Reviews that mention Nicole Rampersaud

July 8, 2021

Marilyn Lerner/Nicole Rampersaud

Brass Knuckle Sandwich
Ambiances Magnétique AM 258 CD

By Ken Waxman

Polished and powerful as the first part of its name and as layered as the second, Toronto’s Brass Knuckle Sandwich has produced a crunchy but powerful snack of seven in-the-moment improvisations. The duo of pianist Marilyn Lerner and trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud, long-time members of the city’s advanced music community, inventively display every flavorful scintilla of sound from the furthest reaches of their instruments. Lerner clips, pumps and slides over the keys in groups or separately and strums, plucks and buzzes the piano’s internal strings. Making use of tongue-stopping, tone crackling and half-valve effects, Rampersaud’s brass extensions include vocalized blowing, spittle-encrusted squeaks, strangled cries and plunger farts. MORE

September 17, 2019

Michael Vlatkovich/5 Winds

Five of Us
pfMENTUM PFM CD 130

By Ken Waxman

Gathering four of Toronto’s most accomplished horn players to collaborate on his 9 Winds Suite and other compositions, American trombonist Michael Vlatkovich recorded this disc at Array Space, producing sounds that recall both a disciplined concert band and a freeform improvising ensemble.

Dividing the presentation so that the higher-pitched trumpets of Lina Allemano and Nicole Rampersaud are contrapuntally stacked against darker timbres from David Mott’s and Peter Lutek’s saxophones, the trombonist challenges or harmonizes with each group in turn, lowing snarls when called for and shrilling flutter tones when necessary. Working through call-and-response sections as well as individual solo spots, the crafty arrangements are particularly notable on the suite. Sophisticatedly layered to highlight individual voices, a climax of sorts arrives with “Part 5: Five”. Mott’s baritone saxophone sighs move from melodious harmony to screaming intensity as the muted brass tones bolster the background. Although top-of-range cries and slurs dominate, dissonance never upsets forward motion. MORE

July 11, 2015

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Friends
Spume Records001

By Ken Waxman

Momentarily putting aside her notated work, multi-instrumentalist Allison Cameron teams up with fellow improvisers, trumpeter Nicole Rampersaud and percussionist Germaine Liu for a program of 11 instant compositions that play to each trio member’s strengths while cementing a group identity. Sophisticated when it comes to rhythm displacement the drummer still keeps a thumping continuum going, while the trumpeter ability to segue from aggressive gargling to yearning grace notes and beyond, provides perfect foils to the textures emanating from Cameron’s instrumental collection, which sometimes sound as if a kitchen drawer filled with cooking utensils and a workshop bench stacked with mechanical implements are igniting at the same time. MORE

June 14, 2014

Something Else Musically in Steeltown

A New Music Festival
By Ken Waxman

With local jazz festivals becoming increasingly populist improvised music audiences and musicians yearn for programs oriented towards more experimental sounds. Unexpectedly the situation is being resolved 60 kilometres away in downtown Hamilton. From June 16 to 21 the first SOMETHING ELSE! festival of creative music, takes place at Hamilton Artists Inc. 155 James St. North, when local musicians share the stage with international improvisers.

“We moved to Hamilton two years ago, and while it’s fine to see music in Buffalo and Toronto, eventually there comes a time that you want good things to happen wherever you live,” explains Zula Presents’ festival curator Cem Zafir. Discovering that some of his favorite musicians would be in the area in June, Zafir decided to showcase them in Hamilton alongside deserving local artists. Suddenly the festival was born. MORE

November 30, 2011

AIM Toronto Orchestra

Year of the Boar
Barnyard Records BR0322

Pat Thomas/Oxford Improvisers Orchestra

4 Compositions for Orchestra

FMR CD 293-0810

Spurred by the world-wide conduction projects of Butch Morris and their results, improvising ensembles in Europe and North America have been organized to advance the concept of playing free music on a larger scale.

