pieces which are much more aggressive and dense.
I particularly enjoy the nice relaxed pace of the performance.
At one point during the recording session,
Paul Bley suggested that I do a solo improvisation on the drums.
I took him up on his suggestion and this is what came out. The title
refers to the sacrificing of the ego. While it would have been tempting
to try and do a piece of flashy drum gymnastics to try and impress the
drummers and other musicians who may be listening, I decided to sacrifice
that for the benefit of the music. I tried to allow the music to
unfold slowly and organically and to focus purely on sound and texture.
I also tried to utilize a lot of space in the music. As they say,
the spaces in between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves.
Geoff Young is not only the guitar player
and an important composer in my trio, but he is also my best friend.
We obviously share a lot in common, including our sense of humor.
One day several years ago, Geoff was driving around in the neighborhood
when he came across a sign that read 'Vote for Vic Feeschler'. He
found this name so amusing that he began calling his little daughter by
the same name (a nickname of course). I think that one can find humor
in this musical theme which is a good illustration of my and Geoff's sometimes
twisted sense of humor.
Inspired by the stories and nursery rhymes
of my childhood, particularly 'Alice in Wonderland'. I feel that
the music evokes a sense of innocent mystery and make believe.
Do You Want
This is a poem that I composed several years
ago. I used to perform it regularly as a encore with a Toronto based
group that I co-founded and played with for 10 years called 'The SHUFFLE
DEMONS' (see resume page). I always
would perform it as a solo piece at the end of Shuffle Demon gigs and it
became somewhat of a cult hit. For this recording, Geoff and I decided
to set it to some abstract music and make kind of a performance art piece
out of it. Judging from the reactions of people I have played it
for, I think the cult status could continue and perhaps even grow.
Some choice feedback that came in (in the 90's, often by fax!)
Thanks for sending along your CD. I really enjoyed it.
Great playing and great writing. I think you've ingeniously woven
Paul Bley's playing into your own ensemble. Great to hear it.
Douglas, world renowned trumpeter/composer -- Fax to Stich's home
Great and creative music!! My compliments!!"
Liebman, legendary saxophonist -- Fax to Stich's home
I thoroughly enjoyed this CD. The musicianship is wonderful!"
Tippett, renowned British Avant-Garde jazz pianist -- Fax to Stich's home
Thanks for your call yesterday. I've now had a chance to listen to
the album and think it sounds excellent!"
Surman, ECM recording artist -- Fax to Stich's home
disc) seek(s) new form and content, often succeeding in enigmatic, wry,
extravagant and imaginative ways."
and turbulent, symbolizing this intelligent foray by four inquiring minds."
Chapman, jazz journalist -- Toronto Star
on "Self Sacrifice" - Wynston's drum solo that ears prick up. He
has Tony Oxley's ability to use timbral contrast to suggest an avant-garde
"... shows how nervy,
creative musicianship can stem from a sense of confrontation."
Hi-Fi News -- U.K. music magazine
a percussionist, Wynston is concerned less with metre than with creating
textures and building atmosphere, while the absence of a bass player allows
for untethered harmonic exploration. In investigating the possibilities
inherent in this particular line up and while maintaining an exploratory
agenda, the musicians for the most part eschew individual virtuosity in
favor of a considered, coherent group sound, making for effective sonic
Magazine -- U.K. Jazz magazine
stop-go structures, glittering spaces, pregnant harmonies, sudden flurries
emerging from lyrical rests. ... genius..."
Wire -- US music magazine
"... a combo
that takes great delight in mixing, matching, cutting, pasting and reinventing
this beast called jazz"
Diary -- U.K. music magazine
all the Stich Wynston's Modern Surfaces recordings
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© 1999 Stich Wynston. All rights reserved.