Toronto veteran composer and pianist Gordon Sheard releases new CD Crucible

Crucible is the long-awaited solo release by Toronto composer and pianist Gordon Sheard. A veteran of the Montuno Police, Manteca, and Alain Caron’s Le Band, Sheard has created a vibrant and unique new CD that seamlessly melds a wide range of influences – jazz; R&B and funk; Brazilian samba, baião, and jongo; reggae; and many other global musical currents – to forge a unified expression of his own unique personality.

At times rhythmically fierce, at others sensual and introspective, but always featuring compelling and memorable melodies, Crucible takes the listener down an intense and satisfying musical road.

Helping Gordon to define Crucible’s deeply affecting and eclectic musical mix are some of Canada’s most outstanding instrumentalists: saxophonist and reedman John Johnson; drummer Mark Kelso; percussionists Rick Shadrach Lazar, Alan Hetherington, and Ravi Naimpally; guitarist John Findlay; bassists George Koller, Rich Brown, and Scott Alexander; trumpeter Steve McDade; trombonist Terry Promane; and violinist Bogdan Djukic.

Gordon Sheard has enjoyed a many-faceted career as a professional musician for three decades performing with the likes of Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, fluegelhornist/composer Chuck Mangione, Lorraine Segato (formerly of Parachute Club), Rita McNeil, Liona Boyd, Louise Pitre, Eliana Cuevas, Yvette Tollar, Carol Welsman, Brian Hughes, Stan Samole, Levon Ichkhanian, Terry Kelly, and Ron Hines, amongst many others. He is currently enrolled in the doctoral program in ethnomusicology at York University, where his primary area of expertise is Brazilian traditional and popular musics.

Media commentary

“The music is rich and ripe, muscular, full of surprises.”

Geoff Chapman, “Jazzman’s Crucible Worth the Wait,” The Toronto Star, Oct. 12, 2006.

The Crucible CD release party at the Lula Lounge on October 12, 2006 was chosen by the Live Music Report as one of the top ten concerts of 2006: “Gordon is one of Toronto’s premier pianists. On this night we (the musicians on and off the stage, the audience) all helped him celebrate the release of his first CD as a leader. And how! A night to remember.”

“Fingers dripping technique, Gordon Sheard moved through sumptuous classicism to ever more insistent, biting jazz chords, building an intense rhythm. Notes flew out like diamonds — sparklingly clear, bright, hard-edged jewels.”

press photos -- photography by Denise Grant
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