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Of John Coltrane and Kenny G...

Garaj Mahal bass player Kai Eckhardt brings Whistler up to speed

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In a way we’re experimenting with that right now. My goal is to be the next generation of musician that can balance this energy by also acknowledging the other side – the ambient side – to also be proficient at that. Why not have a song that leads you through different areas, like a suite? A song that starts ambient and goes into something very intense and comes back down? It requires the discipline of the musicians to have the tools and the power but not to use it when it’s not appropriate.

It’s hard because when you’re in the heat of things it’s like having an intense conversation with someone and then going back to smalltalk. You kind of need to resolve things. It’s like a person who goes to the mountaintop and proclaims, and then also puts the baby to sleep at the end of the evening. I want to be able to do that in this lifetime.

We just got out of the studio in Washington D.C. where we recorded the new Garaj Mahal record. It’s going to be amazing. It’s a few levels up from what we’ve done so far. We locked ourselves in this room for over a week and we slept in that room and we worked in that room around the clock. We saw the sun come up every day. We’re getting ready to release it next spring.

PIQUE : Will you be playing the new material on the upcoming tour?

KE: Yes, all of our latest compositions. And we’re always writing so we’ll probably have new stuff that is not on any record yet. That’s cool, you know? We have to keep moving.

Tickets to Garaj Mahal are available through TicketMaster, the Boot Pub and at www.upstreamentertainment.com. For more info call 604-932-3338.

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