Although there are notable orchestras in expected places such as London, New York and Berlin, often the most remarkable, and certainly the most original, large group interpretations come from bands in smaller centres. Working with a group of like-minded musicians in his hometown, for instance, British pianist/electronics manipulator Pat Thomas has composed dissimilar pieces for the Oxford Improvisers Orchestra (OIO) on this CD. Involving voices, non-Western instruments, a tribute to a Jazz master and a literal violin concerto, each moves in a different fashion. Toronto’s AIM Toronto Orchestra (AIMTO) on the other hand plays pieces by four different composers on its seven-track CD. However under the direction of artistic director/soprano saxophonist Kyle Brenders, who penned the two lengthiest pieces, a harmonic uniformity exists. MORE

November 5, 2011

Rampersaud/Shaw/Martin/Neal/Krakowiak

Halcyon Science 130410
Barnyard Records BR0323

Rent Romus/Vinny Golia

Lords of Outland, Edge of Dark

Edgetone EDT 4112

Gail Brand & Mark Sanders

Instinct & The Body

Regardless Records R01

Birgit Ulher/Lucio Capece

Choices

Another timbre at41

Something in the Air: Brass-y Women Stand Up and Stand Out

By Ken Waxman

Enhanced freedom in music over the past 60 years has involved more than the addition of new instrumental techniques and compositional strategies. Recasting of gender roles has also taken place. No longer are women instrumentalists expected to play traditionally delicate female instruments such as violins or flutes; or those where they sit demurely such as the piano, harp or cello. This change is most obvious in improvised music, where the number of women who stand up to play has multiplied exponentially. Many have chosen to become brass players, adapting their skills to apparatuses which demands power and stamina. MORE

February 6, 2010

Gordon Grinda’s East Van Strings

The Breathing Of Statues
Songlines SGL-SA 1572-2

Gordon Grinda Trio

If Accident Will

Plunge Records PR00628

The Tony Wilson Sextet

The People Look Like Flowers at Last

Drip Audio DA 00482

Ken Aldcroft

Our Hospitality

Trio Records TRP-010

Extended Play: Versatile Canadian Guitarists Score

By Ken Waxman

Arguably more responsible than any other instrument over the past century for famous and infamous music, the electric guitar is a harsh taskmaster, especially for musicians creating innovative sounds. Luckily the six-string’s versatility can be adapted to a variety of sonic situations. Mixing original concepts with sympathetic musical partners make each of these discs notable. MORE

February 6, 2010

Ken Aldcroft

Our Hospitality
Trio Records TRP-010

Gordon Grinda’s East Van Strings

The Breathing Of Statues

Songlines SGL-SA 1572-2

Gordon Grinda Trio

If Accident Will

Plunge Records PR00628

The Tony Wilson Sextet

The People Look Like Flowers at Last

Drip Audio DA 00482

Extended Play: Versatile Canadian Guitarists Score

By Ken Waxman

Arguably more responsible than any other instrument over the past century for famous and infamous music, the electric guitar is a harsh taskmaster, especially for musicians creating innovative sounds. Luckily the six-string’s versatility can be adapted to a variety of sonic situations. Mixing original concepts with sympathetic musical partners make each of these discs notable. MORE

February 6, 2010

The Tony Wilson Sextet

The People Look Like Flowers at Last
Drip Audio DA 00482

Gordon Grinda’s East Van Strings

The Breathing Of Statues

Songlines SGL-SA 1572-2

Gordon Grinda Trio

If Accident Will

Plunge Records PR00628

Ken Aldcroft

Our Hospitality

Trio Records TRP-010

Extended Play: Versatile Canadian Guitarists Score

By Ken Waxman

Arguably more responsible than any other instrument over the past century for famous and infamous music, the electric guitar is a harsh taskmaster, especially for musicians creating innovative sounds. Luckily the six-string’s versatility can be adapted to a variety of sonic situations. Mixing original concepts with sympathetic musical partners make each of these discs notable. MORE

February 6, 2010

Gordon Grinda Trio

If Accident Will
Plunge Records PR00628

Gordon Grinda’s East Van Strings

The Breathing Of Statues

Songlines SGL-SA 1572-2

The Tony Wilson Sextet

The People Look Like Flowers at Last

Drip Audio DA 00482

Ken Aldcroft

Our Hospitality

Trio Records TRP-010

Extended Play: Versatile Canadian Guitarists Score

By Ken Waxman

Arguably more responsible than any other instrument over the past century for famous and infamous music, the electric guitar is a harsh taskmaster, especially for musicians creating innovative sounds. Luckily the six-string’s versatility can be adapted to a variety of sonic situations. Mixing original concepts with sympathetic musical partners make each of these discs notable. MORE