Event: TONE, GORD GRDINA TRIO, BRODIE WEST QUINTET, BLOOP
Date: June 24, 2022
Venue: Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave
Start time: 8:00 PM
End time: 12:00 AM
Vancouver guitarist / oud player Gord Grdina’s Nomad Trio featuring NYC veterans pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer Jim Black arrives in Toronto supporting their 2020 release on Skirl. Grdina’s angular inquisitive guitar phrases intwine with Mitchell’s piano notes. This contemporary freewheeling avant jazz unit fleshes out Grdina’s tunes with improvised flourishes. Urgent guitar work pushes the trio forward spurring Jim Black’s heavy hits. The band ebbs & flows from unhinged caterwauling to groovy meandering, finally landing in a melancholic moment that sees notes flow like a slow river after a crashing waterfall.
Toronto sax maestro Brodie West’s Quintet provides just the right concoction of free jazz energy with the subtle beauty West seems to imbue on all of his compositional efforts. This quintet of pianist Tania Gill, bassist Josh Cole, drummers Nick Fraser and Evan Cartwright along with West on alto sax travels through airy meditative movements where the band flows as a single gentle beast. Gill’s piano notes hang in the air and almost become enveloped by West’s breathy sax whispers. The double drummer vibe, a mainstay of many of Brodie’s groups, traverse the sonic landscape as one. Other more active moods see the band swing with detailed sax lines criss crossing the rhythmic back bone of the tunes. Scope their latest record on Astral Spirits / Ansible Editions!
Trumpeter Lina Allemano & Mike Smith on live processing & effects are the experimental sensation BLOOP! Smith takes Allemano’s trumpet techniques and spits them back out as amplified alien versions of themselves. Skidding squeaks, popping flutters, crackling notes skitter off the rails as they turn back to ricochet off each other. Like a bizarre ASMR video without the visuals, this literally dynamic duo bounces from small whispers and creaks to gnarly squeals from all directions. Sounds like a kid making motorcycle noises and a truck full of metal chairs skidding on the highway. Get here on time!