Four men. Four microphones. No instruments. This is the formula for Canada's celebrated vocal band, Cadence.
Members: Dylan Bell, Carl Berger, Keven Fox, Ross Lynde
Cadence: Cool Yule
Toronto's all male Vocal Jazz quartet Cadence says "Instruments are for surgeons," and we couldn't agree more! The group's much-anticipated hot new 4th release, "Cool Yule" is hot and cool off the presses, and the goodies in our stockings keep on coming: "Silent Night - Prelude," great vocal percussion and faux instruments on "Sleigh Ride," the jazzy title tune, sweet new arrangements on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "I Saw Three Ships," "The Carpenter's Carol," "Carol of the Bells" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree;" the soulful, bluesy original "River," the sweet, joyous new French carol "Petit Papa Noel," "Christmas Song" and "Silent Night." The buzz around fast-rising Cadence in the jazz world is growing every day, and the finely-crafted "Cool Yule" is a Christmas winner from start to finish, one of the best Vocal Jazz albums of the year!
Cadence: Frost Free
Don't miss this one. Get in on the ground floor because the arrangements and vocal flights of fancy which seem to be the current signature of Cadence are exceptional. Four men who have had lifetimes of musical training met at York University in Toronto where they were all studying music. After a huge diversity of musical experience, they have focused their energies for the past couple of years on recreating the world of a cappella music. Frost Free, their first recording, is wonderful. Once again, words won't be able to do the slightest justice to the clever originality and breadth of musical vision which is presented here. Start with beautiful harmonies created by very pure voices. Take a songlist of familiar tunes, "Spinning Wheel," "Shape of My Heart," "I Wish," "Straighten Up and Fly Right," and more. Then add arrangements which occasionally add vocal sounds which you've never heard before (no matter how much you've listened to a cappella music) which are always used within a harmonious context of the whole arrangement. What do you get... originality, that's what you get! You get rap, you get rock, you get ballads, you get a lullaby, you get jazz - lots of jazz licks. When it helps to keep true to the original they create an amazing vocal similitude. You must listen to "Spinning Wheel" and then put on the Blood, Sweat and Tears version. Amazing! Or maybe you'll have your mind blown by the sweet close harmony of Paul Simon's "Slim Punky's Dilemma" as it morphs back and forth into the techno-rap lyrics of Public Enemy. This is one of the finest quartets to make an appearance in the a cappella scene in quite a while!
Cadence: Speak Easy
Ross, Aaron, Kurt and Carl, "Like four thieves who've been stealing the show for years", (Toronto Star) Cadence has played to sold-out concert halls and toured jazz festivals worldwide, sharing the stage with artists like Bobby McFerrin, Quincy Jones and Gordon Lightfoot. Both of their Juno-nominated albums have garnered wide critical acclaim, including CARAs for Best Jazz Song, Best Original Composition and Best Rock/Pop Album, and their 2005 release "Twenty for One" was nominated for the Best Vocal Jazz Album Juno Award alongside such established musical mainstays as Diana Krall and Paul Anka. A cool rat pack of musical misfits, Cadence thrills their audiences with infectious energy, wild stage antics, and by pushing a cappella music to amazing new heights! "Speak Easy" is a mellow, sublime collection of 12 innovatively arranged gems: classics like Cole Porter's "It's All Right with Me," Jimmy Van Heusen/Sammy Cahn's "Ain't That a Kick in the Head," and a bluenote/scattish take on Lerner & Loewe's "On the Street Where You Live," from "My Fair Lady." Then there are two sweet originals by group member Aaron Jensen, "Good Love" and "High and Drysville," smoky and hip with some killer faux horns, that you'll swear were written for a black & white Noir detective movie in the late 1940s. Several of our favorites are reinvented pop songs, such as Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" and Paul Simon's "Still Crazy After All These Years," all perfectly arranged-and the foursome's "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" is simply big, silly fun. The bottom line is, we love "Speak Easy" and, well, everything else we've heard by Cadence, and we're betting that you will too!
Cadence: Twenty For One
Toronto's celebrated 4-man vocal band, Dylan, Carl, Kevin and Ross, won the tough 2003 Harmony Sweeps New York Regional (and Audience Favorite), and went on to place third here in San Rafael with a very strong set at the '03 Finals. So we were not at all surprised to see their debut CD, "frost-free," win two CARA awards. With an extensive concert and touring schedule, playing to sold-out audiences, and now with "twenty for one," it's clear to us, from their great sound, solid musicianship, finely-crafted arrangements, sense of humor and pure ability to entertain, that Cadence is simply one of the best jazz/pop vocal quartets performing today. We have 12 songs, great covers of the cool retro "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," popping vocal percussion and a Simonesque lead on "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," Charles Mingus' and Joni Mitchell's classic jazz treat "The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines," Nat King Cole's crackling "Hit That Jive, Jack," the timeless "Game," the pop hit "True Colors" and a nod to Freddie Mercury of Queen on "The Things We Do For Love;" and winning originals by Dylan ("Don't Fix What's Broken," "Blues on Sunday"), Carl's sweet wedding anthem, "The Perfect Kiss," Kevin's funky "Sittin' in the Cellar" and friend Gillian Stecyk's "Sunshine." Begin with poised, perfect harmonies, add solos and scat with attitude, heartbreaking faux horns, vocal percussion that's some of the tightest and most innovative we've ever heard, and cutting edge arrangements--and you get "twenty for one," one of the best jazz-pop cds of the year!