Jazz musicians have a long history of stretching other musical genres in surprising directions.
Indigo Jazz returns to the Elks stage on Nov. 1 to offer a jazz-tinged tribute to the music of Canadian folk legend Gordon Lightfoot, in addition to their usual repertoire of tasty jazz standards.
The first set of the evening marries jazz history with fresh, contemporary feel. The 1917 classic Indiana is paired with Donna Lee, the melody that Miles Davis penned 30 years later, based on the same chord structure. The band will offer several Duke Ellington selections, including a three-part vocal harmony treatment of Mood Indigo with guest vocalists Mary Lynn DesRoches and Sam Lennox.
You’ll have a hard time staying in your seat for the hot samba sound of Mas Que Nada.
The second half of the evening is all about Lightfoot.
His beloved ballad Beautiful finds an elegant Latin groove, while his mega-hit If You Could Read My Mind floats over a steady-eighths ostinato, and The Way I Feel leans in to a deep, bluesy groove.
The band carves out a new niche for some lesser-known Lightfoot compositions, including the dreamy waltz All I’m After, a funky take on Whisper My Name, and an up-tempo Latin version of The Gypsy.
Indigo expands to a quintet for this performance, as Aaron Amar (drums) and Sam Lennox (woodwinds) join core members Dale Graham (vocals), Rick Husband (guitar) and John Hyde (bass).
Graham’s expressive vocals and Lennox’s fine woodwinds have lots of room to shine within the rhythmic and harmonic counterpoint of guitar, bass, and drums. Husband’s solo work on guitar is lyrical and Hyde offers his trademark light touch and pleasing musicality on the bass. Amar on drums brings new drive to Indigo Jazz with his energetic feel and strong polyrhythms.
Experience the fine melodies, rhythmic play, and lyrical improvisation of Indigo Jazz Quintet this Thursday at the Elks. Showtime is 7:30; admission is by donation. Come early for best seating.
For more information on this and other jazz society events, go to www.georgiastraightjazz.com.
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Tickets are still available for the Nov. 18 Caravan concert, either from the society at a Thursday evening event, or from Bop City in Courtenay and Videos N More in Comox, but hurry – they’re selling fast.
— Georgia Straight Jazz Society