Practical Men is the second full-length release by Toronto jazz band Canaille. Formed in 2008 by saxophonist Jeremy Strachan (Minotaurs, Muskox, ex-Rockets Red Glare, Feuermusik), Canaille has become one of the more interesting projects to emerge in the cauldron of Toronto’s perennially-bubbling experimental music scene. Having expanded to an electric sextet since 2009’s all acoustic Potential Things (now featuring Rhodes, Korg CX 3, electric guitar and Fender bass), Canaille’s ensemble sound draws heavily on Bitches Brew-era Miles mixed with a healthy dose of vintage ethio-funk and finished with the bent melodic sensibilities of late 1950s Sun Ra.
Practical Men features 9 tunes, including two of Sun Ra’s most well-known pieces Watusa and Love in Outer Space, which open and close the record, bookending a portfolio of new compositions by Strachan. Practical Men was recorded and engineered by Jeff McMurrich at 6 Nassau Studios in Toronto, and looks both forwards and backwards along the electric jazz-funk spectrum in its sonic purview.
Canaille is Jeremy Strachan (bari/alto/flute/guitar), Jay Hay (tenor), Nicolas Buligan (trumpet), Jesse Levine (keyboards), Mike Smith (bass) and Dan Gaucher (drums). Collectively, they perform in dozens of projects (Sandro Perri, Muskox, Minotaurs, Fond of Tigers, The Swyves, Steamboat, Feuermusik, etc) and are heavily in-demand as first call players in Toronto and around Canada. Their debut effort Potential Things was praised as “…a welcome salvo in the fight against jazz’s stultification” (EYE Magazine) with a “refreshing focus on melody that bolsters Strachan’s status as one of Canada’s great young composers” (Exclaim).
released January 11, 2011
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