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Peter Appleyard: Sophisticated Ladies

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The idea of building an album around a spectrum of singers is hardly new, but Peter Appleyard does it with, as the title suggests, smooth sophistication. The 83-year-old vibraphonist also proves a most democratic leader, opting for elegantly understated arrangements that allow the 13 female vocalists he’s assembled to dominate the spotlight while also providing plenty of space for each of his quintet mates to stretch out.

Appleyard is British by birth, but has spent almost his entire professional career in Toronto, and fills the album exclusively with Canadian singers and players. The latter comprise four of the Great White North’s foremost jazzmen: bassist Neil Swainson, guitarist Reg Schwager, drummer Terry Clarke and pianist John Sherwood.

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