Ryan’s debut recording, featuring Bernie Senensky, Duncan Hopkins, Bob McLaren, and Jake Wilkinson.  Selected as one of the Top 10 Canadian Jazz Releases of 2007 by CODA Magazine.


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Ryan Oliver’s debut recording featuring some of Toronto’s finest musicians –  Bernie Senensky – piano, Duncan Hopkins – bass, Bob Mclaren – drums and Jake Wilkinson – trumpet. Featuring Oliver originals alongside renditions of Joe Henderson’s “Mama Cita” and two standards, “The End of a Love Affair” and “It’s Easy to Remember”, Convergence was selected by CODA magazine as one of the top ten jazz recordings of 2007.

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Weight 300 g


  1. :

    I’d guess I’m on about my fourth generation of tenormen in Toronto: sort of Teddy Davidson/Hart Wheeler/Phil Antonacci to Bill Goddard/Rick Wilkins/Doug Richardson to Pat LaBarbera/Mike Murley/Alex Dean and now, Ryan Oliver. If the first half-dozen names aren’t really familiar to you, it’s not their fault or yours. There just weren’t that many recording opportunities three or four decades ago. These days, home studios and self-production allow many younger players to get their music out, some before they’re really developed fully. That’s not the case with thirty-ish B.C.-born Ryan Oliver, whose debut as a leader, “Convergence”, shows how ready he is as both player and composer, as six of the nine are his own tunes. He has a full-range horn, rich at the bottom and true at the top, acknowledging masters like Trane and Dexter Gordon. Five tracks are played by a quartet with a strong rhythm section of Bernie Senensky on piano, Duncan Hopkins on bass and drummer Bob McLaren. On the rest, the quartet is expanded with Jake Wilkinson’s crisp trumpet, especially welcome on the bluesy Joe Henderson composition “Mamacita”, given that every version the writer made was with a trumpeter. He adds his shiny sound to a bustling interpretation of the standard “The End Of A Love Affair” and the opening and closing tracks, Oliver originals “Tune For Bernie” and “Pisces”. Ryan Oliver has become a first-call tenorman for many Toronto leaders and with this collection proves he’s ready to take over the city’s and country’s bandstands himself. 
Ted O’Reilly – WholeNote Magazine

  2. :

    Ryan Oliver is one of many promising Canadian jazz musicians to emerge on the scene at the dawn of the 21st century, joined by four of his countrymen for his solid recording debut as a leader. “Tune for Bernie” is his delightful reworking of Bernie Miller’s “Bernie’s Tune” (made famous by Gerry Mulligan in the early ’50s) which also salutes his pianist on the session (veteran Bernie Senensky), while his turbulent “Solidarity” is a driving post-bop vehicle. Oliver also proves effective as an interpreter of ballads like “It’s Easy to Remember” (where his tone recalls early-’60s John Coltrane, though his spacious delivery allows the music plenty of breathing space), and a peppy celebration of “The End of a Love Affair” that adds trumpeter Jake Wilkinson as a foil. He stretches the envelope a bit with “Never Forget,” a marvelous feature with drummer Bob McLaren, with Senensky adding some dreamy piano underneath the leader’s emotional sax and McLaren’s surging drums. Ryan Oliver’s first CD is well worth investigating.
Ken Dryden – All Music Guide

  3. :

    Toronto is a hotbed of talented sax players, but it’s unlikely that Ryan Oliver is on most top ten lists. That’s about to be remedied with the release of his debut disc. At first glance, you might believe that this session is just another hard-bop outing given his sidemen, a foursome of experienced performers – but you’d be wrong. Oliver, busy hereabouts in Toronto as well as gracing venues in New York and Amsterdam, is clearly an assured, first-rank artist with lots to offer. Originally from Williams Lake, British Columbia, the 28-year-old also manifests composing talent as well as playing with a warm, sweet-ish and slim sound fattened when necessary that suggests the approach of past masters but miraculously remains delightfully distinctive. His band comprises pianist Bernie Senensky, a man for all styles, huge-toned, sturdy bassist Duncan Hopkins, drummer Bob McLaren who delivers surprising finesse plus power and unsung trumpeter Jake Wilkinson, whose excellent bebop chops are well documented here. Six of the nine tunes are Oliver’s, and there’s Joe Henderson’s “Mamacita” on which he showcases a seamless flow of ideas, gliding effortlessly and generating thrills without going over the top. His “Never Forget” is a lovely, melodically-resourceful ballad, the catchy “Shorter Mornings” hints at Horace Silver and illuminates the leader’s breezy ideas as McLaren applies percussive flourishes, an approach also heard on the bustling “Rhythm”, Oliver’s notions blooming and contracting before sweeping into hard-charging swing, Senensky’s nonchalant poise hiking the satisfaction index.
Geoff Chapman – Coda Magazine

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