Joe Sullivan

Northern Ontario Suite

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

When he's not leading his dynamic straight-ahead sextet, Montreal-based trumpeter, bandleader, and composer Joe Sullivan presides over one of the finest large jazz ensembles ever to have appeared and operated on Canadian soil. Sullivan's direct influences were Woody Herman, Gil Evans, and Jimmy Giuffre. That partly explains how and why he came to lead such a superb jazz orchestra. In 2010, the Joe Sullivan Big Band's third album was released on the Effendi record label. In addition to the six-movement Northern Ontario Suite, its playlist includes "Plus Ca Change," "Later Joe," and "Mambo #6." While Sullivan and company were certainly not the first to use this title, the apparent sequel to Perez Prado's "Mambo #5" is a worthy salute to the Cuban bandleader and his internationally acclaimed Caribbean dance music. With the Northern Ontario Suite, Sullivan has created a painterly set of visions inspired by the environment where he came up. Musically revisiting his hometown of Timmins, Ontario, he invokes tiger lilies, the aurora borealis, the wind over a region called Abitibi, and examples of human activity like a traditional festive Beltane-tide bacchanal followed by a merry run through the forest.

blue highlight denotes track pick