Vancouver jazz group brings acid jazz, Afro-Cuban to town
Who: Spacious Couch
Where: Brewhouse, June 14, 7 p.m.
Where: Village Square, June 15, 3:45 p.m. & 6:15 p.m.
Andrew Davies, of Spacious Couch, says jazz album Tonal Vision highlights the bands "street beat, New Orleans sound" with a focus "less dixieland, more party-style."
The sound is complemented by the snare drum, Afro-Cubano influences and the saxophone playing of Cory Weeds, who performed in jazz band Crash this past year in Whistler and is owner of Vancouvers Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club on West Broadway.
The band, which has been performing at jazz festivals from Victoria to Kaslo to Hornby Island since 1997, features guitarist Jon Roper, bassist Mark Humeniuk, drummer Leo Coodin, and percussionist Hector Navarro.
Together theyve been as far south as Australia on tour. Their first Australian gig was the day after they landed in Perth earlier this year, where they were doing sound checks in a nearby park venue where it was 37 degrees in the shade.
"You cant beat it, you know?" says Davies, who also teaches private music lessons in rain-famous Vancouver.
King Cross was one Sydney neighbourhood they played, which he likens to "Gastown by day, and Hastings Street by night; full of weirdos and freaks."
Theyve appeared at the Vancouver Jazz Festival in 2000 and 2001, playing catchy titles like the song Revenge of Edgar, which features baritone sax, bass, and a horns-heavy sound.
Guests on Tonal Vision include percussionist Jack Duncan on Drop Dead Gorgeous, and trombonist Brian Harding on You Know She Likes Big Fellas.
"The main part of the tune is where the improv happens and you dont always know where its going to go," Davies says.
"People dont know where well go with the spacious funk music, and neither do we," he adds.
"Most of the time the melody or the head is all written in the main body of the tune you improv."
The band, who play Torontos Comfort Zone next month as well as the Academy of Spherical Arts, was nominated for Best Jazz Release at the West Coast Music Awards this year, of which Davies says, "it was fun being star for a day."
Davies says the band looks to artists like John Scofield, Soullive, and Medeski, Martin and Wood as influences.
"Their live trio seems to convey the spontaneity well, and theyre great whatever theyre doing because they have a bit more of a groove element."
For Spacious Couch, the Brewhouse venue size is just right.
On Tonal Vision , they "try to add a bit of variety to the album, tailor-made at North Vancouvers Baker Street Studios.
And the Brewhouse venue is ideal, which also will open up to a jam session invite to locals.
"Jazz works better in a smaller venue, theres more of a vibe there. With a couple thousand people at something like a festival, theres (going to be) a different sense of the band."
Some spoken word sessions will also punctuate the bands performance.