It’s almost a cliché – years of paying dues to become an overnight success – but that’s what happened with Time Warp, the Toronto based jazz quartet of Barry Elmes (drums), Al Henderson (bass), Kelly Jefferson (tenor & soprano sax) and Kevin Turcotte(trumpet & flugelhorn). Formed in 1980 by co-leaders Elmes and Henderson as a vehicle for writing and performing original music, the band became an ‘underground’ hit, releasing five recordings between 1982 and 1992 (garnering three Juno nominations), and led the way for many other Canadian jazz groups. Time Warp forged a unique style and original repertoire, drawing on musical and cultural influences from around the world, long before the term “world music” was widely known. Today, while still firmly rooted in the long tradition of improvised jazz music, the band’s vast repertoire has grown to include original compositions influenced by the rhythms and harmonic structures of various cultures, including: West African music, Japanese koto music, Hungarian folk songs, North American urban funk rhythms, New Orleans parade music, country waltzes, and more.
In recent years, more and more people have been taking notice of Time Warp’s distinctive creative musical approach and energy. Media coverage has expanded dramatically. Time Warp has found its way into the pages of McLean’s and The Village Voice, onto CBC radio’s Morningside, and various television appearances including a special television concert for BRAVO.
The buzz began with the release of Time Warp’s 4th recording There and Back (Cornerstone CD101), the first CD venture for the new independent Canadian label Cornerstone Records Inc. Recorded shortly after the group returned from performing at the Venezuelan International Jazz Festival, this recording featured songs influenced by that South American trip plus the large work “Ellingtonia”, for which Al Henderson received the 1995 SOCAN Award for Original Jazz Composition. The enthusiastic response to this project led to Time Warp’s first coast-to-coast Canadian tour in 1994. The following year, a double-CD package The Time Warp Collection (Cornerstone CD105-2) led to a larger 18-city Canadian tour in January/February 1996. In recognition of these successes, Time Warp received the 1996 Jazz Report Award for Acoustic Jazz Group of the Year, and later won again in 1998 for an unprecedented fourth time! The next recording Time Warp Plays the Music of Duke Ellington was a special project to commemorate both the Ellington Centenary and Time Warp’s 20th anniversary.
Time Warp’s most recent CD release Warp IX (Cornerstone CD119) received the Canadian Music Week Indie Award for Best Jazz Recording of 2002. Warp IX is an eclectic jazz romp through nine wide-ranging compositions by all four members of the group. The music from this CD was featured in Time Warp’s 2003 tour of Western Canada.
Bassist, composer, arranger, leader and music educator AL HENDERSON, (MFA Musicology, 1983) formed various groups under his own name as a way to perform and record his numerous original jazz compositions with nearly ninety of his compositions being on commercially available recordings. Geoff Chapman wrote “…a formidable bandleader…and composer…” (Whole Note May 27, 2010). In 1995 he was recognized both as the Jazz Report Composer of the Year and winner of the prestigious SOCAN Award for Original Jazz Composition for the large work “Ellingtonia”. His compositions have appeared on recordings by the Al Henderson Septet, Sextet, Quintet, and Quartet, Time Warp, Barry Romberg’s Random Access, Richard Whiteman, Alex Dean, Don Pullen & Jane Bunnett, and Shox Johnson & the Jive Bombers.
Al’s fifth and most recent recording, Taiga (CRST 138), features his regular quintet with Alex Dean (saxes, bass clarinet), Pat LaBarbera (saxes, narration), pianist Richard Whiteman and drummer Barry Romberg. Baritone saxophonist David Mott appears as a guest artist on three tracks while noted cellists Matt Brubeck and Mark Chambers, first heard with the group on Regeneration (CRST CD132) which received a Juno nomination in 2010 for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year return for three others.
Al has performed as a sideman over the years with many jazz artists and is also the coleader of the influential group Time Warp, one of Canada’s longest running jazz ensembles with multiple Juno nominations and awards to their credit. The group has released nine recordings, played across Canada as well as in the US and Venezuela.
An Associate Professor of music at York University in Toronto, Al has served as Graduate Program Director (Interim), Jazz Area Coordinator and Director of the York University Jazz Orchestra and teaches at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. As coowner of Cornerstone Records Inc. since 1993, the label has released thirty-eight jazz recordings with several more soon to be released.
Drummer, composer Barry Elmes has been a mainstay of the Canadian jazz scene since forming Time Warp with Al Henderson in 1980. He was twice awarded “Musician of the Year” by the Jazz Report. His discography includes 12 releases as leader, plus over 50 as performer. Barry has toured extensively with Time Warp, D.E.W. East, and his own award winning Barry Elmes Quintet (2002 National Jazz Award for Acoustic Group of the Year). He has performed internationally with other prominent jazz figures including Moe Koffman, Dizzy Gillespie, Don Thompson, and others. Barry was featured with the Oliver Jones Trio on the 1994 Governor-General’s Tour of China, Japan and Korea. In 1996, he performed in Brazil and toured South Africa with the Canadian Jazz Giants. In 2000, his own quintet toured Chile. He has performed or recorded with Charlie Haden, Diana Krall, Tommy Flanagan, John Abercrombie, Joe Henderson, Ray Bryant to name only a few. Barry is on faculty at York University teaching jazz theory, composition and workshop.
Kelly Jefferson has emerged as one of Canada’s foremost jazz saxophonists. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Kelly has a Bachelor of Music from McGill University and a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He has performed, recorded and/or toured with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, Maria Schneider, Ray Anderson, Clark Terry, Michel Legrand, Nicholas Payton, Brian Blade, Ray Brown, Sonny Fortune, and Dee Dee Bridgewater, among others. Kelly also co-leads the Jefferson-Grant Quintet, winner of the 1999 Opus Award for Jazz Album of the Year. Kelly presently resides in Toronto, where he is on faculty at York University.
Kevin Turcotte has become Canada’s most sought after performer on both trumpet and flugelhorn since his recording debut with Time Warp in 1990. He won the Jazz Report Trumpeter of the Year for eight consecutive years (1993-2000) and in 2002 was voted the first winner of Trumpeter of the Year at the National Jazz Awards. Kevin’s distinctive playing can be heard on more than sixty recordings. His versatility has enabled him to participate in everything from Saul Rubinek film scores to Canadian Stage Company productions. In addition to his long-standing role in Time Warp, Kevin is a regular member of the Barry Elmes Quintet, Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass, Hemispheres, the Dave McMurdo Jazz Orchestra, Andrew Downing’s “Great Uncles of the Revolution” and many others. Kevin is also on faculty in the Music Dept. at York University.
- Time Warp – April 30, 2023April 28, 2023 - 4:41 pm
- Faculty Concert Series: Al Henderson QuintetFebruary 8, 2023 - 4:37 pm
- 1990 Album – TIME WARP “Live at George’s Jazz Room”March 23, 2021 - 9:05 am
- Al Henderson Quintet August 31, 2019April 29, 2019 - 5:55 pm
- June 6th & 13th, 2019 The Jive BombersApril 29, 2019 - 5:34 pm
- TaigaMarch 16, 2017 - 10:31 am
- RegenerationApril 3, 2017 - 5:23 pm
- Fathers and SonsApril 3, 2017 - 5:44 pm
- Urban LandscapeApril 4, 2017 - 6:34 am
Buy Al Henderson CDs Online at Cornerstone Records Inc. An artist-run independent jazz label dedicated to presenting high-quality jazz recordings.