‘Creating and nurturing a optimistic angle … is the one approach by means of,’ jazz bassist Fraser Hollins says

Article content material

When Montreal-based, Ottawa-raised Fraser Hollins final performed a hometown gig, he introduced his group Treehouse in March 2022 to the Nationwide Arts Centre’s Fourth Stage. That quartet included two top-tier American jazz stars, pianist Jon Cowherd and drummer Brian Blade, who Hollins befriended throughout his personal New York days 20 years in the past, plus New Brunswick-based saxophonist Joel Miller.

Commercial 2

Article content material

Hollins returns to Ottawa this weekend to play the Ottawa Winter Jazz Pageant. However this time he’ll be surrounded by the Montreal-based friends that make up his different quartet, which he calls The Phoenix. Under, Hollins discusses his new band, its members, and his musical and private aspirations, regardless of with whom he’s enjoying.

Article content material

Why is the band known as The Phoenix?

As a fowl related to Egyptian, Greek, Chinese language, and Hindu mythology, the phoenix represents rebirth, renewal, therapeutic and transformation. Consequently, among the optimistic traits symbolized by the phoenix are resilience, optimism, compassion and resourcefulness. I strive as a lot as I can to foster these qualities in myself, which could be difficult in troublesome moments, and with all the detrimental points going through the world and all its inhabitants. It’s my honest perception that creating and nurturing a optimistic angle, particularly when going through adversity, is the one approach by means of. My aim is that this band and our music shares that perception thoughtfully and truthfully.

Commercial 3

Article content material

Who’s within the band, and why did you select every of them?

The band is Samuel Blais on alto and baritone saxophones, Carlos Jiménez on guitar, and Wealthy Irwin on drums.

Samuel is a superb interpreter of melodies. He has a deep and exact rhythmic really feel, and his intonation is flawless. His versatility on many devices gives me a broad swath of colors as a composer. His solos abound with a way of journey and exploration contained in the framework of no matter music he’s enjoying. His reservoir of language, dynamics and management is big, which permits him a capability for stretching and creating his concepts.

Carlos all the time performs with heat and readability in his sound. His contribution as a member of the rhythm part is supportive, spontaneous, and interactive. His solos make nice use of house and density, and are all the time melodic above all else, and filled with shock. He has well-honed expertise enabling him to inform a narrative over a brief, medium, or lengthy characteristic.

I’ve a straightforward and pure hook-up with Wealthy, which is my first precedence in selecting a drummer. His time is rock-solid, and his groove is deep. He’s additionally one of the vital vibrant and dynamic drummers I do know. He performs with an ideal stability of energy and sensitivity, and is adept at many kinds and traditions. He’s additionally a grasp of the shaping of a music, on micro and macro scales.

Commercial 4

Article content material

We apologize, however this video has didn’t load.

Inform me concerning the materials you play.

The music has largely been written with this group in thoughts. We do carry out a few of my older tunes, from Aerial (2010) and Treehouse (2019), however I’ve a e-book of 9 new tunes that I’ve composed prior to now yr and half that we’ve been collectively. This e-book covers a wide range of musical floor: swing, drum & bass, Argentinian, Sub-Saharan African, Brazilian, rock. I really like a lot of totally different musical kinds, and I’ve been lucky in my profession to play in many alternative bands performing numerous music. This appreciation for a wide range of musical cultures has been nurtured very a lot by these experiences.

What are you going for as a composer? As a bandleader?

I need to provide the audiences that come to our exhibits a sonic journey. Music is a type of communication, and I hope that by means of this medium, we contact people who give us their time and a spotlight throughout a live performance.

Commercial 5

Article content material

As a bandleader, I need to give my musicians clear path and the liberty to precise their musical voices. Samuel, Carlos and Wealthy are unbelievable gamers, and once they breathe life into my songs and shine as people, I really feel fulfilled and I’m impressed.

The perfect praise a musician can obtain is, “You sound like a band.” I feel that is the results of a scenario the place a gaggle as entire exceeds the sum of its components.

What’s the worth for you of getting main two bands – Phoenix and Treehouse?

Each bands are invaluable automobiles for the efficiency of the music I write. I’ve performed a lot of my tunes with every group. On two back-to-back nights with both group, the identical music can have a distinct life. Some nights, I could really feel higher about my very own enjoying, or that the band gelled extra. Nonetheless, that is my very own biased standpoint for some renditions and gigs and such, nevertheless it’s nearly not possible for me to be 100 per cent goal about that until a present is recorded. Judging is for the apply room, and the method to efficiency must have the alternative angle, which could possibly be described as “go together with no matter occurs and contribute the perfect you may.”

Commercial 6

Article content material

The 4 members of Treehouse dwell in 4 totally different cities, with two of us in Canada and two within the U.S. It is a group that I plan to do extra with, and hopefully it’s going to occur with some good luck and timing each three to 4 years.

The 4 members of The Phoenix all dwell within the Montreal space. Due to this fact, this group is one that enables me to develop my writing extra constantly, maybe with extra advanced constructions and songs with longer kinds. Additionally, there may be the apparent alternative to carry out recurrently, which inspires the composing course of, which in flip conjures up me to e-book extra gigs with the band.

With The Phoenix and Treehouse, I discover myself in a privileged place the place I’m surrounded by distinctive musicians and other people. Being on a stage performing with both band and receiving the power of the viewers and sharing with them has been and stays one of the vital joyful experiences of my life.

Fraser Hollins and the Phoenix
Introduced by the Ottawa Winter Jazz Pageant
When: Friday, Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.
The place: Membership Noticed, Arts Court docket, 2 Daly Ave.
Tickets: $25 plus charges at ottawajazzfestival.com


Commercial 1


Postmedia is dedicated to sustaining a full of life however civil discussion board for dialogue and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Feedback might take as much as an hour for moderation earlier than showing on the positioning. We ask you to maintain your feedback related and respectful. We’ve got enabled electronic mail notifications—you’ll now obtain an electronic mail in the event you obtain a reply to your remark, there may be an replace to a remark thread you comply with or if a person you comply with feedback. Go to our Neighborhood Pointers for extra data and particulars on methods to modify your electronic mail settings.

Leave a Comment