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Modo trio

April 26 the regular cast of the trio will be presenting a special two set show at the new Edmonton Jazz Festival sponsored venue called “The Cellar”.

Jeff, Bill and I will be playing our regular improv. inspired shakedown as well as the entire – yes – entire West Side Story musical. (Or Sound of Music- I can’t decide – or maybe we will just play one long set and see what happens. Let’s face it- we have no idea.) Opening for us will be God Save the Trio. I heard they are good.

Lightening strikes again!

A huge congratulations to our man Earl MacDonald for getting a Juno nomination for his album ‘Mirror of the Mind”.  This is Earl’s second nomination and if you haven’t checked out “Mirror of the Mind” yet – please go to itunes or cdbaby and get a copy.  A beautiful album full of risks and chances, just what jazz needs.

Congrats Earl – you deserve it – and here’s hoping the hometown boy brings home the hardware.

mirror of the mind

mirror of the mind

Earl macDonald’s latest release


hey everyone – as promised the fall looks to be a busy one.  Tenor saxophonist Jim Brenan is taking his music to Mother Russia to play a jazz festival – He may be on the plane as I write this.

Earl MacDonald has hit the ground running.  After a successful crowd sourced project his latest album has hit the streets (see what I did there? running, streets?) check out the press release for his CD release party. Here is what earl has to say:

I am pleased to announce the release of my latest recording, “Mirror of the Mind”, on Death Defying Records. To celebrate, we are playing a concert at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, Oct. 11th at 8 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased online at:

The official, international release date is October 15th. “Mirror of the Mind” will be available through CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, and a variety of download and streaming sites.  For more information visit:

Summers over!

Man, good times, lots to do, new jobs, old jobs, trips, the lake, stay-cations – It was a full summer, now time to get back to work.  New albums are in the works for Earl MacDonald, Craig Brenan, Jerrold Dubyk and good news on Jim Brenan’s January – it is  - wait for it. . . .SOLD OUT.  Rumor has it that he has a few physical copies left, so email him before the only way to enjoy Jim is digitally through itunes or other reputable music sites.  jimbrenan(at)gmail(dot)com

Stay tuned

Pre-order Earl MacDonald’s Latest

Earl MacDonald’s last CD on Death Defying Records earned him a JUNO nomination for traditional jazz album of the year. This time around we will need to enter him in the contemporary jazz category, as this is jazz like we’ve never heard before.


Earl has created something strikingly unique by writing for the odd-ball instrumentation of cello, sax, piano and percussion. He calls this band COW, which is an acronym for the Creative Opportunity Workshop.


While identifying his music as “startlingly original”, reviewers have also speculated that he may be forging a “new hybrid jazz form”. “Mirror of the Mind” will undoubtedly bolster and affirm this belief.  Earl has drawn upon and amalgamated a wide spectrum of influences, including Brahms, Schumann, Earle Brown, the Beatles, folk music from various cultures, Johnny Mandel, Chick Corea, Ornette Coleman and Nat Cole. The results are stunning.



Through Kickstarter, Earl MacDonald is now pre-selling advanced copies of his new jazz recording, “Mirror of the Mind”. All revenues from advanced sales will go towards paying for manufacturing and promoting costs associated with releasing a CD. Please take a minute to watch the video below. While you listen to the music, kindly consider supporting his project.




Advanced copies can only be ordered until July 1st, so please purchase your CD or digital download today!


This link will take you to his Kickstarter page:


Looking forward to hearing the results of Death Defying artist Jerrold Dubyk as he gets ready to record next week with Brad Turner, Terell Stafford, Jodi Proznick and Jesse Cahill. Can’t wait

David Braid

Great weekend of music at the Yardbird. The music of David Braid performed by brass quintet and David himself. The combination of a piano trio, featuring David, John Taylor and Jon mcCaslin with a brass quintet by everyone’s admittance was probably not on the top of many people’s lists for weekend activities. Needless to say – no one was disappointed. The music was well written and the performances inspired.

Thanks David – I needed that.

Big changes in Alberta

Hey everyone – as the title says, there have been some big changes in the Alberta music communities. The government of Alberta has made some changes to post secondary institution funding and it looks like the fine arts are going to take the hit. This is a big topic with many stake holders. My best advice is to stay informed.

On a much happier note, Jim’s latest album ‘January’ has received many positive reviews- we will post soon. And of course we are expecting a new addition to the Death Defying family – Earl MacDonald’s latest will appear towards the end of the summer – can’t wait.

Brenan Brothers

Yep – we did it. Brenan Brothers back in action and we had a lot of fun. This past weekend we played two classic (to Trombonists anyway) jazz albums. JJ’s comeback album ‘Quintergy’ and the Stan Getz/JJ classic “live at the opera house”. The band was swinging and the charts were slightly altered re-tellings of jazz standards. Just a blowing gig but needed in the worst way. Horn felt great.


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