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Clements, Gordon

Gordon Clements
M.Mus.(perf) B.Mus. Dip.Ed.

· Classical and Jazz Performer on Clarinet, Saxophone,
  and Flute
· Big Band Conductor and Clinician
· Consultant and Demonstrator of Computer Music
  Applications, Pitch-to-Midi, Digital Harmony,
  and Wind Synthesis

An active member of Vancouver Island's musical and educational community for over 25 years, Mr. Clements has recently become very much in demand as an adjudicator and clinician. His unique experience as both classical and jazz performer have made his classes and workshops inspirational to students of all ages and levels of ability.

As a classical musician Mr. Clements is primarily known for 15 years in the bass clarinet chair of the Victoria Symphony and as both clarinetist and saxophonist with the Palm Court Orchestra. He has also performed in countless Broadway shows, operettas, wind ensembles, and chamber music groups.

Perhaps even more known as a jazz musician, Mr. Clements has been a featured soloist, conductor, and lead alto saxophonist with the area's top pro big bands and is "first-call woodwind doubler" for most of the traveling shows which come to our city. His small groups are often fixtures in the local club scene and his solo work can be heard on numerous contemporary recordings.

Music Education has also played an important part in Mr. Clements' career. He has worked as a band teacher and ensemble coach in secondary schools throughout Greater Victoria and is currently on the staffs of Brentwood College School and the Victoria Conservatory of Music. In 1982, he was given the task of starting a jazz program for the University Of Victoria and founded both the University Big Band and the Victoria Summer Jazz Workshop which has continued for 18 years under his direction. In 1987 he was awarded the position of Saxophone Professor at UVic. Recently he has expanded his conducting responsibilities to include the Victoria Conservatory Honour Wind Ensemble and Jazz Orchestra.

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Gordon Clements
Mingus, Mancini & Us

" I am going to play the truth of what I am." Charles Mingus

The ensemble is essentially a working trio (Rob, Clint, and I) which has been augmented with a guest (first Lou and then Louise). I didn't start out with the intention of playing so many instruments but as the arrangements came together it seemed to make sense. The tunes, a mixture of originals and standards, also suggested themselves as we began to discuss the recording.

I have worked regularly with Rob Cheramy for many years. His playing and writing have been a constant source of inspiration not only for me but for musicians throughout the western Canadian jazz community.

Someone once said old musicians need to work as often as possible with young musicians. I don't think I quite qualify as old but Clint Ryder certainly qualifies as young. He is perhaps the most serious 22 year old I know and is definitely one of the finest bass players I've worked with.

Lou Williamson is both a great percussionist and a great friend. The role of the drums on this date was very delicate. Everything was to be recorded live off the floor so Lou had to provide energy without being too strong. As usual his playing was perfect.

You can never do as much as you like on a project like this so early on I began to imagine the next one. Our moments in the studio with Louise Rose were like a wonderful dream which ended too soon. I am already looking forward to the next opportunity.

Louise's strength, both musical and personal, is well known. We recorded Dreamsville twice. Both versions can only be described as magical and it was the clock that decided which one we used.

Paul Horn is a legend. His incredibly vast experience in all aspects of the music business make him the kind of producer anyone would love to have. I can't thank him enough for all the help, inspiration, and friendship that he freely gave all of us.

GORDON CLEMENTS soprano & alto sax, clarinet & bass clarinet, flute
ROB CHERAMY guitar
CLINT RYDER contrabass
LOU WILLIAMSON drums & vibes
LOUISE ROSE piano & voice

Recorded October 1997, Seacost Sound, Victoria, BC
Produced by PAUL HORN
Recorded and mixed by BOB BENSON
Assistant engineer JESSE BANNERMAN
Mastered by MARK FRANKLIN
Original artwork by ROBERT AMOS
Photography by ART TURENNE

Gordon Clements
Above & Below

This recording is a celebration of many things.

First, and most important, it is a celebration of three new friendships. The trio met and played for the first time just two weeks before the recording date. It was truly remarkable how quickly the chemistry developed and how much each of us enjoyed, not only the musicianship, but the personalities of each other. There was a great deal of laughter and serious music making.

This project brought together three distinct personalities and musical styles; a New York based pianist with strong classical and latin roots, one of Canada's top mainstream jazz bass players, and a West Coast multi-reed player with an extensive background in both jazz and classical idioms.

Misha enthusiastically embraced the role of producer and organized the music so that all our widely varied strengths were encouraged to shine. The piano and string bass were featured as often as the bass clarinet. Neil, of course, is everyone's favorite bass player and his driving rhythm allowed us to maintain a clear acoustic sound without sacrificing energy in fast tempos. For an additional treat, Ayelet sang her own lyrics on "It's Easy" in a style that characterized the whole recording; lush warm tone with unmistakable jazz freedom.

I hope you enjoy listening to this recording as much as we enjoyed making it.

GORDON CLEMENTS bass clarinet
MISHA PIATIGORSKY piano
NEIL SWAINSON string bass
AYELET PIATIGORSKY vocals on "It's Easy"

Recorded July 2002 at Alix Goolden Performance Hall
Victoria Conservatory of Music, Victoria, B.C. Canada
Produced by MISHA PIATIGORSKY
Recording, mixing and mastering by RUSSEL DAWKINS
Photography by DAVID LOWES
Layout and design by LIS BAILLY