“Figurants, the wraith says they’re called, these surreally mute background presences whose presence really revealed that the camera, like any eye, has a perceptual corner, a triage of who’s important enough to be seen and heard v. just seen.”
– Infinite Jest, pg. 835
Receiving acclaim for his work as both bassist and composer, Brad Cheeseman has been steadily positioning himself as a unique voice in Canadian jazz. Considered by some to be “one of Canada’s bright new jazz composer-artists,” his music has been described as having the “subtleties of the best modern jazz music” with a strong emphasis on musical storytelling. On Figurants, Cheeseman brings this idea full circle with his most ambitious work yet: a series of new compositions based on David Foster Wallace’s landmark novel Infinite Jest.
Joined by Brad Cheeseman Group alumni Lorenzo Castelli (drums) and Jeff LaRochelle (tenor sax & bass clarinet), as well as Kevin Stolz (piano), Colleen Allen (alto & soprano sax), and Aidan Sibley (trombone), Figurants explores various characters, chapters and themes from Wallace’s novel, using varying instrumentation and moods to set each scene. Whether it’s the urgent quartet performance on “Year of Glad” or the elegant complexity of “Scaling Mt. Dilaudid,” Figurants looks at both the themes and world of Wallace’s novel while recognizing their parallels in the world around us.
Selections from Figurants will be premiered at Spectrum Music’s upcoming “Literary Landscapes” concert.
1. Year of Glad (4:34)
2. The American Century as Seen Through a Brick (6:45)
3. The Wraith Himself (6:45)
4. Scaling Mt. Dilaudid (7:31)
After nearly a year of planning and production, the Brad Cheeseman Group is set to release its full-length self-titled album on June 26, 2015. Produced by electric bass icon Rich Brown and featuring exciting performances from Lorenzo Castelli (drums/percussion), Robert Chapman (guitars), Sam Kogen (piano/keyboard) and Chelsea McBride (tenor saxophone/bass clarinet), the album focuses on the band’s group dynamic through eight exciting compositions.
“Of course, Brad’s playing is stellar, but what I like most is that you honestly wouldn’t know which member of the band put this album sound. It sounds like a great band playing great music!”
– Damian Erskine (Bassist with Gino Vanelli, Peter Erskine, Jaco Pastorius Big Band)
“Brad Cheeseman’s music is the perfect combination of everything that matters: groove, melody, and the all-important bass line.”
– Chris Tarry (Four-time Juno winning bassist/composer)
Pre-order Brad Cheeseman Group at Bandcamp and get the opening track “Untitled” now!
Online release date: June 26, 2015
CD RELEASE SHOWS:
June 26 & 27 at Options Jazz Lounge, Ottawa, ON
July 1, 2015 at The Rex Hotel, Toronto, ON
July 2, 2015 at Artword Artbar, Hamilton, ON
This recording was produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
Here’s a little update for those who are wondering about the status of the Brad Cheeseman Group debut full-length album:
On Feb. 15/16, the band (with Lorenzo Castelli, Robert Chapman, Sam Kogen and Chelsea McBride) recorded the entirety of the record, with the assistance of our awesome, secret producer (to be revealed soon, don’t worry). A lot of the tunes have been played frequently by the band, while a couple are a little newer or less-frequently performed. After listening to the unmixed recordings over and over for the last couple of weeks, it’s safe to say: this record is going to be awesome.
Mixing starts soon and, as long as everything stays on track, you can expect to start hearing some music around the start of summer! Check the Upcoming Gigs page to see where we’re playing next.
Andre’s new record Bad Scene is hot off the press and it’s a good one! We just got back from the yearly Ottawa Area Tour and they’re currently starting their 2nd UK tour. The record features some great performances from the J-Tones as well some killing solos from Darcy Hepner and Jesse O’Brien!
Check out the details on the album page.