Vancouver is known for its innovative jazz and creative music scene, and Talking Pictures is a band that exemplifies that scene's exploratory spirit. Formed in 1993 by guitarist/composer Ron Samworth, the ensemble's sound is very much that of a collective, with equal emphasis given to all the players. Samworth has served as co-artistic director of the Vancouver-based New Orchestra Workshop Society, and the other musicians in Talking Pictures -- trumpeter Bill Clark, cellist Peggy Lee, and drummer Dylan van der Schyff -- have all been members of the Society's signature ensemble, the NOW Orchestra. In live appearances, Talking Pictures has performed music for cabaret and theatrical projects, including works of Weill and Brecht, while the quartet's first two CDs on the Red Toucan label, Ciao Bella (1995) and The Mirror With a Memory (1997), have featured compositions by Samworth, Clark, and van der Schyff (plus Robin Holcomb and Ornette Coleman covers) bridged by collective improvisations. The music on these CDs invites comparison to the small-group work of artists in the New York downtown and Montreal "musique actuelle" communities during the '90s. Humming, a CD by Talking Pictures in collaboration with Dutch saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra (and featuring Dijkstra compositions), was released on Songlines in 2000. ~ Dave Lynch, Rovi

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