Listening Room

04 Sarah JerromMagpie
Sarah Jerrom
TPR TPR-0019-02 (


Part I: The Road

Part II: For Joy

Part IV: The White Elk


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The incredible Sarah Jerrom’s 2024 suite Magpie shows her heading – with a superbly orchestrated large ensemble – into the countryside of her (ostensible) childhood, making friends with the fabled magpie (and other birds) in the Canadian forest. I have long been an unabashedly dyed-in-the-wool admirer of the songwriter and vocalist; now I have decided that I would like to sojourn into the wilds of her interior landscape with her.

On the eight sections of Magpie, you will hear the sense of freedom in her voice as she remembers the birds of the Canadian Rockies and the elk of the forest, while the elegance of her voice and visionary music and the superbly rehearsed big band become part of a sweeping landscape that mixes beauty and danger, and the sounds of animals and birds, in particular the flight of her magpie. 

But should I journey with Jerrom, I couldn’t match the brilliance of her travelling companions: among them the inimitable flutist Laura Chambers, oboist Cheih-Ving Lu, saxophonists Tara Davidson, Mike Murley, Kirk MacDonald and Shriantha Beddage, trumpeters James Rhodes and Kevin Turcotte, trombonists Olivia Esther and William Carn, the magical pianist Nancy Walker, bassist Rob McBride and drummer Ernesto Cervini.

In such songs as Circling Feathers, or The Mountain Cries, and in Jerrom’s ethereally beautiful vocals everywhere – whether evocative of freezing nights or long rainy days – each track takes us into some wild place with trusted and inspiring musical friends.

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