Rob Frayne is a Canadian jazz saxophonist and composer. Frayne established himself as a unique voice on the saxophone from the 80s on, recognized by artists such as the renowned Kenny Wheeler and Gil Evans. However, his voice as a composer is nothing short of brilliant. Rob has the rare ability to pick out what makes music powerful, combine elements from sources from all over the world, and come up with music that is utterly unique. Rob Frayne has inspired a generation of Ottawa musicians and continues to do so. Rob was leader of Chelsea Bridge, founding Angstone and is now fronting the new groovy jam-band 3Jimmys. Rob also established the Rob Frayne Dream Band of all-Canadian jazz stars in 2012, featuring Mike Murley, Jim Vivian, Petr Cancura, Roddy Ellias– joined by emerging artists Megan Jerome and Mike Essoudry. Rob has performed with the Shuffle Demons, Mary-Margaret O’Hara, Gil Evans Orchestra, Fred Stone, Angstones, Hemispheres and many others. Besides Canadian folk and jazz festivals and concert tours, Rob has played at the Bluenote in NYC, Washington Jazzfest in the UK and Molde Jazz Festival in Norway.
Rob Frayne is an Ottawa-based jazz musician. These days, he is arranging/composing a concert set of “Dream Band” tunes for a very big band – with the usual instrumentation, as well as the unusual, including Hammond organ. He is also working on sketches for the Freeband (with Roddy Ellias, Alvaro de Minaya, Jeremy Sills and Angel). And last but not least, he continues to write and arrange for the new 3Jimmys (groovy jazz-funk), the Courage4, the Party, Carleton Glee Club.
“I’m practising my tenor to play along with the above groups. Any spare time left, I’ll walk Tallie the wonder dog.”
Once one of Ottawa’s most energetic and popular saxophone players, Rob Frayne is distinguishing himself in a more expansive capacity these days: namely, as a Gil Evans-influenced arranger.
Frayne, a staple of some of Ottawa’s best-remembered jazz units until a car accident curtailed his playing career in 2004, is widening his compositional horizons, staged an ambitious series of arrangements for a group of close, talented friends – his “Dream Band” – at the NAC’s Fourth Stage Oct 31 and Nov 1, 2012. This 16-piece ensemble explored Frayne’s harmonically challenging compositions with the same characteristics that marked Frayne’s playing: energy, melody and wit. The concert was recorded and made into a CD entitled “Home”, currently available through Rob.
The 2014 DreamBand members hail primarily from Ottawa, with heavy hitters Bill Mahar and Joel Miller from Montreal.