Left Hip
Label
Drip Audio

Last Halloween I stumbled upon a back alley club in

Vancouver called 1067 and had a chance to witness

something like I have never heard before. The club,

like a large living room of couches everywhere was

intimate. I sat on the floor since all of the seats

were taken up. Expecting to hear something intimate

like the room, I was blown away when the members of

Fond of Tigers sounded their first measure of music.

Steven Lyons on guitar ignited the set and had a force

behind him which he seemed to direct them through the

form. Morgan Mac Donald on piano was extraordinary but

did get a little buried at times in a garden of:

electronic trumpet of JP Carter – the most unique

trumpet playing I have ever heard which just adds to

the originality factor of the band, the two drums sets

of both Dan Gaucher and Skye Brooks playing in the

most obscure time signatures and rhythms, the bass

lines by Shanto Bhattacharya were like a glue to the

extremely large rhythm section and the spazzy

virtuosic violin playing of Jesse Zubot.

When I got the inventory of CD’s to review for Left

Hip I jumped on the opportunity to add Fond of Tigers

to my repertoire of reviews. The group is astonishing,

there’s nothing light or easy I can say about this

group. They are all very accomplished musicians who

know how to wear their hats. I am impressed by the

amount of originality they produce. The music takes

you on a journey and when you listen to it, it’s like

being memorized the whole time. The experience is

large, even on CD. The sound is big and dynamic. The

rhythms are multifaceted, counting along would require

you to have experience in music theory but it is so

completely digestible. When listening to them, it’s

hard not to wonder how they go about writing the

pieces. Is it all planned out? It has to be at the

beginning and end; it’s too tight not to be. What

about the climatic points? Is this improv based or do

they have what they’re playing already decided? How do

I analyze a Fond of Tigers song? If I were to do so,

it would take pages upon pages to write down all of

the details they affix to the music. They best way to

experience it, is to go in blindly, like I did at

1067. Being a Vancouverite, I am proud to know that

such a band as Fond of Tigers exists in many music

communities, let alone this city. They double dip in

to the scenes of jazz (free jazz/ improv), electronic,

rock, lounge and independent music. They have been

paired with big name Tortoise and FOT totally stole

the show as the opening act. The best comparison I

could offer would be to picture a complex electronic

song by Mum, Dosh or Fourtet that instead of sitting

on one theme it carries you through many relative

themes until you meet the extended family. Then

picture the music being played by a rock driven mini

big band comprising of electric guitar, piano,

trumpet, electronics, drums x 2, bass and violin.

Then picture big sounds to tiny melodies that taunt

into another section of a blissful frenzy and picture

no identifiable mistakes, tight rhythms and busy time

changes… Wait! Don’t bother picturing it, just go get a CD or better yet, go onto their website and check

their tour dates, and mark it in on your calendar. I

imagine they will be hitting the jazz festival circuit

across Canada. They are online at:

www.fondoftigers.com