Sage Reynolds Quartet

Sage Reynolds- On the Wall

In masonry the term “on the wall” is used to describe when a craftsman is using his skills to actively create, as opposed to assisting those on the wall through preparation and heavy labour. This concept of being a fully active participant in a chosen profession is a central theme in Sage Reynolds' first album as a band leader and is represented, at it's most basic level, by the simple fact that this documentation of his music now exists.

In the last few years, upon returning home from some time away from Montréal, Sage has stepped up his musical production as both a composer and as a performer, and has fully embraced his lot in life as a musician. This is evident in his increased musical activity as both a sideman, collaborator, and leader, performing diverse musical styles within numerous groups. Styles, such as jazz, rock/pop, electronica, traditional Cuban music, Turkish classical music, and the folk traditions of North America and Europe, that have greatly influenced his bass playing as well as his composing.

From the African flavoured ascending bass figure of “Saturday Afternoon” and the indie-rock inspired perpetual eighth-note groove of the title track, to the klezmer-influenced harmony of “Meat Cove” and the folk/pop vocal style melody of “Waiting for Her Call”, it is clear that Sage's music is a product of his musical environment, as well as his creative nature. The spirit of artistic focus that is prevalent throughout this recording is partly due to the rhythmically complex, harmonically colourful, and melodically beautiful quality of the compositions. The other major factor is a metrically solid and sonicaly rich band.

Sage Reynolds Quartet consists of the gifted and experienced trumpeter/composer Bill Mahar (Altsys Jazz Orchestra (artistic director), Joel Miller: Mandala, and Bernard Primeau Jazz Ensemble), the tasteful and virtuostic guitarist Kenny Bibace (Joel Miller: Mandala, Dave Turner's B3 Organ Project, and Christine Jensen's small and large ensembles), various drummers (previously Stefan Schneider- Bell Orchestre, [iks], The Luyas), and the talented and expressive double-bassist/composer Sage Reynolds (see Projects/Ensembles below.) These musicians were brought together in the summer of 2004 to act as a creative vehicle and inspirational force for Sage's music, often having compositions written with their individual and group strengths in mind. Creative expression is paramount, and this music is designed as a conduit for the performers' emotions, moods, and personalities, as well as the composer's.

Sage Reynolds- On the Wall, not only captures the spirit of expression within music born of the composer's experiences and influences, musical and otherwise, but preserves for us a glimpse of the ephemeral qualities of interpretation, improvisation, and interaction through the recorded performance of Sage Reynolds Quartet. This group of highly trained, skilled, and expressive instrumentalists reveal the inherent beauty present in open musical communication.

Sage Reynolds Quartet

Created in the summer of 2004, Montréal based jazz ensemble Sage Reynolds Quartet features Bill Mahar on trumpet and flugelhorn, Kenny Bibace on guitar, various drummers, and it’s namesake, Sage Reynolds, on double-bass.

These experienced musicians have been heard playing together in many separate contexts, amongst different personnel (including: Sean Craig Quintet, Michel Berthiaume Quintet, and Joel Miller’s Mandala). They were brought together to act as a creative vehicle and inspirational force for Sage’s music, often having compositions written with their individual and group strengths in mind.

While rooted in the tradition of jazz (focusing on improvisation and innovation), Sage’s compositions are born of his own personal experiences and influences, musical or otherwise. Stylistically these include, but are not limited to, jazz, rock/pop, electronica, world music, and the folk traditions of North America and Europe. Creative expression is paramount, and this music is designed as a conduit for the performers’ emotions, moods, and personalities, as well as the composer’s. Besides the bandleader’s music, the group’s performance repertoire includes arrangements of American Songbook standards, pop songs, and jazz tunes, as well as the ensemble’s improvised compositions.

The entirety of this music is channelled through a quartet of highly trained, skilled, and expressive instrumentalists. The result is an innovative, dynamic sound that provides exciting and intense musical experiences for both the ensemble and their audience.

Bill Mahar

Trumpet player, composer, and arranger, Bill Mahar, is a Halifax native and McGill alumnus. Bill is the artistic director of Altsys Jazz Orchestra, a 13-piece ensemble specializing in original Canadian compositions, and the band Streetnix. His compositions and arrangements have been featured on two Félix Award winning albums by the Bernard Primeau Jazz Ensemble. Bill has also played with, and his compositions and arrangements have been recorded by; The Oshawa-Durham Symphony Orchestra, the Banff Jazz Orchestra, the Vancouver International Jazz Orchestra Workshop, the Karen Young Septet and Catharsis, led by Charles Papasoff. Commercial arranging projects have included music for Orchestra London, Jazzfest des Jeunes du Québec, the Lakeshore Concert Band, la Musique du 31ieme GBC, and the show Remembering Sinatra. Some international artists Bill has performed or recorded with include Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Ray Anderson, Maynard Ferguson, Sonny Fortune, Donny McCaslin, and Tim Hagans. Bill presently teaches trumpet and jazz combos at the McGill Faculty of Music.

Kenny Bibace

Jazz guitarist Kenny Bibace makes his living as a freelance musician in his home town of Montréal and has performed or recorded with such groups as Dave Turner's B3 Organ Project, Michel Berthiaume Quintet, Joel Miller: Mandala, Dave Turner Quintet, Christine Jensen Quintet, Donny Kennedy Sextet, The Montréal Guitar Collective, and Jon McCaslin Quintet. Other professional experience includes Canadian, North American, and European tours, jazz festival dates, CD recording sessions, radio recording sessions (CBC, SRC), and performances with such artists as Andre White, Dave Laing, Brian Hurley, Geoff Lapp, Charles Ellison, and Jennifer Bell, among others. Kenny graduated with high distinction from McGill University's jazz performance program (1996) and currently teaches private guitar lessons and jazz combo at the McGill Conservatory of Music where much of his pre-university musical training occurred.

Mont-Royal Composers Forum

“Mont-Royal Composers Forum” showcases original works and improvisations, in concert and workshop settings, by current composers and their ensembles. This community driven project strives to bring musicians and listeners together through the appreciation of music being created “now”. Coordinators Sage Reynolds and Miles Perkin have both been active on the Montréal music scene for several years performing different styles of creative music as sidemen and collaborators. “MRCF” was originally created as a vehicle for the presentation of Miles and Sage’s own individual groups, “Common Thread” and “Sage Reynolds Quartet”, along with guest composers, performers, and ensembles. The scope of the project has expanded to include a greater variety of participants and events. The hope is that “MRCF” will continue to evolve as community interest and involvement increases.

Current Projects/Ensembles

Previous Projects/Ensembles