Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Performing a rare early show at the Rex Hotel one Thursday evening was a trio consisting of old Vancouver friends who now live in different cities.  

The October Trio consists of reedman Evan Arntzen who now is situated in Brooklyn, bassist Josh Cole who is based in Toronto, and drummer Dan Gaucher who still lives in Vancouver.   While studying music many years ago in Capilano College in Vancouver, they have decided together to form a trio that has influences in ECM jazz, avant-garde music, hip hop, folk and Latin forms.   10 years later, they have recorded albums, and have reunited once again in Toronto for a series of dates.

Their performance at The Rex was a display of contrapuntal group interplay at its deepest and introspective as a unit.    The performances were essentially group improvisations that were mainly free jazz with melodic and rhythmic elements that provided a static and structured quality to the music.    At times the music can shift from slow, to swing, to 12/8 Cuban feels and to free form improvisation, while achieving a melodicism that is unique and indicative of the makeup of this group.

Evan Arntzen showed his dexterity and wide array of colours and pallets on both tenor and soprano saxophones as well as clarinet.   His ideas were really taking the music to other territories and places that are well situated in this century and beyond.    Josh Cole took the role of the bass from simply timekeeping into a horn like instrument that complemented the directions of the reed instruments and has evolved himself into an effectively emotional soloist on the upright bass.    I even felt at times that his bass playing was emulating the harmonic and melodic qualities displayed by the now dearly departed Charlie Haden and the late great Scott Lafaro.   Drummer Dan Gaucher brought rhythmic colours and qualities with his drumming that aided with the creative shifts in the music, treating the drums like a complete orchestral unit that brings a uniqueness to the collective improvisations of the group.

Overall a great reunion from a forward thinking young band.   Here’s to another 10 years.


(From Left:   Evan Arntzen, Josh Cole, and Dan Gaucher)

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