Trout in Swimwear is a collaboration across generations. Four unique voices, spread across 50 odd years, draw from a wide variety of music to creating a fluid and improvisation-focused jazz album.
The album is comprised of eight original compositions, each inspired by, and named after, an old jazz standard. The instrumentation, a chordless quartet, defines the sound of the album. It inspires a sense of both freedom and responsibility, and contributes to improvisational exploration firmly rooted in the jazz tradition.
Harrison Squared is a Toronto-based jazz quartet featuring two Canadian jazz mainstays, Mike Murley and Steve Wallace, alongside two up-and-coming instrumentalists Harry Vetro and Harrison Argatoff. Made up of two tenor saxophones, bass, and drums, their cordless instrumentation creates room for interaction, playfulness, and exploration while performing original repertoire inspired by jazz standards. With a wide array of influences across generations, Harrison² exhibits a cohesive and distinctly modern sound.
Harrison² formed in January 2016 at the University of Toronto, during a lesson between Wallace and Vetro. An immediate musical connection was recognized , and persisted after adding both Argatoff and Murley. In September of 2016, they landed their debut gig at The Rex Hotel.
After three years frequently performing in the Toronto-area, Harrison² recorded a self-funded album at Union Sound in Toronto. The album, entitled “Trout in Swimwear” is a collection of contrafacts composed by Argatoff and Murley. They released the album in February 2020 with a cross-Canada tour, funded by the Ontario Arts Council.
“Trout in Swimwear” was released on February 9th, 2020.
“Though it’s set deep in the tradition, the band has a special vitality, some rare chemistry among different generations.” – Stuart Broomer, The Whole Note
“The result is a mix of California Cool a la the vintage days of Warne Marsh with Lee Konitz as well as the bluesy bop of the halcyon days of Charles Mingus.” – George Harris, Jazz Weekly
“…fluent and inventive solos hold the interest despite the austere environment they have decided to work with.” – Gordon Jack, Jazz Journal UK
“On the hard-hitting quartet’s debut album, Trout in Swimwear, one hears four vital, live and playful musicians interacting [with] distinctive material…” – Ivan Rod, ivanrod.dk
“…a fruitful coexistence between two different generations…” – Vangelis Aragiannis, JazzBuzz
“All original music, the set is captivating, quite.” –Ken Cheetham, Jazz Views
“Merrily blowing up a nice storm, the two Harrys and their pals are jazzbos to the core and know how to deliver the goods in fine style.” – Midwest Records, by Chris Spector
To purchase a hard copy of the album, use my contact form! An album is $10 plus postage (between $2-5).
An engaging, lyrical saxophonist, Mike Murley is one of Canada’s most celebrated and well-respected jazz artists. Currently active as a leader in various formations from duo to septet, Murley also maintains a busy schedule as both a sideman and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Jazz Program. He has played on fourteen Juno Award-winning recordings since 1990, seven as a leader or co-leader, seven as a sideman. His most recent Junos include The North (2018), Metalwood’s Twenty (2017) and his trio’s Test of Time (2013).
Since moving to Toronto from his native Nova Scotia in 1981 Murley has enjoyed a career that has spanned a wide stylistic spectrum. Recordings with legendary Canadian artists such as Ed Bickert, Guido Basso, and Rob McConnell showcase the saxophonist’s talents in the mainstream standard repertoire. On the more contemporary side, Murley has collaborated frequently with the younger generation of improviser/composers including pianist David Braid and guitarist David Occhipinti. He is also well known for his work with the three-time Juno Award winning electric jazz group Metalwood. In addition he has recorded and performed with numerous other Canadian and international artists including John Abercrombie, David Liebman, Paul Bley, John Schofield and Kenny Wheeler.
Steve Wallace is one of Canada’s foremost jazz bassists. He was born in Toronto in 1956 and began studying the double bass in 1973 while in high school. He attended the music program at Humber College from 1975-1976 and began his professional career in 1977.
Steve has played with a dazzling array of jazz artists in clubs, at jazz festivals and on tour. These include a veritable “who’s who” of Jazz: Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, Pepper Adams, Herb Ellis, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Ray Bryant, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Scott Hamilton, Barney Kessel, Clifford Jordan, Red Rodney, Curtis Fuller, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, George Coleman – the list goes on and on.
In 1981, Steve toured the Soviet Union with Vancouver-based saxophonist, Fraser MacPherson. The success of this tour resulted in two more Soviet tours in 1984 and 1986. In 1983, he joined Rob McConnell’s acclaimed big band “The Boss Brass” and has recorded and toured with them extensively. He was also a member of McConnell’s Tentet from its inception in 1998.
Harry Vetro studied Jazz at the University of Toronto. In January 2020, Vetro was runner up for the Julian Award of Excellence. Vetro released his self titled debut album NORTHERN RANGER on TSound Records in 2018. He melded improvised music, with folk and classical influences creating a unique “Canadian” sound. Northern Ranger’s influences range from Gordon Lightfoot, The Band, Fleet Foxes to Bill Frisell and Brad Mehldau.
Harrison Argatoff is a Canadian tenor saxophonist and composer based in Toronto. A 2018 graduate of The University of Toronto’s jazz program, he strives to present an original musical voice capable of imparting personality, diligence, and vulnerability. Having grown up a Doukhobor, in the interior of British Columbia, teachings of pacifism, communal music making, and respect for life and nature deeply influence his personal and artistic endeavors. Harrison’s music combines the study of free-improvised, jazz, and classical music.