Practicing for Aug 7/8 shows, On The Road…briefly, and First Attempt at CD Reviews

Hello, and welcome to the Saturday Morning News Post everyone! I was on the road this past week to perform in beautiful Kelowna, BC with vocalist Anna Jacyszyn and her band. It was my first time to play with this group of Kelowna locals and a fun time was had by all (Thanks for putting it all together Anna!).

And since I had lots of time in the car (5.5 hours each way) I decided to listen to some of the CDs from my “To Listen To” pile. They were:

Chad Makela: NO

Baritone sax player Chad Makela gave me his new CD months ago and therefore was on top of my pile. I’m a big fan of this guy (clearly, since he’s on my last record) and his hard-hitting, intensely rhythmic style of music. A style which shines best in his own quartet consisting of sax, trumpet, bass & drums. The absence of a chordal instrument (guitar or piano) allows Chad and trumpeter Brad Turner lots of room to experiment and play with ideas. I wouldn’t label the music “challenging” exactly, but it’s not for the faint of heart, “This is not your father’s bari sax” as they say. Anyways, great tunes and “balls-y” playing. The only thing missing for me was perhaps a little jazz clarinet,… I don’t know, just a thought Chad.

Chris Gestrin: The Melody That Is

Here’s an album by another one of my band members, pianist Chris Gestrin. I know it’s cliche to say “The sensational ____ _____ dazzles and delights with his latest release!” But I’m sayin’ it anyways! I was delighted and even dazzled at times with this beautiful album. A real contrast to Makela’s rough & ready exuberance, Gestrin’s trio is introspective and explorative. (OK, explorative isn’t a word but you get the idea,… there’s a reason I don’t write reviews for a living, alright?) Anyways, this album makes a great addition to the Cellar Live discography. Again, a little clarinet work would have added a certain, what the French call “I don’t know what.”

Metric: Old World Underground

My sister has great taste in music, she’s my portal into a musical world outside of jazz. And whenever she starts telling me about the coolest new indie bands on the scene, it makes me feel like an old man trying to figure out what all the young whipper-snappers are listening to. To be honest, a lot of indie bands aren’t soulful or rhythmic enough for my liking but Metric, Metric I like. I wouldn’t say “soulful” as much as just fun and well-produced. They also have a nice mix of electronic and acoustic sounds going on, which is what I’m working on doing myself this month.

Daft Punk: Live

Finally, some full on electronica music. But on this album they (the Daft Punk DJ duo) do a “mash up” of their music live. (Did I use “mash up” correctly just then?… Christ I feel old right now.) The rhythmic loops are at times clean, at times raw and infectious. Musically, there’s not a lot going on here in terms of melody but it is damn groovy club music! It just makes you want to pop some E, grab a glow stick and head down to your friendly neighbourhood gay dance club.
Just kidding folks, I’d never tote one of those stupid glow sticks around!

Have a great week and don’t forget to check out my New Orleans brass band inspired shows August 7 and 8 at The Cellar!

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