This contemplative and often thrilling quartet’s explorations of modern, original repertoire is led by a fast-rising star in Toronto’s jazz piano community — 26 year old NICK MACLEAN. Formed in 2016, Maclean’s foursome delivers jazz between the two poles of thoughtful introspection and powerhouse conveyance, taking influences from Herbie Hancock‘s primordial 1960’s Blue Note era recordings, while paying tribute to some of the greatest improvisers in jazz history.
The group is frequently lauded for the strength of their collective improvisatory vision and features one of Canada’s most provocative improvising trumpet-playing iconoclasts Brownman Ali, standing shoulder to shoulder with Maclean & two of Toronto’s top-tier rhythm section 20-somethings: Jesse Dietschi on bass and Tyler Goertzen on drums. The synergy of the 4 is always palpable in concert.
The quartet’s debut 11-track full-length album “Rites Of Ascension” features 6 Maclean-penned compositions, 1 Brownman original and 4 re-imagined Herbie Hancock classics, all recorded at the renowned Canterbury Studios in Toronto.
Produced by Brownman Ali, the new disc was released internationally on Browntasauras Records on October, 2017 and has won 3 ‘Gold’ Global Music Awards in the ‘jazz’, ‘band’, and ‘album’ categories; has been nominated for CJSF’s ‘2018 Julian Award of Excellence’; and was featured as one of the Global Music Awards’ ‘Top 5 Albums of Spring 2018’. The one Brownman original appearing on Rites Of Ascension entitled “Madness Of Nero”, was a semi-finalist at the 2017 International Song Competition(ISC) in the ‘jazz’ category.
Repeatedly regarded as a modern take on the ferocious and hard-swinging post-bop era, the group has been busy in the Canadian jazz club circuit and featured in numerous clubs, festivals and concert series including multiple appearances at the Toronto Jazz Festival both as a featured ensemble and an often requested backing band. In addition to their original material, the ensemble has also mounted several popular tribute series to jazz masters including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Clark Terry & Cole Porter.