jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

July 7, 2005

Canadian Blues and Jazz

Written by
cindy mcleod

Blues and jazz are inseparable brothers, as was beautifully illustrated by Canadian giant Johnny V’s performance at the Kaos Blues Festival, one of the highlights of the weekend. Johnny’s latest musical endeavour fuses his own fuel injected blues style with a horn section comprised of some of the top jazz players in the country. Johnny’s show stopped many of us dead in our tracks, the power and raw beauty of his show was paralleled only by the scope of talent present in his ‘House Rent Party Band’.

He’s laid it down in the studio, birthing Agonostically Eclectic, a tribute to the great songwriters of the genre, regardless of which direction their accolades came from. Agonostically Eclectic underscores the nature of the marriage between jazz and blues, with compositions of jazz greats Joe Zawinul/Quincy Jones, and Canadian icon Bob Erlandson sitting comfortably alongside Johnny’s own compositions and those of Jimmy Mcracklin, Big Joe Williams, Floyd Cramer, Pleasant Joseph and others. Johnny V is known for his individuality in a market that is saturated with sound-alikes, but his latest endeavour is a testament to his unique approach and depth of understanding of the muse, proving beyond a doubt there are no boundaries in musical styles. Showcasing colossal performances by his friend of thirty years Sonny Rhodes, ‘new’ friends sax man Mike Clark and trombonist Paul Ashwell, harmonica whiz Sherman ‘Tank’ Doucette, the solid ground of bassist Chris Byrne, keyboard wizard Brock Gillis, and others you’ll have to buy the CD to hear, but the driving force behind this brilliant sound is another Canadian genius, drummer Duris Maxwell. We’re proud to know and love you, Johnny V, and we’re lucky to call you our native son! www.johnnyv.org

Johnny V
Johnny V
*photo by Debby Sereda

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