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Shan Arsenault | The Jazz Beat Sessions

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CANADA - Nova Scotia

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Bebop Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Jazz Beat Sessions

by Shan Arsenault

One of Canada's top improvising jazz guitarists, Shan Arsenault has been described as a "living legend", "what improvisation is all about", "a wonderful guitarist icon in the making" and "must be considered one of the best in the world."
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Comeback
3:47 $0.99
2. Suspense
7:23 $0.99
3. That Something
6:33 $0.99
4. Fiddlehead
3:17 $0.99
5. Call It Love
6:56 $0.99
6. What's New
6:58 $0.99
7. Confirmation
5:08 $0.99
8. The Spin
7:42 $0.99
9. Middle Ground
3:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
COMING SOON!!! SHAN'S NEW RECORDING "BELOW SEA LEVEL" IS SET TO BE RELEASED IN APRIL 2008. Look out for it on the CD Baby website or Shan's website: www.shanarsenault.com

Shan Arsenault's latest recording "The Jazz Beat Sessions" is a compilation of two previously aired sessions for the nationally broadcast CBC program Jazz Beat. The CD includes seven of Shan's original compositions as well as two standards. Shan is backed up solidly by Jamie Gatti on bass and Tom Roach & Dave Burton on drums.

Shan Arsenault, jazz guitarist, composer and educator was born in Prince Edward Island and raised in Halifax Nova Scotia. Inspired by his mother's playing, he took up the guitar at age seven. Mostly self-taught, Shan has spent many years cultivating a unique sound.

Over his long career, Shan has performed as a side man with countless musicians; earning the reputation of a first-call player. Among the many artists he has performed with are Jeff Healy, Doug Mallory, Doug (Dr. Music) Riley, Jerry Granelli, Terry Hattie, Alfie Zappacosta, Dutch Mason, Kirk MacDonald, Lorne Lofsky, Skip Beckwith, Don Palmer, Chris Mitchell, Joe Sealy, Francois Houle, Han Bennink and the Paul Cram Sextet. He has toured throughout Canada and the U.S. and performed in many of Canada's Jazz Festivals, including the prestigious Montreal International Jazz Festival in 1995. In 1997 Shan was nominated for an ECMA for his last recording "The Spin" in the category of "Best Jazz Artist."

More recently, Shan is committed to performing as a band leader as well as writing and recording his own material. Shan stills teaches guitar in Halifax and has been a clinician for the Acadia University Jazz Camps as well as a professor at the newly founded Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) music program.

"...mastery of the instrument...a wonderful guitarist icon in the making...refreshing new writing...sophistication and grace."
- Edward Blanco, JazzReview.com

"An astonishingly gifted soloist, Arsenault makes his busy linearity sound effortless and naturalistic, as opposed to busy and congested...A strong release, mainstream guitar aficionados are going to find a wealth of pleasure in this artist's work." - Troy Collins, Cadence magazine

"Canada has given the Jazz Guitar Community some wonderful players over the years. Ed Bickert, Lorne Lofsky, ...and others, have all graced the musical landscape both domestically and internationally as popular representatives of great Jazz Guitar playing. Now a new name can be added to this illustrious list of Canadian Jazz Guitar talent: Shan Arsenault...Intense solos, sinuous technique, thoughtful comping, and well crafted catchy tunes speak volumes of Arsenault’s sensibility as an improviser and composer...A style that is void of guitaristic clichés and improvisational formulas...what the art of improvisation is truly all about.
- Lyle Robinson, Jazz Guitar Life

"...Shan Arsenault on guitar shows off his facility and ideation in fine style...beautifully executed...(Arsenault) solos masterfully in his turn at bat...a hip addition to the jazzophiles collection." 4 Stars
- John Gilbert, eJazzNews.com

"Halifax guitarist Shan Arsenault is an original. His style of playing can only be compared to himself - which is the mark of someone who thinks jazz like poets think images or painters think hues."
- Stephen Pedersen, Halifax Chronicle Herald

More about the musicians:
Jamie Gatti -
On one hand, bassist Jamie Gatti is a virtuoso, flying over his gigantic instrument as if it were but a tiny fiddle. On the other, he is one of the hardest working musicians around - running from gig to gig, shifting on a dime from celtic to jazz to pop often in the same night. He was a member of the RCMP Band in Ottawa for several years and has been the Barra MacNeils' bassist for over 5 years. Gatti has performed alongside many jazz musicians including: Chet Baker, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, Red Rodney, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Barney Kessel. He's a regular session player at the CBC studios, and he plays bass on pretty much every album recorded in Nova Scotia.

Dave Burton -
David Burton has toured the world as a drummer and studio player backing up such Canadian superstars as Rita Macneil, Natalie Macmaster, Alanya Myles, Kenny Tobias, Ian Thomas, Alfie Zappacosta, Symphony Nova Scotia, Lennie Gallant etc. Stylistically he has played rock, fusion, jazz, country, classical, Latin, reggae and more. He has worked as a composer, producer, musical director and studio musician and as a result has many writing and recording projects to his credit.



to write a review

Lyle Robinson

A style that is void of guitaristic clichés and improvisational formulas.
Canada has given the Jazz Guitar Community some wonderful players over the years. Ed Bickert, Lorne Lofsky, Reg Schwagger, Oliver Gannon...Now a new name can be added to this illustrious list of Canadian Jazz Guitar talent: Shan Arsenault. Each of the nine tunes on the CD...showcase Arsenault’s talent as a composer and a player juxtaposing his rock and jazz influences into a single voice that is unabashedly original...A style that is void of guitaristic clichés and improvisational formulas. Even when playing through the standard changes of “What’s New” and “Confirmation”, Arsenault sticks to his musical intuitiveness preferring to rely solely on the moment rather than playing it safe, which is what the art of improvisation is truly all about.

Edward Blanco - JazzReview.com

a wonderful guitarist icon in the making...mastery of the instrument
...a non-traditional progressive jazz style...Arsenault plays the chords with effortless motion. The guitar riffs are crisp and clear and dominate the tunes with style... graceful guitar solos that highlight this artist's talent and mastery of the instrument...the talents of a wonderful guitarist icon in the making. His refreshing new writing and gentle treatment of the melodies through his musicianship seem to make the music flow with sophistication and grace.

John Gilbert

...solid solos are the highlights of this album.
A fine trio with solid solos are the highlights of this album.

"Fiddlehead" is a fast paced ditty with a semi bop feel. Shan Arsenault on guitar shows off his facility and ideation in fine style. Dave Burton's drumming is (thankfully) understated and his time is flawless.

The ballad side of Arsenault, et al, is beautifully executed on "What's New" This is a great tune and the ensemble pays respect to it with due diligence.

"Confirmation" is one of the Charlie Parker classics. Jamie Gatti's bass opens with the melody, Shan Arsenault follows suit and then solos masterfully in his turn at bat.

This is a nice recording with a tight trio setting that will be a hip addition to the jazzophiles collection.
4 Stars