The Bill McBirnie Trio | Find Your Place (feat. Bernie Senensky & Anthony Michelli)

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Find Your Place (feat. Bernie Senensky & Anthony Michelli)

by The Bill McBirnie Trio

This is a unique organ trio that delivers sparkling flute work on top, non-stop "snap, crackle and pop" from the drums underneath and a constant groove from the Hammond B3 organ in between.
Genre: Jazz: Bebop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. So in Love
5:46 $0.99
2. Yes Indeed!
4:02 $0.99
3. Sister Sadie
4:23 $0.99
4. Oh! Darling
4:22 $0.99
5. Minority
3:42 $0.99
6. Estate
4:11 $0.99
7. Jeannine
5:21 $0.99
8. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good to You
4:29 $0.99
9. Yes or No
5:19 $0.99
10. Soy Califa
4:24 $0.99
11. Rhythm-a-Ning
4:38 $0.99
12. Find Your Place
5:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Bill McBirnie – Flute
Bernie Senensky – Hammond B3 Organ
Anthony Michelli – Drums

Produced – by Bill McBirnie
Co-produced – by Pacy Shulman
Engineering, mixing and mastering – by Pacy Shulman of Hilo Studio
Hammond B3 Organ - provided by Phil Manning of Artist Piano Care
Rock sculpture and cover photograph – by Peter Riedel
Photograph of Bill – by Diane Aubie
Graphic layout and design – by Staci Patten of Accurate Audio

Recorded June 10th and 11th, 2013 at Hilo Studio, Toronto, Ontario

Bill is a designated Haynes Artist. He plays a Wm. S. Haynes Classic Fusion O as well as two vintage, handcrafted Haynes flutes.

Bill McBirnie/Extreme Flute
Phone: (416) 652-1541


This trio would not be the unique combination that it is without the support of two enormously talented Canadian musicians; namely, Bernie Senensky on the Hammond B3 organ and Anthony Michelli on drums. To both of them, I offer my utmost thanks—first, for agreeing to participate in what was a rather eccentric "organ trio” project to start with—and, second, for exercising such superior workmanship in doing so.

I would also like to thank my co-producer, Pacy Shulman, for his fine sonic craftsmanship and for being so easy to work with throughout the entire process.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my longstanding gratitude to both the staff and volunteers at Canada's premier jazz station, Jazz.FM91, as well as to Bob Parlocha in the USA, because they have all provided me with much needed—and much appreciated—support over the years.

I will also take this occasion to acknowledge some of the musicians who have had a direct, lasting and personal impact on me in the course of my musical development; notably (and in chronological order), William Hoare, Junior Mance, Robert Aitken, Frank Falco, Mike Segal, Bruce Jones, Memo Acevedo, Sir James Galway, Louis Simao, Ruben Diaz and Emilie-Claire Barlow.

Finally, in addition to providing constant encouragement and support, my wife, Svetlana, has always taken the time to critique me, thoughtfully and intelligently. So, in picking the tunes for this project, I tried to reciprocate, at least in part, by selecting more minor pieces than I otherwise might have (including the title track which is, of course, for her) because not only do minor tunes seem to resonate with her Russian soul but, more importantly, because in choosing to be with me, she has enabled me to...find my place!...

Bill McBirnie


Bill McBirnie has achieved something decidedly unlikely for a Canadian flute player, raised in the small town of Port Colborne, Ontario.

Despite a rather unremarkable musical beginning, he has succeeded in attaining an international standing as one of today's foremost jazz flutists, all while rarely setting foot outside of his native city of Toronto, Ontario.

What has made his slow but steady progress possible has been a long and diligent study of both jazz and classical techniques which Bill combined with a patient determination to make the flute sound natural and convincing in non-classical contexts.

Bill's longstanding commitment to the instrument has earned him consistently unequivocal acclaim and awards, both here in Canada and abroad; including Flutist of the Year (Jazz Report Awards), winner of all three of the Jazz Flute (1) Soloist, (2) Masterclass and (3) Big Band Competitions (National Flute Association in the USA), Best Jazz Album (Toronto Independent Music Awards) and nomination for Best Jazz Album (Independent Music Awards in the USA).

As a testimony to his noteworthy place in the international flute community, Bill was solicited personally by the esteemed classical flutist, Sir James Galway, to serve as his resident Jazz Flute Specialist at Sir James' official web site—and this despite Bill’s limited renown and virtual seclusion in Canada.

