Jazz - Kye Marshall
asked to name your favorite jazz instruments, have you ever
considered cello? Neither have I.
But Kye Marshall has something to say about that; actually, the
Toronto-based cellist has a lot to say about her instruments and
She has just released her second jazz album, say it when, and
continues to perform in jazz and avant-garde groups and keep up a
musical psychotherapy practice.
The cello came before jazz, Marshall said in a telephone interview
last week, the morning after her CD release party at Toronto jazz
club Montreal Bistro.
Her interest in improvised music came first, she said, and that
naturally led to jazz, a music with improvisation at its core.
Marshall has been playing in orchestras, and was tired of it. She
was "doing classical improvisation, but there isn't much of a
market for it." "I decided I had to learn jazz if I wanted to make
a living as in improvisor," she added.
Of course, there were no role models as she set out on her path to
becoming a jazz cellist.
"It was kind of a difficult thing to do," and jazz violinists just
didn't fit the bill."
"Jean Luc Ponty, I really like. But to tell the truth, I don't
really like jazz violin that much."
The violin is a great swing instrument, she said, but she "wanted
to learn the bebop tradition and play that way. And the cello is
lower, in the tenor sax range."
Marshall admits "some people are a bit wary of the cello" as in
jazz instruments; "it's unfamiliar it to them, it doesn't cut
through -- it's not a loud instrument and that's always a
She took jazz piano lessons for a year while working in a ballet
orchestra, a job she found "pretty tedious." Then she started
studying with pianist Don Thompson, on her cello.
She released an earlier jazz quartet CD, Winter's End, in 1999,
and two CDs of spontaneous composition with pianist Thomas Baker
-- In The Moment (1997) and Carpe Diem (2001).
Say When is a collection of nine compositions by Marshall. She is
backed by pianist Thompson, guitarist Kevin Barrett, Jim a
consumer and Vivian and drummer Terry Clarke.
The cellist has dedicated Say When to ecologists, and her
descriptions of each tune in the liner notes warn of the perils of
not protecting the environment.
Marshall is right in that the cello doesn't automatically take the
lead in a jazz tune like a horn would, but it holds its own in her
hands alongside what is a very good band of top Canandian jazz
She is a strong player with interesting ideas and it doesn't take
long to cotton to the idea of the cello as a jazz instrument.
Say When will be available in major record stores in the new year,
Marshall said. Until then, anyone interested can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Her Web site is www.kyemarshall.com.