The Worst Pop Band Ever is described by Torontojazz.com as “the total package, great compositions, unique covers and standup-worthy banter, and a highlight of the 2012 TD Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival.
The quintet is touring their second CD, Sometimes Things Go Wrong (and other songs we shouldn’t play), which was recorded last year at The Cellar in Vancouver. The CBC Radio 2 After Hours show simply says the disc is “really cool.”
Their music has also been used for film and video productions for the United Nations, the CBC and the National Film Board.
Asked about the band’s rather unusual name, drummer/leader Tim Shia replies, “The name Diana Krall was already taken.”
More seriously, he says all the band members also play in pop music groups but like the improvisational aspects of jazz, so it seemed natural to be The Worst Pop Band Ever.
Verbal sleight of hand aside, the band offers jazz firmly rooted in the tradition but with a modern sensibility and a deep nod to memorable pop songs.
Allaboutjazz.com describes the latest live album as “… music for people, whether they dig jazz or not. The group delivers a set that cares less about genres … a tight band playing with substance and feeling for an appreciative audience.”
Beside Shia on the bandstand will be two Juno Award-winning musicians from bassist Brandi Disterheft’s 2008 award-winning CD Debut, Adrean Farrugia on keys and Chris Gale, reeds. Gale will also be familiar for his work with The Shuffle Demons and Blue Rodeo.
On bass, Gord Mowat has toured with the band before although not a regular member these days. Turntablist Leo37 lives in Taiwan usually and brings a lot of non-traditional sound to the straightforward jazz quartet lineup.
They have played festivals and clubs throughout North America from International Jazz Educators meetings to the North by Northeast festival.
Whether blending acoustic bass with turntables or saxophone with analog synths, the WPBE sets out to twist and bend both originals and covers, straddling genres and butting heads with musical expectations.
The Toronto Star’s Geoff Chapman writes, “The music’s fresh; it may appeal to pop lovers but assuredly to jazzers.”
A presentation of the Georgia Straight Jazz Society, the Worst Pop Band Ever will hit the stage of the Avalanche Bar and Grill on April 14 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at Bop City in Courtenay, Red Carpet in Comox, and the Avalanche Liquor Store on Eighth Street in Courtenay.
— Georgia Straight Jazz Society