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Fifth Element jazz quintet

own label



Dave Coules, Tenor Saxophone

Dale Scaife, Piano

Glenn Anderson, Drums

Nina Richmond, Vocals

Ron Johnston, Bass

1. I Canít Believe That Youíre In Love With Me (4:07)

2. A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square (4:07)

3. It Might As Well Be Spring (3:13)

4. I Love Being Here With You (3:52)

5. The Gentle Rain (5:10)

6. There Will Never Be Another You (3:26)

7. More Than You Know (5:07)

8. September In The Rain/ On a Misty Night (5:01)

9. The Look Of Love (3:31)

10. Days Of Wine and Roses (4:10)

11. My Romance (5:20)

12. My Shining Hour (4:10)


Fifth Element is a Toronto-based jazz quintet and has been performing together since 2016. The group has recently released its first album, self-titled Fifth Element, featuring a variety of jazz standards, all arranged for this album by the multi-talented saxophonist Dave Coules. The earliest tune is I Canít Believe That Youíre In Love With Me, composed in 1926 by Jimmy McHugh with lyrics by Clarence Gaskill. The band swings through a bouncy arrangement leading off with Dave Coules on tenor sax and Glenn Anderson on drums, and featuring the classy alto singing voice of Nina Richmond, plus solos by bassist Ron Johnston and Dale Scaife on piano. Another older tune is More Than You Know, a classic standard composed by Vincent Youmans and first published in 1929. The slow, dreamy ballad is beautifully performed and highlighted by Ninaís light vibrato and Daleís tasteful piano accompaniment that really shines. Another of her best tunes is A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, composed in 1939 by Manning Sherwin, with lyrics by Eric Maschwitz. Ninaís smooth delivery is enhanced by Ron Johnstoneís skillful walking bass line.

The latest song in this set is The Look of Love, composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1967 film Casino Royale. Daveís saxophone weaves with Ninaís soft and sultry voice, creating fascinating harmonies to a bossa nova rhythm. Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer collaborated on a string of successful movie theme songs, and one of their best was Days of Wine and Roses. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1962. The band swings through an upbeat arrangement that features instrumental solos highlighting each musicianís style and individuality. One of my favorites tunes on this disc is My Romance, composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Lorenz Hart for the 1935 musical Jumbo. The song begins as a gentle jazz ballad, before the band switches midway to a Latin rhythm and picks up the pace. Ninaís voice finds a lower range in this song that knocks you out.

This album was released in December, 2020 and is self-produced. The music was recorded and mixed by Jeremy Darby, Canterbury Music Company. Mastering was performed by Peter Letros, Wrecking House Mastering. Both studios are located in Toronto. No booklet is included.

Bruce McCollum

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