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MAGPIE

Released Apr. 12th, 2024 on TPR Records

"A woman meets a mysterious bird and is transported into a dark, spellbound otherworld..." 
 

The Magpie Suite - an evocative and transformative musical journey for expanded jazz orchestra and 4 voices - was born from a moment of awe. During a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in January 2018, composer Sarah Jerrom observed a gathering of magpies and crows performing a dance in the middle of a winter storm. At the time, Jerrom was working on a deeply personal composition defying the stigma and taboo surrounding pregnancy loss. This experience not only captivated her but also set the narrative trajectory for this new piece. The complex world of magpies became a rich metaphor woven throughout the suite’s musical narrative.

The suite, which had its premiere on April 6, 2023 in Toronto, is a masterful blend of storytelling and music, guided by the folkloric nursery rhyme One for Sorrow. It takes the listener on a journey through the eyes of its main character, Woman/ Magpie, exploring profound themes such as feminism, infertility, grief, hope, and love. Each of the suite’s eight movements offers a distinct musical experience, seamlessly integrating elements of classical and jazz performance. A quartet of vocalists led by Jerrom adds another dimension to these dynamic and immersive soundscapes. Magpie is a tour de force, an emotional odyssey, a narrative of resilience, transformation, and the magic of storytelling through music.

Personnel:
 

Sarah Jerrom - Voice, Compositions, Narrative

Conductor: Christian Overton
Voices: Laura Swankey, Galen Sedlak, Jackson Welchner

Woodwinds: Laura Chambers (flute, alto flute, piccolo), Chieh-Ying Lu (oboe), Tara Davidson (alto & soprano sax, flute), Mike Murley (tenor and soprano sax, clarinet), Kirk MacDonald (tenor sax, clarinet), Shirantha Beddage (baritone sax, bass clarinet)
Trumpet & Flugelhorn: James Rhodes (lead), Kevin Turcotte, Brian O’Kane
French Horn: Olivia Esther
Trombone: William Carn, Zach Smith, Emily Ferrell, Tom Richards (bass trombone)
Piano: Nancy Walker
Bass: Rob McBride
Drums: Ernesto Cervini




Dream Logic is the third album from Canadian vocalist Sarah Jerrom. Following the release of her critically-acclaimed albums The Yeats Project (2017) and Illuminations (2007), Dream Logic showcases Jerrom’s formidable skills as a songwriter, composer, lyricist, and improviser. An adventurous and exciting crossover project, Dream Logic draws its sound from jazz, folk, and pop music, and deals with themes of hope, grief, infertility, and love. This music was written and arranged specifically for Jerrom’s contemporary jazz quartet of the same name - a group of high-profile Canadian musicians including guitarist and vocalist Harley Card (Hobson’s Choice, God’s Gift To Yoda, Stoptime), bassist Rob McBride (David Gillis, The Yeats Project) and drummer Jeff Luciani (Batucada Carioca, Bankruptcy, The Dears.)

Dream Logic is Jerrom’s first definitive release as a songwriter, and her first to feature her work as a pianist. Guitarist Harley Card adds rich vocals to the album, singing lyric-based counter melodies on the duets “Snowblind,” “Illusions,” and “Plastic Stuff.” The album was recorded live-off-the-floor at WOW! Recording Studio in St. Catharines, Ontario by co- producer Joe Lapinski (Great Lake Swimmers, Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Harmer, Dave Clark). Lapinski also appears as a special guest on the album, adding acoustic guitar and background vocals to “Rose.” Dream Logic features several creative collaborations: “Fergus” features lyrics by acclaimed Toronto writer and columnist Laura Lind, while Card, a prolific songwriter, contributes “Plastic Stuff” and “Illusions,” the latter piece co-written with Toronto bassist Michael Herring.

Featuring:
Sarah Jerrom - Voice, Piano
Harley Card - Guitar, Voice
Rob McBride - Double Bass
Jeff Luciani - Drums, Percussion
Joe Lapinski - Guitar, Voice (8)

DREAM LOGIC

Released Mar. 26th, 2021 (Three Pines Records)

The Yeats Project is also available for purchase in the Yeats Country destination town of Sligo, Ireland at Liber Bookshop and The Record Room.

