Renee was born in Regina, Saskatchewan (the Queen City) and I grew up there, so there’s a cool connection. She went to high school in North Vancouver and now I teach in North Van at Capilano University. See? Too many coincidences. It had to happen.
I first found out about Renee Rosnes back in 1989 when she joined the Blue Note label’s hard bop collective “Out of the Blue”. Then when it was my mission to collect everything that Joe Henderson ever recorded, I picked up Renee’s great 1990 album “For the Moment“. (Now unavailable, it would seem). I remember seeing a great JJ Johnson’s show at the Montreal Spectrum in 1991 and Renee’s playing was a real highlight for everyone. I also caught her gig in Cork, Ireland when the McGill Big Band went on their infamous tour of the UK/Ireland/France. Ralph Moore and Steve Wilson were both playing with her at that time. I’ve since seen her at the Jazz Cellar here in Vancouver. She’s a real giant on the piano, and just a monster musician all round. Her composing/arranging on this album with the Danish Radio Big Band is stunning.