Published Jan 01, 2006There are two solitudes of jazz within Canada. Canada supports a mainstream jazz industry that has inherited a traditional audience: this camp is represented by main stage acts at jazz festivals and commercial entities like Toronto's Jazz FM. On the other hand, there is increased interest in the frontiers of jazz, ranging from free jazz and electronic improvisation to post-rock and jam bands most of which have more grassroots support. Toronto guitarist Tim Posgate appeals to all of these sensibilities. He has roots in rock and funk, works in the jazz idiom, but writes wide-ranging, hard-to-define compositions for a number of projects, of which Jazzstory is his most regular gig. Composed of Lina Allemano on trumpet, Rob Clutton on bass and new recruit Jean Martin on drums, Jazzstory is equal parts freedom within a groove and carefully composed pieces. Their self-titled live disc recorded last year was one of the best Canadian jazz releases of the last few months.
"I'm more interested in experimenting with sounds now than in the past," Posgate says, "in the way that European free improv is. But I think the [groove] influence is still there that's what makes Jazzstory special and unique. There's definitely the sense of groove and forward motion, but also paying attention to details and textures."
This June sees Jazzstory hit the jazz festival circuit. Having toured the country many times, Posgate has noticed these festivals, particularly out West, become more inclusive in representing the various branches of jazz.
Having reached, through extensive touring with such festivals, the core of traditional jazz audiences, Posgate is now looking to connect with fans of jam bands and post-rock bands. "I guess, because of the name, there's no denying we're a jazz group, but if you like Do Make Say Think or Godspeed, I'm positive you'd like Jazzstory."