THE YEATS PROJECT
Released 2017 (Independent)

Proclaiming her crafts as a composer, arranger and vocalist, Sarah Jerrom’s latest album, The Yeats Project, is an exciting and imaginative follow up to her critically acclaimed debut CD, Illuminations. Featuring her original compositions set to the poetry of William Butler Yeats, Jerrom orchestrated the music for a unique nine-piece chamber jazz instrumentation comprised of strings, woodwinds, brass and a traditional jazz rhythm section, with Jerrom herself on vocals. After gathering a group of Toronto’s top established and emerging musicians, the music was recorded live at two concert venues in Toronto and the Niagara region. The featured poems reflect upon themes such as spirituality, life as an artist, death, defeat and love.

“… Jerrom sounds best when she is free of traditional confines.” – Robert Rusch, Cadence Magazine

Blending the elements of jazz, improvisation and classical music, The Yeats Project presents the words of W.B. Yeats set to music in a completely unprecedented style and approach. This distinctive interpretation and the ensemble’s unique combination of instruments played by a specially formed group of top-flight, multi-influenced musicians makes The Yeats Project a rarity in terms of concept and sound.

“Sarah Jerrom has an almost otherworldly approach to her ethereal compositions, combining jazz, improvised, contemporary and classical music… These are detailed, well-thought-out settings to ten of Yeats’ poems… By treating her instrumentalists as equals, Jerrom creates perfect poetic musical settings…” – Tiina Kiik – Listening Room, the Whole Note Magazine

 

Featuring:

Sarah Jerrom (vocals/compositions/arrangements)               

Ernesto Cervini (drums)

Andrew Downing (cello)

Aleksandar Gajic (viola)

Johnny Griffith (bass clarinet)

Tara Kannangara (flugelhorn)

Rob McBride (double bass)

Carissa Neufeld (piano)

Tom Richards (conductor)

Linnea Thacker (violin)

“This is a strong album that will leave you eager to hear more…”

 – Justin Litun, IAJE Canada Newsletter 

Sarah Jerrom’s critically acclaimed debut album, Illuminations, encompasses fresh original compositions, jazz-inspired arrangements of contemporary songs and traditional jazz standards. Described as “diverse and sophisticated” (Justin Litun, IAJE Canada Newsletter), “powerful, stirring and lush” (Peter Merrett, PBS 106-7FM, Melbourne) and “swingin’ stuff” (Colin Smith, CKLN 88.1FM, Toronto) amongst reviewers and critics, the self-produced recording has generated considerable attention for its originality and musicianship. Sarah arranged much of the material and also surrounded herself with a large ensemble of top-flight musicians, including Stu Harrison and Jamie Reynolds on piano, Harley Card on electric and acoustic guitar, Mark McIntyre on bass, David MacDougall on drums, Mike Murley on tenor saxophone, Alison Young on alto saxophone, Rebecca Hennessy on trumpet and fluegelhorn, and Joel Green on trombone. Illuminations also features a string quartet on Sarah’s arrangement of the Josefine Cronholm composition, “Wild Garden”. Illuminations continues to receive widespread media attention and radio airplay at local (CFRB, CIUT, CKLN), national (CBC), and international radio stations in the United Kingdom (BBC), the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Denmark, France and Argentina.

Highlights of Illuminations include a contemporary, lilting and slightly mysterious version of the Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer classic “Skylark”, replete with masterful and harmonically complex solos by Mike Murley and Jamie Reynolds; a funky take on Brad Mehldau’s “Dusty Nugget”; Sarah’s contemporary original title track, “Illumination”; Strayhorn’s immortal “Lush Life”, done here as an evocative and moving piano/voice duo featuring Stu Harrison; a snappy and swinging take on Rodgers & Hart’s “Do It the Hard Way”; a pristine, classic and uncluttered version of Benny Goodman’s “Stompin’ at the Savoy”, featuring synchronistic rhythm section solos; the modern and haunting “Wild Garden” (Josefine Cronholm) with a lush, contrapuntal string arrangement by Sarah; a Neil Young-inspired perspective on Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me”, and the final track on the CD,  the radiant Lerner & Loewe classic “Heather on the Hill”.

Featuring:

Sarah Jerrom- vocals
Stu Harrison- piano (tracks 2, 4, 7, 9)
Jamie Reynold- piano (tracks 1, 3, 5, 8, 10)
Harley Card- guitar
Mark McIntyre- bass
David MacDougall- drums
Mike Murley- tenor saxophone
Alison Young- alto saxophone
Rebecca Hennessy- trumpet/fluegelhorn
Joel Green- trombone
Liana Berube- violin
Phoebe Tsang- violin
Anthony Rapoport- viola
Rafael Hoekman- cello

ILLUMINATIONS
Released 2007 (Independent)

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