Album: Prairie Fire
New CD sparks creative energy for jazz composer
Dean McNeill: Prairie Fire latest recording project from contemporary
Where there's smoke, there's fire... Prairie
Fire, in this case, a smokin' hot collection of new works from
jazz composer and trumpeter Dean McNeill. Head of the Department
of Music at the University of Saskatchewan, McNeill has created
a wholly Canadian project that showcases some of the best talent
on the national jazz scene. To be released August 25, Prairie
Fire features a mix of original music and new arrangements of
well-known standards in this much anticipated studio recording.
+ Click to read
the full album press release
"...this is among the most pleasurable and rewarding
contemporary big-band albums to come out of Canada—or
anywhere else—in quite some time."
— Jack Bowers, All About Jazz
Reviews of the Prairie Fire CD
Prairie Fire has received good reviews from All About Jazz and
Ray Baril, Head of Winds at McEwan College. Click the headlines
below to read the full reviews.
+ Nick Lavigne,
CAJE: Brings together some of Canada's best musicians
+ Jack Bowers,
All About Jazz: Pleasurable and rewarding contemporary big-band
+ Ray Baril:
Musical depth and maturity evident in playing and composition
Buy the Album
The Prairie Fire CD is on sale at McNally
Robinson Booksellers, and you can contact Dean McNeill directly to order the CD.
Listen to Song Samples
Click to listen to a few sample tracks
from the album. All songs are mp3s.
More about the album, a fully Canadian project
In February of 2007, a group of Canadian musicians recorded this
CD and performed a CBC 2 (national radio) concert, the latter
of which included original repertoire supplied by various members
in the ensemble.
The album was recorded in February of 2007
by a group of Canadian musicians during a national CBC radio
concert. The Prairie Fire album showcases a cross-section
of Canadian talent, musicians who are too often isolated from
one another due in part to our country's vast geography.
The project (CD and concert combined) served
to showcase a cross-section of Canadian talent, which is all too
often isolated from one another due in part to our country's vast
When selecting musicians for the CD recording,
I chose Canadians who were great players and good friends of mine.
The majority of the ensemble's membership has also been inspirational
to me over the years which made the entire project that much more
Thanks to CBC for their support of this project. This project
would not have been possible were it not for the support from
Saskatchewan Arts Board, Delta Bessborogh Hotel,
Saskatoon Freehouse Restaurant and Crystal Russell, St. John’s
Music and Craig Haynes, the Driving Force, Yamaha Piano Centre
and Roger Jolly, Mendel Art Gallery, University of Saskatchewan
Educational Medial Access and Production (EMAP) Sound Engineer
Wayne Giesbrecht and EMAP Director College Fitzgerald, U of S
Department of Music Administrative Assistance Troy Linsley, U
of S Associate Dean of Fine Arts and Humanities Dr. Peter Stoicheff,
Dr. Tommy Banks O.C., members of the Metro Jazz Ensemble of Saskatoon,
Publicist Roy Sydiaha, University of North Texas Professors Jim
Riggs and Dr. Paris Rutherford, McGill University Professors Gordon
Foote and Kevin Dean, Grant McEwan College music faculty Ray Baril,
Bobby Cairns, Charlie Austin, and Rick Garn, Auburn University
Professor Dr. Ramon Vasquez, U of S Sessional Instructor Mark
DeJong, the enormously talented musicians performing on this CD,
my family, in particular my parents Ken and Joy McNeill, and most
importantly my loving wife Jennifer McAllister.
This CD is dedicated to my newest and biggest
inspiration, daughter Phoebe Deanne McNeill. Thank you for listening.
- Dean McNeill