This week’s Thursday Night Jazz at the Elk’s offers you an opportunity to listen to both swinging jazz and Latin jazz, as Streetlife returns to the Elk’s Hall stage at 7:30 p.m.
As Bill Street says, “With as much bop* as possible!”
Yes, they’re back after a six-month gap during which time Street and Paoul Gagnon (keyboards) further honed their rhythmical style as they gathered tans by day and played jazz by night in Mexico during the winter months.
Led by drummer Street, the quintet also comprises John Ringstead, guitar; Paoul Gagnon; Mike Schwartz, saxophones and James Lithgow on standup bass. This well-respected combo is now established as one of our region’s longest-standing, playing for five years without any change of personnel.
And this really shows in the band’s music — the obvious way that the improvised section of each tune is heading as well as the confidence in its presentation. Such is the intuitive relationship which results from those years of musical familiarity.
Lithgow and Street have been playing together for 20 years, originally as Jazz Noir. As the band’s rhythm section, the degree to which they understand each other’s playing is evident by their quality and strength.
Gagnon is totally immersed in the jazz idiom, and his creativity is spellbinding. This Thursday, he will be featuring some of his new original compositions.
Perhaps most exciting among this talented group is the degree to which Ringstead’s compositions have blossomed. His new works in both swing and Latin linger in the brain like the great tunes of a previous era.
Meanwhile, saxophonist Schwartz is currently exploring the realm of his own personal modern Stan Getz style.
All this talent blends into something which Streetlife defines as “New Canadian West Coast.” Come and discover for yourself. Showtime is 7:30 p.m, following the Georgia Straight Jazz Society’s Volunteer Appreciation Celebration beginning at 6 p.m.
These guys are really popular, so plan on coming a bit earlier if you want good seat with friends.
*And if you wonder what “bop” is? Technically it’s a post-World War II style of jazz characterized by rhythmic and harmonic complexity, improvised solo performances and a brilliant style of execution. And these guys do it so well. Come and see for yourself why so many people have brightened their Thursday evenings with great local jazz.
Georgia Straight Jazz Society presents live music at the Elk’s Hall about 40 weeks each year between September and June. Admission is by donation. For more information about the society and its forthcoming activities, visit www.georgiastaightjazz .com.