Cranbrook’s Littlejazz Orchestra is excited to announce the launch of their new album ‘Tabasco’.
Evan Bueckert, who plays keys for The Littlejazz Orchestra, explained that this album is special to the band, especially because the final polish of the recording was edited at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, England.
“As a quartet, we’ve been playing for around eight to ten years, focusing on a lot of swing and jazz. This time around, we decided to go in a new direction, playing with a more modern and contemporary sound,” said Bueckert, adding that the entire album is improvised.
“It was a real family project. We were all very enthusiastic about playing together. My daughter also created the album art, while my son helped with the engineering. I did the first part of production and mixing here at the Mount Baker recording studio, Orange Door Studios. It was really exciting that our album’s final polish was sent off to Abbey Road in London, England.”
Alongside Bueckert is Janice Nicli on bass, Sven Heyde on drums and Graham Barnes on guitar. Dave Ward, who was the founding member, is no longer with the band.
Nicli says the entire experience of making the album was inspiring.
“The whole experience of making this album was great,” Nicli said. “The Key City Theatre was a wonderful place to be creative and play our music. It was a comfortable and inspiring environment with positive energy all around.”
Bueckert says that ‘Tabasco’ features seven tracks, all of which are six to seven minutes in length.
“When we sat down to record, we all agreed on chords and form, decided on our favourite influences and modelled each song after our personal favourites. They are all interesting covers. We mostly play live, so that part of recording was really interesting,” he said. “It’s always exciting playing live off the floor. Key City was so generous, lending out their stage at no cost. So we parked our instruments for a few days and recorded away.”
Nicli says if she had to choose one song on the album as her favourite, it would be ‘The Way I Feel’.
“It has such a laid back groove throughout the song,” she said.
Bueckert echoed Nicli’s sentiment that the band had a great experience recording the album, playing off of each other and laughing the whole way through.
“It’s always really exciting to see how we would set each other up, or set traps for each other if that’s how we were feeling,” Bueckert said. “We had a huge laugh at the end of each recording. It was a race to hit the stop button because we didn’t want to [record] our laughter on the track. It was the most amazing adventure.”
The quartet of talented musicians recorded each song three times, start to finish, with different results every time. Bueckert says this was the most nerve wracking part – deciding on which of the three recordings would end up on the album.
“We actually all ended up picking the same recording of each song,” Bueckert said. “It was a nice feeling of family and teamwork. There was no sheet music, just all of us enjoying playing together. It’s what we love to do.”
Nicli agrees. She says she couldn’t ask for a better group of people to make music with.
“I had an amazing time working on this album, with a fantastic group of people,” she said. “Not only were Graham, Evan and Sven a good team, but also everyone in the community who has supported us and helped us with this project along the way.”
As the Townsman reported late last year, part of the reason for producing this new album was to promote their new sound in hopes of attending a few festival gigs this coming summer.
“We do this because we love to play together. But we also wanted the opportunity to approach a few jazz festivals. We are able to do that with ‘Tabasco’ and we’ve been invited to a few festivals this season. We’re really looking forward to it,” said Bueckert. “Since this album has gone so well, we want to be able to share it with everyone.”
A release concert was originally slated for April 9, 2020 at Key City Theatre. With the current circumstances surrounding COVID-19, the band has decided to postpone the concert.
“Unfortunately we have decided to postpone the concert at the advice of the theatre,” Bueckert said in an email to the Townsman.
Key City Theatre has postponed several upcoming events in light of the COVID-19 social isolation protocols recommended by the province of B.C., which include no large gatherings of 50 people or more.
When the release concert does take place, Bueckert says it will be a casual event with a spicy menu to accompany their spicy new tunes.
“We’re very excited to play at the Key City theatre again, on their gallery stage with the beautiful mountains in the background,” Bueckert said. “There will be a fabulous menu, provided by the Heidout, that will really compliment the music. It will be a lounge set-up, we’ll chat with the audience, describe our songs a little and have some fun. People can mingle and mull about.”
Be sure to check out ‘Tabasco’, now available on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and all major music platforms.