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Ear To Ear: Here’s What CapRadio’s Jazz Hosts Are Grooving To This July


You hear them on air each week, but have you ever wondered what CapRadio’s jazz hosts are spinning when they’re off the air?

Our hosts are tastemakers who eat, sleep and breathe music, and they’re going to be putting together a playlist for you each month so you can keep the jazz going with some of their personal favorites.

This month, we’ll learn a bit about new jazz announcer Andrew Mills’ Canadian heritage, Avery Jeffry’s personal connection to Chris Potter and Gary Vercelli’s love for a new take on “Cantaloupe Island,” plus much, much more. We’ll be adding to this playlist each month so you can get to know our hosts better with the tunes they’re spinning in their free time. 

Here are our July picks:

Andrew Mills

As the only Canadian on the music team at CapRadio, I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to celebrate some of the exceptional jazz artists that Canada has produced recently. Especially since July 1 is Canada Day!

This month, I’ve got two pieces of music from some great musicians out of Toronto for you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

“Force Majeure” — Allison Au Quartet

This tune is a great example of Allison Au’s remarkable proficiency as a saxophonist, composer, and arranger. 

I absolutely love how she manages to seamlessly blend her fusion influences with more traditional jazz influences that allow her and the other improvisors in the quartet to explore the music in a truly unique way. Plus, there’s a cool drum solo toward the end!

If you like Wayne Shorter, it’s a safe bet you will enjoy Allison Au.

“The Daily Mail” — Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop

I adore great arrangements. No matter the genre or time period, a piece of music that’s been perfectly arranged for an ensemble is a joy to listen to. And since my love of music started with playing rock and pop songs on my guitar, I have a particular affinity for jazz arrangements of contemporary pieces. 

Ernesto Cervini’s Turboprop ticks off both boxes for me with their arrangement of this Radiohead song. Radiohead has been a favorite band of mine for a long time, and to hear one of their songs performed by jazz musicians of this caliber is a wonderful thing indeed.

Avery Jeffry

“New Year’s Day” — Chris Potter & the Danish Radio Big Band

I always try to keep this album in my rotation because every song on it is a gem. I chose this one specifically because I actually got to perform it with a big band back in college. 

I went to the University of South Carolina in Columbia, which is where Chris Potter grew up. 

We both played in the same band, albeit 35 years or so apart, and he studied with our director Bryson Borgstedt, who was just a graduate student at the time. 

We were lucky enough to get some of his original charts from this album to play at one of our concerts and Potter actually came to see us perform. 

It was truly a magical experience for a young impressionable jazz musician. This song features solos by Potter on saxophone and Mads la Cour on trumpet. 

“Just Let It Ride” — Theo Croker

This is an album that I’ve just recently been digging, as it’s only been out for about two months. 

To me, trumpeter Theo Croker is one artist that exemplifies the ever-changing shape of jazz. 

In this album, he gives us a true creative expression of black American music, which as we know is the backbone of all jazz music and certainly the biggest influencer of its future. 

“Star People Nation” is just as much about his own personal spiritual experience as it is about the music. 

“Just Let It Ride” is a refreshing mix of eclectic styles, electronic sounds and superb trumpet playing.  

Gary Vercelli

“Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” — George Cables

Veteran pianist George Cables faced some serious physical challenges which prevented him from touring and recording in 2018. This recording proves he has lost none of his touch. On this lyrical, melodic reading of this romantic composition from the 1955 film of the same name, Cables and company shine, proving he remains a vital force in the world of jazz.

“Airegin” — Stan Getz

Just released, this vibrant live 1961 recording has sat in Verve’s vaults for 58 years. By 1962, Stan Getz was pursuing a much softer, melodic approach than what is on display here, perhaps due to the popularity of his bossa nova recordings. On Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin,” you hear Getz and his quartet burning with a more aggressive, improvisational approach. It turned out to be a road less traveled, but thankfully preserved in this recording.

“Cantaloupe Island” — Al Foster

Drummer Al Foster has worked with jazz luminaries Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins. On his new album, he explores fresh original compositions, many dedicated to his family members. He also reworks Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island,” giving it a thoroughly modern twist with an incredible trumpet solo from Jeremy Pelt. 

Listen to the playlist here:

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled musician Theo Croker's name. It has been updated.

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