The Oakville Jazz Festival, held in the well-to-do suburban city of Oakville, west of Toronto, is an annual event, held over 2-1/2 days, where the main downtown street is closed off for about seven blocks. With a main stage situated in the centre for the more "name" acts (such as Lily Frost and blues rocker Tom Wilson's new band, LeE HARVey OsMOND this year), each intersecting corner along the street has a small stage set up on the corner of the street for the various acts to perform from. This laid-back approach to a free event allowed for a leisurely stroll, listening to the many acts as you walked. Of course, the bars and restaurants along the route expanded their patios out into the street, creating a wonderfully European feel to the pedestrian mall.
|A look down Lakeshore Blvd., at the height of Friday night|
This year, I attended in support of This is Lounge artist, 4Skor, an acapella quartet accompanied by drums, bass, and keyboards. Performing comfortably with and without the backup band, the sounds old 60's jazz faves, Hendrick, Lambert & Ross immediately sprang to mind. Their history and long friendships are reflected in the relationship they have with each other, keeping everything tight, vocal wise - an absolute must for this style of jazz. That's not to say they didn't let loose every once in awhile, going off into extended freestyle scat solos, in addition to allowing the drum, bass, and piano their chance to shine with various solos. Harvesting some of that H, L & R prized repertoire (i.e. Centrepiece, Twisted), the added dimension of a fourth voice to the mix allowed them to put their own spin on these wonderful classics.
Not content with the classics, they even surprised the crowd with an acapella version of Gotye's pop hit, Somebody That I Used To Know. Needless to say, their set was enjoyed by those that stayed. standing and seated on folding patio chairs, and those just passing by.
Not know what song was coming up next, I had just enough memory in my phone to record the following, a random choice to give you a real idea as to the sound. As you'll see, working under the cover of darkness with a blend of klieg and street lights, the exposure on an iPhone strains for perfection. Nonetheless, the audio comes through loud and clear, So enjoy their wonderful cover of The Fifth Dimension's classic, Stoned Soul Picnic. (Please excuse that woman who decided to take a picture in front of me as I was filming.)
For those of you out there that still don't recognize the song that we play here at the station, have a listen below. It's a classic!
If your a fan of acapella and four part harmonies, be sure to browse through the other tracks on their Soundcloud page, including what they consider to be their Signature tune, The Beatles' In My Life.
You'll also find a few more performances around You Tube to enjoy, as well as their website and Facebook to "Like" and "Follow"
Website 1 or Website 2 (Found two - be sure not to get confused with the weed wacky rockers)