Jazz for the masses

People who find jazz music intimidating, snooty or just plain impenetrable have probably never heard the Hutchinson Andrew Trio perform — or at least that’s Kodi Hutchinson’s hope.

From left: bassist Kodi Hutchinson

People who find jazz music intimidating, snooty or just plain impenetrable have probably never heard the Hutchinson Andrew Trio perform — or at least that’s Kodi Hutchinson’s hope.

The bassist for the instrumental jazz trio that performs on Friday, April 17, at the Elks Club in Red Deer, said his group strives to make accessible music with discernible, hummable melodies that continue pleasantly playing in listeners’ heads.

Hutchinson believes people with an aversion to jazz tend to associate the entire genre with free jazz, which is created by experimental artists with no interest in melody lines. Most listeners have no idea what to make of those “squawking and bopping” sounds, said Hutchinson.

“They don’t understand it. It makes no sense to them.”

But if free jazz can be compared to the random paint drippings of the visual non-objective artist Jackson Pollock, then the contemporary acoustic jazz music created by the Hutchinson Andrew Trio is like the impressionistic waterlilies painted by Claude Monet, said Hutchinson.

“We’re about making beautiful music” that evokes vivid images.

Take the title track from the Alberta group’s latest release, Music Box — Hutchinson said he hasn’t yet met anyone who’s heard this tinkly melody and can’t imagine a kid’s jewelry box — “the kind with the little ballerina that twirls around.”

Of course, not all of the trio’s tunes are that obvious. Many of the group’s atmospheric instrumentals can be interpreted differently, depending on a listener’s mood or even the musicians’ momentary mindset.

Calgary-based Hutchinson said he and pianist Chris Andrew and Juno-nominated drummer Sandro Dominelli, who are both of the Edmonton area, can put a different spin on a tune, depending on their emotional state while playing it.

“It can be a completely different experience for you and the person next to you, depending on how they’re feeling that day. It can inspire completely different emotions.”

For instance, pianist Andrew can start playing a ballad and weave in various Latin and swing rhythms, said Hutchinson. “Chris is one of the most powerful piano players . . . he can take songs in different directions.”

The Hutchinson Andrew Trio have been called a unique voice for bringing a Western sound to the Canadian jazz scene. The trio’s debut album, Lost but Not Forgotten lingered for weeks on top of CKUA and CBC Radio charts and garnered a 2006 Western Canadian Music Award Nomination, which had been unheard of for an Alberta-based jazz band, said Hutchinson. “Usually those are given to groups from Vancouver.”

Since then, the Hutchinson Andrew Trio recorded a second CD, Music Box, with guest saxophonist Ralph Bowen, and performed to enthusiastic crowds across Alberta and at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

When the group plays next week at the local fundraiser for the Central Music Festival in Red Deer, it will be with special guest singer Thea Neumann, who’s known for her modern takes on arrangements popularized by Ella Fitzgerald and John Coltrane.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. benefit concert are $36 (doors open at 7 p.m.) at the Elk’s Lodge at 6315 Horn St. in Red Deer. The fundraiser will include a silent auction and 50-50 raffle. Tickets are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre or Valhalla Pure Outfitters.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Growing drug-fuelled emergencies at Red Deer’s Buffalo transitional housing complex

City council approves two additional mental health staffers at complex

Equalization protests from Alberta likely pre-election talk: Quebec minister

OTTAWA — Quebec’s finance minister brushed off complaints from Alberta on Monday… Continue reading

Car thefts on rise in Canada as thieves target trucks, SUVs: insurance board

TORONTO — A new report says choosy car thieves are setting their… Continue reading

Fenced-off SCS site development approved by Red Deer city council for seven years

‘Sunset clause’ means a new permit will be needed in 2025

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read