Release Date: February 10, 2023
Label: Outside In Music
From the very first notes of Rachel Therrien’s latest album, Mi Hogar, listeners know they are in for a multifaceted sonic treat. An impressive showcase of the Canadian-born bandleader’s range, Mi Hogar marks the first outing of Therrien’s newly assembled Latin Jazz Project, an ambitious document of her work with expert musicians of the genre from New York City, Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
The accomplished, JUNO-nominated trumpeter is a regular fixture on the New York jazz and Latin jazz scene. A bonafide virtuoso on the horn and an expert in numerous musical styles, Therrien has shared the stage with many a luminary including Tony Allen, Pedrito Martinez, Claudio Roditi, Billy Drummond, Anat Cohen and works regularly as a core member of Arturo O’Farrill’s GRAMMY® Winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra among many others. A prolific bandleader, her five previous releases (including the JUNO-nominated 2020 release Vena) have garnered critical acclaim, solidifying Rachel Therrien’s status as an ingenious composer and inspired improviser.
Mi Hogar represents a special release for Therrien, who has honed her skills playing in Latin Jazz ensembles for years, and whose love for the genre compelled her to travel to Cuba to research and study the music more than a decade ago. “The experience changed my life and is probably the reason why I am still a musician today. I always felt good playing Latin-influenced music, it is where I feel I can express myself the most musically. I have been dreaming of doing this project for many, many years and now I am finally sharing this with the world.”
The album title, which translates to ‘my home’ in Spanish, is a nod to the many places Therrien has lived over the years—from her native Canada, to Cuba and New York. It also speaks to another sanctuary in Therrien’s life: sound and community. In this global spirit, Therrien assembled Mi Hogar from a series of international recording sessions. It was fundamental for the bandleader to feature many of the musicians that have been a part of her musical journey. “I am grateful to have worked with 20+ musicians on this record. I really appreciate their confidence in me and friendship, on top of their incredible musicianship and virtuosity.”
MORE ABOUT MI HOGAR:
The album kicks off with the riveting “Capricho Arabe”, and features the notable Cuban pianist Miguel de Armas and esteemed bassist Alex Bellegarde before moving into her take on the Coltrane classic “Moment’s Notice.” A central figure in the New York City Latin Jazz scene, bassist John Benitez was a key collaborator on Mi Hogar, serving as a mentor to Therrien from the record’s early songwriting stages through its mastering. Benitez can be heard on next track “The Wizard” where he expertly supports the lyrical solos of altoist Roman Filiu and pianist Gabriel Chakarji before laying down a solo of his own.
Sitting at the center of the album (and the first single), Chakarji’s “Mojo” has an aesthetic that reminisces some Weather Report compositions but over a Latin-Jazz rhythmic template. The ever-shifting harmonies create a complex tapestry for Therrien to display her rich melodic vocabulary on, as well as her gorgeous tone on the Flugelhorn.
A Cuban rumba version of the iconic “Con Alma” serves as a nod to the early Latin Jazz explorations by master Dizzy Gillespie, which Therrien cites as her first first contact with the genre as a child. The track features Manuel Valera on piano who negotiates the fast tempo of the tune with ease. Brindis proves himself to be a valued player of the percussion section alongside Keisel Jimenez, Carlos Maldonado and Victor Pablo, who each maintain a momentum of brisk tempo while keeping the dynamics contained. The yield is a delightful and complex rhythm that each soloist celebrates.
An enigmatic introduction featuring the expert Batá drumming of Magdelys Savigne gives way to the mysterious melody of “Odessa”, a track dedicated to the city of the same name. The tune features a solo by pianist Danae Olano that works spare phrases into a dramatic climax, as well as a spotlight of bassist Roberto Riveron, who explores the entire range of his 6-string bass and smoothly leads the band back into the theme.
Therrien has a gift for writing captivating melodies, which is most-evident on her jubilant closer “Porcelanosa.” “It’s the dance piece of the album. I consider this one the ‘hit,” she says. Therrien initially wrote the composition on a piece of paper sitting in Madison Square Park and later superimposed it on a danceable rhythm Pilon. On it, pianist Willy Soto Barreto displays his knowledge of the Latin piano tradition with a rhapsodic, standout solo. Therrien and saxophonist Nestor Rodriguez exchange phrases in a robust musical dialogue before playing the last melody and wrapping the album in a bow. Throughout the entire album, drummer Michel Medrano Brindis proves to be a key collaborator, as a consummate accompanist and the only musician besides Therrien who plays on every track.
