The jazzy side of Toronto

The event happened at The Cavern on 76 Church Street from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., with a cover of $10 and a special $10 flat-rate pitcher of Mill St Original Organic or Steam Whistle.

Nick Maclean Quartet was performing on Friday, Nov. 25 with Morgan Gardner on trumpet, Steven Falk on bass and Tyler Goertzen on drums.

Falk and Gardner were substituting that night, it’s usually Jesse Dietsche on bass and Brownman Ali on trumpet, so things were a little different for Maclean but not strange.

Nick Maclean and the Quartet performing at The Cavern. (Photo by Nicholas Wapachee)

The venue was at the basement of Hi-Toronto hostel, the setting was quite dark, gloomy and shaped like a red-bricked tunnel.

The drums were bouncing off the walls while the bass was slamming unpredictable beats and the trumpet flooding the corridors while the young adults echoed their chatter during the melodic arrangement.

No words were sung during the performance but the sound of instruments was being orchestrated by local jazz artists. There was an emphasis on solos for each instrument playing that night, each of the artists was given the space for creativity.

picture2Morgan Gardner substituting for Brownman Ali. (Photo by Nicholas Wapachee)

Drums were predictable and constantly on a beat. The piano was amplified in their rhythms, while flowing back and forth in the circle of fifths, and playing by ear.

The trumpet was kind of a crooner and progressed to a cry but the brassy sounds and the smooth textures had some people cheer in galore.

The bass was the drummers best friend, the bass followed each pulse and occasionally hitting the notes offbeat to compliment the songs.

Nick Maclean is the leader of the quartet who plays the piano.

picture3Nick Maclean on piano before their break. (Photo by Nicholas Wapachee)

When asked about the consumption of jazz music to consumers today, he said that jazz music is received well by fans, as exciting things are happening in electric jazz music today.

“There is much appeal in jazz music by younger people,” he said. “We have different artists influenced by pop music, which can translate to having younger people interested in jazz music.”

When asked about jazz music being integrated into different genres, and the direction of jazz music.

“There is no particular direction, but when we look at the 60’s, the genre splits off to different genres and people are still interested in urban electric jazz music,” he said.

picture4Steven Falk substituting for Jesse Dietsche. (Photo by Nicholas Wapachee)

He said that there are two different artists today, there are artists who just want to be famous for the sake of fame but there are people who want to create. He said that he is a creator of jazz music.

Streaming services, like Napster, Apple Music and Spotify have caused some artists to lose some profit from their creative work, especially piracy and illegal file-sharing. For Maclean, it’s not a problem.

“They help a lot in terms of exposure – there is a cost and a benefit – piracy is not an issue, I’m part of the people who are taking risks and there is so much opportunity work involved,” he said.

Author: Nick Wapachee

A modern Cree who enjoys the city and the nature of things.

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