Top 3 // Jazz bands for your friends that aren’t into jazz

We all have them. You know the friend who naturally affiliates the term jazz with WW2 swing, Kenny G, or New Orleans. “It’s just too antiquated’ they bemoan, neglecting the music as stuffy, and unrelatable.  To often Jazz is overlooked because it seems that since Trane there have only been a handful of musicians really pushing and expanding the genre in new and innovative ways. We all know what Davis and Hancock did for Jazz, but are you really gonna throw on ‘Bitches Brew’ for a person who won’t stop talking about how Arcade Fire redefined pop music? Nope. It’s just not going to happen. They’ll write it off as incoherent noise and as you argue about the merits of musical invention, you’ll realize that starting in the middle and working out to the fringes is a doomed approach. Some people just need to be brought in gently, like an old man being lowered into a hot bath.

So here it be … Our top 3 … for those who don’t like Jazz.

Bad Bad Not Good


Toronto trio BBNG have a deftness for pushing music to a place where classification would be misleading and meandering. So we’ll make it simple. If you’re into; Bonobo, James Blake, Odd Future, Toro y Moi, Caribou, Four Tet, Neon Indian, Rjd2, DJ Shadow, Squarepusher, DJ Krush, or Similar Artists check um out.

CMYK // James Blake Cover

Bad Bad Not Good2 was released // April 3 2012
And they be // Matthew A. Tavares – Piano, Electric Piano, Prophet 08
Chester Hansen – Acoustic Bass, Electric Bass
Alexander Sowinski – Drums, Sampler

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Transac // Language arts, Wintermitts, Michael Cram

The beautiful and meandering arrangements of Vancouver based Language Arts 10pm(solo) will be gracing the ears of the Tranzac faithful tonight [May.25].  If you get a chance come and check it out!

Also playing tonight >

WinterMitts 11pm


Michael Cram 9pm

Tranzac (292 Brunswick) 

Dub for the Jazz Fan // Part 2: Classic Examples

The King at work

Jackie Mittoo //  Showcase  // 1980 

Ok, If you are familiar with Reggae and Dub than you know this is a classic but it doesn’t matter. It’s a classic for a reason and always worthy of mention. Jackie Mittoo is to Reggae and Dub what Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Larry Young, Chick Corea, and the like, are to Jazz. He was THE Keyboardist. This album shows why. The way he paces his playing, knowing precisely when to come to the forefront or disappear into the back. Keep in mind how when he disappears into the back he is actually still right in the front. He has this insane ability to make you think he’s not playing anymore.

This track showcases his moody and distant washes as well as his knack for some good old finger dancing magic.

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Dub for the Jazz Fan // Part 1: Modern Examples


Jeremy Taylor & Friends // Reggae Interpretation of Kind of Blue (Recorded in 1981. Released in 2009)


Jeremy Taylor, a music professor at NYU and jazz musician himself had this to say in his 1979 book, “A Space Between:”

My first trip to Jamaica (May 1977) was the most eye-opening musical experience of my life. I met so many incredible players who had been brushed off by the snobby musical establishment…..I had to find a way to showcase their unparalleled talent in a different medium and this was the spark that lit the fire to create this reggae tribute to Miles Davis’ best selling jazz album of all time.

Now, I normally regard albums like this as throw-away camp but in this case it’s truly a great album and it really showcases the talent these Jamaican musicians had and still have.

So, for those Jazz fans completely unfamiliar to Reggae this is a perfect place to start.

*Note: The heavy vinyl crackle passes after about 30 seconds

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Top 3 > RadioHead

There is an argument, albeit a very biased and pop oriented one, that Radiohead has been the most important band of the last 20 years.  Whether it be the  isolationist dissonance of Kid A or questioning societies myopic leanings in Hail to the Thief, Radiohead as actively pursued the truth through music.  By exploring sonic soundscapes within a pop canopy, Radiohead is actively bringing under-appreciated musical influences to the masses, the most important of these genres being jazz.  I remember the first time I heard Pyramid Song and how affected I was by the spacing of the notes within the main movement.  And who can forget the Drums coming in a second shy of 2 mins.  Amazing.  Jazz Musicians have been playing Radiohead songs for years, actively reworking and assimilating them into other compositions.  So here are our top 3 RadioHead Covers.

1 //Robert Glasper Trio // Maiden Voyage/ Everything in its right place // Bridgestone Music Festival `09

2 // Chris Potter // Morning Bell
via Grooveshark

3 // Atomic // Pyramid Song
via GrooveShark

Any other good Radiohead covers you know of?

The Last 50 Years of Robert Johnson Has Been a Lie!

Well, sort of. The note progressions and the lyrics are still the same but musicologist are now saying we’ve spent close to the last 50 years listening to Robert Johnson at the wrong speed. This article came out in 2010 and I’m just hearing about it now, which is unacceptable. Regardless, does this not just blow your frickin’ mind? An error years ago changed the face of blues and music forever. I’m utterly speechless. I find this so cool and incredibly interesting. Below is the version we all know and love. The frantic playing. That yearning, almost childish, voice followed by the slower and seemingly proper version of the same song. The latter sounds much more like bluesmen of the time. A Low voice and  some contemplative an patient guitar playing. I haven’t fully absorbed this new information so I can’t really make an opinion on the matter.

As we know it:

As it should be?:

Romantic Warriors II: A Documentary about Rock In Opposition

During the 70’s there was this fantastic movement in music called Rock In Opposition. It began when Chris Cutler and Fred Frith of Henry Cow realized the music industry was not taking progressive rock seriously. They found it difficult to get their music heard and out there so they gathered up some Progressive Rock bands from all over Europe including Magma, Univers Zero and a few others to play a festival called Rock In Opposition. The Festival started a whole new movement in music and helped get progressive rock on the map. This documentary tells the story of Rock In Opposition but, unfortunately, they are in need of more financial support. They are hoping to gain $5,000 in donations to complete the film by July. Already at $2,755 they are approaching their goal with 18 days left to help. If you’d like to help you can do so HERE

Regardless of whether or not you donate I highly recommend looking into the bands involved.