Therrien’s embrace of multiple musical lineages has helped her generate a singular approach to composing. “When you write original music, you can’t get rid of your musical background, history and influences; it all becomes part of you when you compose,” the keen artist shares. “The sound of this project is not the sound of a single band, it’s the sound of a community of people getting together to create music and connect.” That honesty and clear sense of identity shines throughout Mi Hogar and continues to position Therrien as one of the most exciting talents of the current jazz and improvised music landscape.
Release Date: March 27, 2020
Label: Bonsai Music
3/24: Dizzy’s Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC
3/27: Diese Onze, Montreal
5/4: Studio de l’Ermitage, Paris
On her debut release for French label Bonsai Music, Therrien makes a major statement over the course of fifteen original compositions. For this momentous occasion, Therrien has assembled a quartet of first-rate European musicians including Franco-Australian pianist Daniel Gassin, Spanish bassist Dario Guibert, and German drummer Mareike Wiening. Cuban saxophonist Irving Acao joins on two tracks. Therrien will be celebrating the release of VENA at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on March 24th, at Diese Onze in Montreal on March 27th and at Studio de l’Ermitage in Paris on May 4th.
Rachel Therrien’s sound reverberates far beyond her current home of New York City. Born in Quebec, the trumpeter is the epitome of the international musician. She has spent a considerable amount of time in Latin America; her extensive time living and studying in Havana, Cuba heavily influences her Latin-tinged sound. An in-demand side player, Therrien is often enlisted to join top shelf acts on tour and thus, can often be found playing in Europe. On her fifth album, Therrien wished to record with her European Quartet – a group that came together as a result of her many trips there.
The title VENA is significant to Therrien in more than one way. “V For Vena”, the title of the first single, was inspired particularly by the flight of migrating birds. A call back to her home region in Quebec where Canadian Geese are plentiful, the flight patterns of the birds in the form of a V allow for them to travel great distances together. This is a powerful symbol to Therrien, who sees the birds’ migration pattern as a symbol for her own career taking flight and of the new direction she is forming with her European counterparts. The V in “Vena” can also be interpreted as he roman numeral for five (thus, her fifth album) and on the spiritual side, V is the 22nd letter of the alphabet, which stands for synchronicity (as if to say “the stars are well aligned”).
VENA is Therrien’s most personal album yet. She composed all fifteen songs- each of which are loaded with deep personal meaning. Of note, the fifth track “75 Pages Of Happiness” was recorded for Therrien’s father on his 75th birthday; “Migration” was inspired by her transient, travel-heavy lifestyle; “Bilka’s Story”, which features saxophonist Acao, was inspired by her adventure-filled tours of Ukraine; and “Parity” was inspired by her longing for gender equality.
Why Don't You Try
Release Date: August 29, 2017 (Canada)
Label: Multiple Chord Music
Street Date: October 27th, 2017 (USA)
Truth Revolution Records
Spearheaded by trumpeter Rachel Therrien, "Why Don’t You Try" presents a collaborative mosaic of original music by each member of the quintet. Recorded at Montreal’s Studio 270 with technician Robert Langlois and mixed at Studio ToneBender by Olivier St-Pierre, the project presents tasty jazz-rock with creative arrangements and beautiful cohesion between the musicians. Co-produced by Rachel Therrien and Kim Neundorf for Free Run Artists Productions, Why Don’t You Try features the sound of Simon Pagé’s groovy electric bass, Charles Trudel’s virtuos
Once again, the Rachel Therrien Quintet focuses on the crossbreeding of genres and the spirited energy that is uniquely her own.
Pensamiento: Proyecto Colombia
Release Date: June 7, 2016
“Pensamiento” presents a fusion of Colombian rhythms from both Pacific and Atlantic cultures, mixed with the jazz philosophy of conversation and improvisation. The album features a dynamic ensemble of 13 musicians from different towns across Colombia and was recorded over the course of four days at Quantica Music Studios of Santiago Jimenez and Mauro Castillo in Bogota. Currulao, Abosao, Mapale and Tamborito are some of the rhythms featured on the 11 pieces composed and/or arranged by Rachel Therrien. “This inspiration originally came from a one month tour I did all over Colombia with the Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra,” she says, adding, “before we left Montreal, I had a thought, a vision (“Pensamiento”) to record something of my own at the end of the tour with local musicians.”
With a strong knowledge of authentic Atlantic Culture, as opposed to the more commercialized version found in North America, she had a clear path of inspiration. But the real “sparkle” of the record came within the first days of the tour when she discovered the Pacific Culture at the Feria de Cali during the Pacific day. (El dia del Pacifico). It was then that she decided to honor those lesser known rhythms by creating a project presenting those two poles of the rich Colombian Culture.
