Third Concert in the Fall Jazz Series: The Jaclyn Guillou Quintet, at Centre 64. October 18, 2013, 8pm Jaclyn Guillou website
In a departure from the previous Jazz concerts the Jaclyn Guillo Quintet was presented in a cabaret format in the downstairs studio in Centre 64. The sound and style of the quintet lent itself to the ambience of a cabaret and the opportunity to partake of wine and beverages also helped create a more relaxed informal atmosphere. Also the piano in the studio was a top quality Kawai that begs to be played. Apart from the obvious advantages of the venue and Ray Gareau’s light and sound enhancements, there was pay back for the use of the grand piano. Bruno Hubert, the quintet’s pianist was more than willing to spend many pre-concert hours tuning this marvelous instrument. So when Bruno sat down to accompany Jaclyn Guillou (vocals), David Blake (guitar), Andrew Millar (drums) and James Megen (bass) all the ingredients were in place for a night of fine music. By this time the expectations were high and the quintet did not disappoint. Somewhat similar to the Norbet Kogging jazz performance of a few weeks previously the musical emphasis was on original material done in a jazz style. Although there was a sprinkling of familiar tunes, such as Cry Me River (Dinah Washington), No Moon at All, Wayne Shorter’s Yes and No, Billy Strayhorn’s Lush Life, a Joni Mitchell song (from her album Blue), a blues and a Brazilian tune, the normal jazz staples of the “great American songbook” were largely put aside. I was caught in cultural limbo when one song was introduced as one that every Canadian knows. It turned out to be The Land of the Silver Birch. I was not born or raised in Canada. Apparently every Canadian kid that’s been to summer camp knows the words to this tune. The band works as a collective with contribution from all members in arranging the tunes. There was lots of straight ahead jazz with solos by Bruno Hubert on piano and David Blake on guitar. David sprinkled his solos with some lively Wes Montgomery “octave riffs”, a musical spice that we never get to hear in this area. David is a student of Vancouver’s ace guitarist Bill Coon and it shows in his playing. Andrew Millar’s deft handling of brushes and Brazilian rhythms is also another little spicy tit-bit that is not heard too often in this area. Classic rock does not lend itself to these types of explorations. This is a band of dedicated professional musicians. Jaclyn is the only member with a “day job” – she teaches music.
The organizers of the event would like to thank the following sponsors The Burrito Grill, Pedal and Tap, Our Place and Mountain Spirit for their generous support and contributions. I would like to thank Laurel Ralston, Keith Nicholas and all the staff and volunteers at Centre 64 for their dedication in presenting this fine evening of music.