Friday, 6 April 2012

Caleb Elias : "Dualistic Forces"

For today's post, we're going to be featuring Toronto based guitarist Caleb Elias. This artist is particularly special to The Canadian Jazz Review because without him, this blog may have never existed...Let us explain. In 2009, our editor-in-chief, Myles Rosenthal, was looking for a guitar teacher. After consulting his brother, Myles was pointed towards Elias, one of his brothers best friends. The lessons began, and Myles was inspired by this guitarist's superb musicianship, and teaching method. After a few months, Myles became interested in Jazz, as that was what Elias was studying at Humber College in their prestigious jazz program. It took a while for our editor-in-chief to get into jazz, however, it was in 2010, when he saw Elias' final recital live, that got him hooked forever. So, as you can see, from years back of inspiration, Caleb Elias is actually part of the backbone of our review, and we thank him for that. So, it is only fitting, although it will never be released officially, that we discuss his debut album, "Dualistic Forces". The album begins with a soft acoustic number called "Revelations". This first song sets the tone for the album. It is a duet, including Elias on the guitar and Steve Lavery (Aphrodite's Bodice) on the keyboards. Just like the album, the song slowly builds on itself, as both musicians continuously adds a new layer of sound to the mix. The next song on the album is "St. Anne Des Lacs", which was written by Caleb in the summer of 2009, while spending time at his family cottage in the Laurentians, Quebec. An acoustic song as well, this composition picks up right where the last one left off. However, it adds another element to the already sweet sound, percussion, which is played by masterful drummer Jon Hyde. The number concludes with Elias' beautiful acoustic solo. The third composition, "Lights and Color", forwards the transition into the second half of the album. This song, again building on the last, adding two new musicians into the mix: Julian Nalli on the alto sax, and Jon Amador on the bass (both reviewed bellow). The song climax's with a very tasteful, now electric, solo from Elias, and just when you think it's going to end, they go right back into the head of the piece to the listener's delight. The fourth and final number, "Funky Thang" was co-written by Elias and bass sensation Josh Cohen, while they were playing together in Toronto based jam band, Toast. Yet again, the song adds even more musicians into the mix: Andrew Jackson on the trombone, Tom Moffett on the trumpet, and Phil Skladowski on the baritone sax. This song is characterized by a fusion between funk, jazz, and a re-harm on the 12 bar blues. "Funky Thang" is definitely the climax of the album, as it includes a heavier new sound, and an amazing improvisations by Elias, Amador, Nalli, Lavery, and Hyde. Although "Dualistic Forces" will never be released officially, Elias has generously posted the album onto soundcloud, so everyone can listen to it for free! Caleb Elias has been at the forefront of the Canadian jazz student scene for years, now beginning his professional career, we cannot wait to see what's yet to come from this amazing Canadian jazz artist. 

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