The musicians of “Pensamiento” include: Jacobo Velez – Sax & Voice, Carlos Peralta – Guitar & Voice, Holman Alvarez – Piano & Voice, Javier Pinto – Bass & Voice, Ramon Berrocal – Drum & Voice, La Wey – Percussion & Marimba & Voice, Juan Carlos Arrechea Mina – Percussion & Marimba & Voice, Humberto Barrios Madiedo – Percussion, John Edward Arrechea Mina – Percussion, Rachel Therrien – Trumpet, Composition & Arrangements, Chongo – Percussion, Santiago Jimenez – Tiple & Voice, Mauro Castillo – Trombone.
For Mi Hogar
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"Her trumpet is out front and intoxicating throughout this production." Read the review here.
THE WHOLE NOTE
“A truly worthy addition to any jazz connoisseur’s collection.” Read the review here.
"Mi Hogar is as firsthand a presentation of multicultural music as one could hope for and throughout the seven tracks, Therrien applies her instincts as a composer and arranger with exceptional judgment." Read the full review here.
“A multi-faceted listening experience that represents all the places Therrien has lived and studied, this is a very ambitious, exciting and memorable body of work from the Juno Nominated artist.” Read the review here.
"Mi Hogar is trumpeter Rachel Therrien’s nod to the many places the Canada-born artist has lived over the years, including Cuba, where she immersed herself in the Latin jazz tradition." Check out this feature on the editors choice list here.
L.A JAZZ SCENE
"Vena is an excellent example of today’s modern mainstream jazz and it makes for a stimulating listen.. " Read the full feature here.
We asked Rachel Therrien to share the albums that shaped her career. Read the full feature here.
"A collection of 15 original compositions, Vena is trumpeter and flugelhornist Rachel Therrien's fifth album. It's is a remarkable creative exercise" Read the full review here.
This week’s playlist potpourri features mostly new plus a sprinkling of vintage tracks from around the world. Read the entire playlist here.
"Rachel Therrien loves her flugelhorn. On the cover of her exquisite fifth album Vena (Bonsai Music), she’s clutching it in rhapsody. She also blows a hot trumpet with her quintet of pianist Daniel Gassin, bassist Dario Guibert, drummer Mareike Wiening and sax man Irving Aceo." Read the review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"As the title track dissolves into the glistening, dream-bop of "Parity," Therrien displays an unerring knack for restraint and for players who put their soul into the music. Any of the fifteen shape-shift-on-a-whim compositions could have become something else and gone another way. But they didn't. And that's why Vena is what it is: a disc you should be listening to." Read the review here.
"A real treat that fearlessly keeps you guessing what's coming next, she fills the bill of what a real artist with first class chops is all about." Read the full review here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"Rachel Therrien plays trumpet and flugelhorn in a mix of modern tones along with a tinge of tribute to classic muscular horn players like Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan." Read the full review here.
"An impressive young Canadian trumpeter/flugelhornist and her all-embracing contemporary jazz quintet's influences range from free jazz through to Cuban music, and there's more than an echo of fellow countryman Kenny Wheeler in her luminous sound." Review here.
For Why Don't You Try
RAUL DA GAMA
JAZZ DA GAMA
"Throughout this album of songs we are treated to a grandstand performance in that has very distinctive sound; a style of playing that is characterized by an expressive, almost operatic sound." Read the full review here.
BANDCAMP (SEPTEMBER'S BEST JAZZ)
"For all of WDYT’s various influence and eras, what matters most is that the end result is endlessly fun." Read the full feature here.
"The album features a quintet of Montreal standouts." Watch the video premiere for “Haydée Santamaria” here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"The whole of WDYT (Why Don't You Try) is a striking, energetic, juggling act of acoustic and electric, of sweet/ bittersweet melodicism and wiry dissonance, all conveyed via ace musicianship and a fiery, just short-of-surly intensity." Read the full review here.
"Why Don't You Try, Rachel Therrien Quintet, makes a convincing case for Rachel as one of the brightest and most creatively accomplished trumpeters on today's jazz scene." Check out the full feature here.
For Pensamiento: Proyecto Colombia
RAUL DA GAMA
WORLD MUSIC REPORT
"The virtuoso trumpet playing by Rachel Therrien throughout is sublime and operates interpretatively on different healthy, authentic planes." Read full review here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"Lots to love here on this sweltering Latin night of inviting sounds." Read the full feature here.
LATIN JAZZ CORNER
"Her work led to a wonderful combination of jazz and Colombian music; this is a direction that hasn’t been explored extensively, so it’s very intriguing. It’s also done very well – the musicianship is inspiring. We listen to “La Guagua,” an inspiring track that combines the two elements strongly." Read more here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"All of the compositions presented here are originals, her sense of melody and harmony layered upon a complex percussive foundation, portraying a musician of extraordinary caliber". Read full review here.