All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

758

Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville: Day 4 - May 20, 2007

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count

Fond of Tigers



A hallmark of FIMAV is its interest in groups that defy categorization and cross-pollinate styles so heavily as to frustrate any attempts at labeling. Vancouver's Fond of Tigers incorporated a wide spectrum of influences—the irregular-metered complexity of progressive rock, the minimalist interlacing of melodic fragments, occasional ambience, a non-soloing collective approach to improvisation...and a hardcore energy and volume level that made for an intensely visceral experience.



Spearheaded by guitarist Stephen Lyons, it's a true collective that's heavy on drive with drummers Skye Brooks and Dan Gaucher (who's also a member of the more traditionally jazz-centric October Trio) and bassist Shanto Bhattacharya. Colors are provided by keyboardist Morgan McDonald and trumpeter JP Carter who—along with violinist Jesse Zubot, who heads Drip Audio (the label that's released Fond of Tigers' 2006 debut, A Thing to Live With and his own 2006 solo disc, Dementia), comprises half of the rootsy Zubot & Dawson duo, and boasts playing credits with everyone from Kelly Joe Phelps to Joe Fonda— add significant processing to the mix.

Fond of Tigers

Fond of Tigers: Jesse Zubot, Stephen Lyons, Skye Brooks, Dan Gaucher, Shanto Bhattacharya, Morgan McDonald, JP Carter

The group took no time to establish its take-no-prisoners approach with pounding drums and sonic anarchy: chaos with a pulse. Traditional song form was nowhere to be found; instead the group developed lengthy pieces that blended multi-layered, repeated interlocking patterns with propulsive rhythm and powerful accents. Think Rock-in-Opposition meets Steve Reich. Swiss composer Nik Bärtsch's Stoa (ECM, 2006) may be trance-inducing "Ritual Groove Music," with improvisation so subsumed that it's nearly unrecognizable. Fond of Tigers is more electric and energized, with Carter deriving a surprising wealth of sound from a digital delay, distortion pedal and assorted techniques that make his instrument often sound like anything but a trumpet.



Brooks and Gaucher, much like Coady Willis and Dale Crover of the Melvins, worked hand-in-glove at times with perfect synchronization; but elsewhere Brooks laid down a strong and consistent groove while Gaucher provided cross-rhythms and improvisational responses. Lyons is almost an anti-guitarist, taking only one somewhat delineated solo that was spare yet jagged. The rest of the time he defined many of the shifting bar rhythms that created a high volume but hypnotic foundation for the frequently harsh, processed sounds from Zubot, Carter and McDonald.



While a certain anarchy underscored the pulses defined by Lyons, Bhattacharya, the drummers and, on occasion, Zubot, there was at least one point where an unmistakable but simple melody emerged, becoming dramatically anthemic as the group took it from gentle to ear-shattering.



With a new EP soon to be released and a new full-length album also in the works, Fond of Tigers' experimental rock edge blends its assorted roots into a distinctive sound that may not be for the faint-at- heart. But for adventurous musical spirits who subscribe to the ever-growing view that music needn't be defined by clear boundaries, it's a group with significant promise.



Visit Anthony Braxton, Fond of Tigers and FIMAV on the web.

Photo Credit
Martin Morisette

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3| Day 4 | Day 5

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sextet (Parker) 1993

Sextet (Parker) 1993

New Braxton House
2018

buy
Duo (DCWM) 2013

Duo (DCWM) 2013

Rogue Art
2017

buy
3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011

3 Compositions...

Firehouse 12 Records
2016

buy
Trio and Duet

Trio and Duet

Sackville
2015

buy
Trio (New Haven) 2013

Trio (New Haven) 2013

Braxton House
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read Marbin at The Firmament Live Reviews
Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read Big Ears Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Big Ears Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 13, 2018
Read Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club Live Reviews
Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Hitch On 2017" Live Reviews Hitch On 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017" Live Reviews Slovenian Showcase Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 4, 2017
Read "Newport Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Newport Jazz Festival 2017
by Timothy J. O'Keefe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Stick Men at Havana" Live Reviews Stick Men at Havana
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 25, 2017