Kirk MacDonald is a jazz saxophone player from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Put quite simply, he is one of the best saxophonists alive today. Toronto is home to many of the world's great jazz musicians, second only to New York although that is getting more debatable all the time. Kirk MacDonald is at the forefront of the Toronto jazz scene, constantly innovating inside the music and inspiring anyone who listens to him.

I have heard him play a number of times around Toronto but forgot just how incredible he is. Recently I purchased his latest album (although now over a year old) called Pure and Simple, recorded with Neil Swainson on acoustic bass, John Taylor on piano, and Terry Clarke on drums. Kirk, is heard to play Tenor Saxophone and Soprano Saxophone on this album. The 6th cut on Pure and Simple is called Five by Five and is in 5/4 time, written by Kirk. I have listened to this about a dozen or so times by now and still can't get enough. Without analyzing it I get the impression that it progresses strongly in 4ths but I'm not sure. It's very rich in its structure and is constantly moving. The entire album is sonic perfection. The players meet directly in the groove and interact like the masters of jazz that they are.

Discography as leader

  • New Beginnings (RadioLand)
  • Reminiscence (CounterPoint Records)
  • The Atlantic Sessions (KOCH Jazz)
  • The Revellers (Unity/Paige Records)
  • Pure and Simple (Justin Time Records 2001)

Discography as sideman

Kirk is almost always gigging around in Toronto. If you want more information about him and get his itinerary then you can go to

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