A&E » Arts

Fusion of Crash kicks off jazz series



Who: Crash

When: Dec. 21 and 22, 8 p.m.

Where: Maurice Young Millennium Place

Things are getting fundamentally, instrumentally jazzy in Whistler this season.

Season Your Winter, a three-part jazz series at Maurice Young Millennium Place, kicks off this weekend with Crash.

"Songs for the show will be in and out of different grooves," says Crash co-founder Cory Weeds. "(We’ll be) touching the fusion thing made popular by Miles Davis in the ’70s when he went electric, when his songs were progressive enough to be jazz rather than something like the sound of Maceo Parker.

"We’re looking forward to the reunion of Crash and the chance to play again, it should be new and fresh and fun with a few new musicians this time – then I’m off to Italy," adds Weeds.

Band members for the gigs Dec. 21 and 22 include Jerry Cook playing tenor sax, Dave Sikula on guitar, Brad Ferguson on bass guitar, Bruno Hebert on a Fender Rhodes, and Tim Proznick on keyboards. Crash also occasionally perform as a quartet.

"As a six-piece band it’s hard to find gigs sometimes, and everyone has to make a living," says Weeds. "I run a club, and Dave Sikula is based in Toronto, but he will be in Vancouver and so he’s playing at the Millennium Place show."

Crash has also played with Sikula on guitar, Amie Kauffman on drums, Brad Turner on trumpet, Ross Taggart on tenor sax, Raphael Geronimo on congas, Cook, on tenor and bari sax, Andrre Lachance, on bass, Mike Kenney, on a Hammond B3, a fender Rhodes, and a clavinet.

Songs in the Whistler program will include Greasy Brainfood, an instrumental written by Jerry Cook and Mike Kenney , whom Weeds describes as a "prolific writer who created a kind of James Brown groove that includes four horns in the piece."

The latest album from Crash, Candy Shop , is one of two produced by the transcontinental musical troupe. One single to be performed from Candy Shop is Gananonoque, as in the small suburb outside Kingston, Ontario.

"Sometimes someone will bring in a whole tune, or sometimes just eight bars of a song and then we work on that," says Weeds.

Weeds, who together with Cook founded Crash, previously toured across Canada and Europe with People Playing Music. He won a scholarship to the University of Northern Texas early on, but returned after year one to complete a performance degree at Vancouver’s Capilano College.

Cook played at the Montreal Jazz Festival and Portland’s Rose City Blues Festival, while Kenney is the organist for the Vancouver Canucks and plays with his own jazz trio, Bocephus King. Sikula has been part of the Millennium Project, an ambient funk jazz band available through MoFunk Records on vinyl, as well as the Mike Azchernuck Quartet. Ferguson studied at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. Kaufmann studied at Capilano College, and graduated with diploma in commercial music at Capilano College.

The band has played Café Deux Soleil, the Chameleon, the Southill Candy Shop and what was formerly the Gate, formerly the Shaggy Horse, in Vancouver.

Crash has also appeared on CBC radio, 102.7 CFRO and CKNW radio, as well as the Chameleon Urban Lounge venue.

Will it be arrivederci to the saxophone on holiday?

"Oh I’ll be bringing my sax along. There’s some musicians to play with in Italy, too," laughs Weeds.

Season Your Winter continues Dec. 28 and 29 with esq. The Mike Allen Trio round out the series Jan. 4 and 5.