Other Bill McBirnie albums you will enjoy:

- Mercy (with Robi Botos, Pat Collins and John Sumner) - EF05
- Paco Paco (with Bernie Senensky, Neil Swainson and John Sumner) - EF04
- Nature Boy (with Mark Eisenman, Steve Wallace and John Sumner) - EF03
- Scratch It! (Extreme Flute) - EF02
- Desvio (with Bruce Jones) - EF01



to write a review

Raul da Gama

One of the finest recordings of this year
The Bill McBirnie Trio: Find Your Place
FEBRUARY 13, 2014 BY RAUL DA GAMA (Latin Jazz Network)
It has been some time since the flute maestro, Bill McBirnie, released an album. His last one was Mercy (2010) after which now comes this new outstanding release, Find Your Place, released on the artist’s own label, Extreme Flute.
Mr. McBirnie is one of the finest flutists in Canada – perhaps in all of North America. His technique is flawless and he plays with a faultless intonation. His enunciation is sophisticated and he makes music out of great gulps of air which he circulates in his lungs permiting him to play long, loping lines that scamper like excited impalas. His sense of melody is the epitome of perfection and is the guiding spirit of everything he does. Thus, his solos may range freely but they are never so wild and fanciful that they do not remain faithful to the melody. Mr. McBirnie creates and constructs masterful lines that ascend like fluttering birds, unbroken, accented gently, always fluid. When they descend back into the melody, their echo remains like the fluff of clouds, dissipating into the atmosphere, always making the listener crave for more.
On this album, Mr. McBirnie is joined by the ubiquitous Bernie Senensky, a Toronto-based keyboard player who is well-known for his long association with the great Canadian saxophonist and flutist, Moe Koffman. On this album, Mr. Senensky plays Hammond B3 organ. The other performer on the date, Anthony Michelli, is a drummer who plays with great sensitivity and an uncanny ability to listen with incredible patience. Mr. Michelli eschews flash and needless virtuosity, instead allowing the flutist to soar and the keyboard player to provide the necessary harmonic support, all of which Mr. Senensky provides with real ingenuity. The swagger in Mr. Senensky’s playing makes the Hammond B3 come alive with a voice akin to a legendary blues shouter. Moreover, Mr. Senensky matches the flutist’s daring flights of fancy with his own. So impressive is the organist that he seems utterly made of music. And because he and the drummer play with such empathy, there is little to separate each of the players, making it appear as if each was in each other’s brain.
From the sassy “Yes Indeed!” to the reflective “Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You” (a chart dripping with the blues) to the beautiful angularity of Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-a-Ning”, this music is full of hidden surprises.
Mr. McBirnie is at the top of his game, never faltering, not even for a nano-second. His playing recalls all that is most attractive and memorable in a great flute performance. So it is little wonder that he has been so highly praised by the great Sir James Galway. Listening to the repertoire (which is inspired and chosen to showcase, not only Mr. McBirnie but also, Bernie Senensky and Anthony Michelli), it is possible that this may easily be one of the finest recordings of this year. It is hoped that these musicians will enhance their reputations, gaining a foothold in the big bad world of music south of the border.
Track List: So In Love; Yes Indeed!; Sister Sadie; Oh! Darling; Minority; Estate; Jeannine; Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You; Yes Or No; Soy Califa; Rhythm-a-Ning; Find Your Place.
Personnel: Bill McBirnie, flute; Bernie Senensky, Hammond B3 organ; Anthony Michelli, drums
Label: CD Baby | Release date: October 2013

Brent Black

Bill McBirnie is Canada's best kept musical secret!
Bill McBirnie is bringing jazz flute out of the shadows and back to center stage where it belongs. With Find Your Place, The Bill McBirnie Trio runs the sonic spectrum from a Latin riff on Cole Porter's "So In Love" to the bright and breezy bossa closer, an original composition entitled, "Find Your Place." The amazing aspect of this release is that this is not merely an organ trio but rather a very unique trio with a Hammond B3 in which Bernie Senensky provides artful harmonic counterpoint to McBirnie's lyricism while drummer Anthony Michelli elevates "in the pocket" to another dimension.

The material is first rate including two immediate standouts, "Soy Califa" from Dexter Gordon and "Rhythm-A-Ning" from Thelonious Monk. But I would be remiss if I didn't touch on the shuffle arrangement of the Lennon/ McCartney classic "Oh! Darling" and the Wayne Shorter modal tune, "Yes Or No", executed here with real precision and flair. Also, the previously mentioned title track is a gorgeous number written by Bill for his, Svetlana, and were it not for a working knowledge of the other tunes here, this could easily be mistaken for a long-lost Jobim tune.

The flute has been long been overlooked or relegated to the status of a Latin-only instrument. However, McBirnie is cut from that Hubert Laws/Sir James Galway cloth, and still he represents a completely unique experience and artistic voice yet to be reckoned with. I first became acquainted with Bill's work when reviewing the latest Four80East release where I witnessed an entirely new voice for modern jazz flute! 

Another amazing aspect to Find Your Place is his sound alone. McBirnie conjures up a fat, rolling tone that blends incredibly well with such an eclectic trio. Organic and evocative, with a smoldering undercurrent of harmonic depth and lyrical sense of urgency that hearkens back to a time when real musicians played jazz for fun and not just for profit. An old-fashioned “blowing session” might be a tad cliche but this one walks and talks like that duck. McBirnie is also one of those all too rare jazz triple threats in that his prolific talents cut a wide path as performer, composer and educator.

There is little more to grind on about here as McBirnie demonstrates his command of multiple genres and a chameleon-like ability to find a lyrical home in each. Hubert Laws, Sir James Galway, Dave Valentin, Bill all seems to fit!...Find Your Place is an apt title for a release that is flawless and presents McBirnie as a talent whose artistic stock is an arrow pointing straight up!