jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

August 4, 2005

Jazz trumpeter Bob Tildesley

Written by
cindy mcleod

Jazz trumpeter Bob Tildesly has captured the ear of us all with his gorgeous playing and dynamic compositions. Another unsung Canadian jazz giant, Bob is a quiet and gentle man who possesses a rapier wit, and these things combined along with his years of being a stellar composer, exciting improviser, top section player and superb sideman are what make him an innovative and unique voice in jazz.

He is most often seen and heard in Edmonton, his home of many years, but one can easily discover Bob through his listings on the internet, where his name appears page after page, and Mark Miller has included him in the ‘Miller Companion to Jazz in Canada’, an inclusion that underscores Bob’s great contributions to jazz.

No big band or jazz ensemble is complete without Bob, he continues to be welcomed on stages all across Canada. A skilled reader, Bob is much in demand for gigs that require this talent, but his playing is what adds light to any ensemble. I often see movement when I listen to Bob’s playing, he has told me how much he enjoys working with dancers, perhaps that’s why his music is evocative of such. Bob’s compositions conjure a soundscape, it’s as though one can physically walk around inside his music, touching, tasting, and visualizing the music. His work transcends the ages, whether Dixieland or bebop, fusion or free jazz, Bob has a firm grasp and identifiable sound in all genres. This man has done his homework, and taken it to a whole new level. He can offer the sounds of Ruby Braff or Don Cherry with equal finesse and sheer giftedness, but with his own voice providing the vehicle to these musical mentors.

Other artists often record Bob’s compositions, a testament to the strength of his writing skills, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and PJ Perry among them, and his sideman credits in the studio read like a who’s who, from instrumentalists Sandro Dominelli, Brian Buchanan, Chris Andrew, Tom Banks and Kent Sangster among the many, and vocalists Dianne Donovan and Cindy McLeod. His performance and recording credits span from jazz ensembles to folk, fusion, blues, funk and every other form of music imaginable, his musical gift vast and varied, but that’s not the sum of his creative abilities. Bob also designs his own album covers, and spends countless hours writing and producing his own music, which was recently featured in the Canadian film ‘Healthy Human Specimen’.

Bob’s current work includes composing for and leading the Indigenous Aliens, an Edmonton based octet that generates an organic and electronic sound fused with the live performances of its stellar lineup of players that include guitarist Mo Lefevre, Brett Miles and Bill Jamieson on saxes, and percussionist Dwayne Hrynkiw . This ensemble perhaps best describes Bob’s musical vision, for it explores the outer dimensions of music, tempting the listener to new and uncharted territory. This is likely the best way to truly grasp the extent of Bob�s talent and vision. Canada is truly blessed to share in Bob’s gifts.

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