City to be Treated by Soul Jazz Trio

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By Robert Thomas

It is the sound which grew out of the 1950’s and grew throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s it is the sound of the Hammond B3 organ and it was used in some of the most iconic music of that era.

The Doors Light My Fire and its great instrumentals were propelled over the edge by it and the Spencer Davis Group relied upon the Hammond B3 Organs distinctive tones but never was it more popular, and remains so today, is in the area of soul jazz.

Musicians familiar with the soul jazz genre have called it an evolution with a jazz backstop into the world of soul, the blues, funk and even spiritual. It is said to be a different sound than jazz in the 1940’s as it was more smoother like a whisky voice with a slow harshness infused in the smoothness.

The likes of Booker T Jones, Jimmy McGriff and the late great James Brown relied heavily upon it and they influenced the medium into the heavens. And it is all coming to Moose Jaw.

This Thursday evening at 7 PM at Peacock Auditorium the BMC Organ Trio from Toronto will be appearing in a show which will not also feature some of Canada’s best instrumentalists but will also showcase local music in the school system. The admission cost is $5.

In a telephone interview, Jeff McLeod, the band’s leader said the Moose Jaw stop is part of a Western Canadian Tour as the group, well known in the jazz circuit having played in the Toronto Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival and others, is stopping into visit the Band City.

The stop may be part of a Western Canadian Tour but it is also going to be an educational stop where in the afternoon the group is participating in what McLeod says is “a mini jazz festival at Peacock Collegiate working with student jazz bands during the afternoon.”

“It is the only date on our tour doing this and that is kind of fun,” McLeod said, adding the group has done it in the past at other schools.

“It is actually a chance to learn by watching as well as playing. They actually get to play with you…or if you are say like a drummer who has to sit out, you can learn by just watching. I think it is great.”

McLeod, who originally hails from Regina but now calls Toronto home, was set up by Peacock Collegiate’s Music Director Cameron Church. McLeod and Church attended university together studying music.

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About the legendary Hammond B3 organ McLeod said it was something he migrated to from being a long time piano player. But despite coming out in the 1950’s they still have a highly desirable sound.

“They were a big thing and they really haven’t gone away. Its a type of sound which is pervasive. You always seem to hear it in the background.”

The BMC Organ Trio specializes in what is referred to as soul jazz which McLeod describes as jazz oriented and influenced heavily by soul and funk.

“The big influence came from the likes of James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone and is highly instrumental.”

The Peacock Concert will feature two shows in one. For the first half hour local student jazz musicians will perform and after an intermission the BMC Organ Trio will perform about a one hour show which McLeod describes as being a high energy and accessible set people will enjoy.

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