Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Julian Fauth Mixing Blues and Jazz With a Big Band

WATERLOO, March 3, 2015 ---- When one of the country's leading blues artists teams up with six of Toronto's top jazz cats . . .  well, you don't want to miss the show.

Juno-Award winner Julian Fauth leads a seven piece band at The Jazz Room, Thursday March 12.  They will play every cut on Fauth's last CD, "Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right." Then they will play some new material Fauth has yet to record.

Fauth first played The Jazz Room in June 2014 to celebrate the screening of the documentary Love Lost and Found, which is about the late, great soul-funk-jazz-blues fusion guitarist Mel Brown.  Brown was one of Fauth's  inspirations, mentors and teachers.

Mississippi-born and raised, Brown was steeped in the blues from the time he was born. Brown was based in Kitchener for the last 20 years of his life, nurturing the talents of many young musicians, and in the process bridging the traditions of Mississippi with 21st Century urban blues. Fauth was among a group of young musicians lucky enough to come of age under Brown's tutelage. It is an enduring musical legacy, a unique gift for the musician and his fans that can be heard on all of Fauth's CDs.

Joining Fauth for the gig are Jay Danley on guitar, Shawn Nykwist on sax, Tim Hamel on trumpet, James Thomson on bass, Ken Yoshioka on harmonica and Jon McCann on drums.  Danley played on Fauth's last two CDs, and wrote some of the songs.

"They are all really talented musicians, among the best in Canada I would say," Fauth said in an interview.

Fauth is all about 21st Century urban blues (www.julianfauth.com). He is also among the very best practitioners of barrel house blues and boogie-woogie piano, with helpings of gospel and jazz in the mix.

The show will be the first time Fauth features all of the music from his latest CD before his hometown fans. While on a 2012 tour in Western Canada Fauth broke his shoulder in a fall. After months of physiotherapy, Fauth was back in the recording studio to make Everybody Ought to Treat a Stranger Right for Electro-Fi Records. Shortly after it was released Fauth was out of action for about a year because of a nasty lung infection.

"So I really didn't get a chance to do much with the CD," Fauth said.

Julian and the band will be in good form for the show in The Jazz Room. They rehearsed for months. In February they performed the same music at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto.

"It was great," Fauthsaid of the Bistro gig.  "We had great attendance, the sound was good and everybody had a good time I think.  I got a lot of good feedback.  They have a nice Steinway piano there, it sounded pretty good."

After moving to Toronto 20 years ago Fauth gigged steadily. He started recording for Electro-Fi Records, releasing his first CD in 2006, which was nominated for a Juno Award.  The second one in 2008 won a Juno. He's also won a Maple Blues Award.  His latest CD was selected by CBC Radio as the Best Blues Album of 2012.  In the bars and clubs around Toronto and across Canada, Fauth has made music on pianos good, bad, out of repair and out of tune.

"I adjust to every piano, depending on the sound, the action and all those things," Fauth said.  "Some of the adjustments I have made have become a fixture of my style. For example I tend to have a lot of gigs with not-so-well-tuned pianos, so I tend to stay away from chords with a lot of notes in them because they tended to sound pretty jangly."

Fauth has fond memories of the Yamaha C-7 piano in The Jazz Room, and is looking forward to playing it again on Thursday, March 12th.

"It is a really nice piano, I am glad you've got that, it is so rare," Fauth said.  "In Toronto there are always a couple of places that have nice instruments, but not many.  Most places if they have a piano at all, which most don't, it tends to be one of those beaten-up-barrel-house pianos.  It is really nice sometimes to be able to play a great instrument like that."

The Jazz Room is on the main floor of  the Huether Hotel in Waterloo. When he was a teenager, Fauth landed his first gig playing guitar at the Huether.  He will open the show next Thursday also playing guitar on the song "Window Pane Blues." Then he will sit down in front of the big Yamaha piano, and take the room on a musical journey with stops in Harlem, the Mississippi Delta, and Southern Baptist churches.

Tickets are going fast and more than half the seats are already sold. The music starts at 7 p.m. and goes to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. You can guy advance tickets at Encore Records,  206-301 King St. East (519-744-1370) or on Ticketscene.ca http://www.ticketscene.ca/events/12543/