Recorded before a live audience in the Grande Luxe
at the Western Front in Vancouver, B.C. May 8, 2009
Recorded by Andrew Lee
Mixed and mastered by Jean Martin
at The Farm, Toronto ON
Cover photo by J. Martin
Band photo by Nisk Imbeault
All tunes by Myk Freedman, SOCAN 2010
Thank you DB Boyko, Ben Wilson and everyone at Western Front
Justin Haynes - ukulele
Jean Martin - suitcase
Ryan Driver - street-sweeper bristle bass
Freedman at Western Front is crude jazz, if we may put it bluntly. Not that there is anything unrefined about it. It's just that the instruments are decidedly makeshift. Jean Martin's instrument (the suitcase), in addition to being a wonderful "drum kit", is perfect for touring. It can easily fit Justin Haynes' ukulele and Ryan Driver's street-sweeper bristle bass (which is literally a metal bristle from a street-sweeper brush played on the edge of a table and amplified with a contact mic) with plenty of room left over for clothing and toiletries. The trio plays the music of Myk Freedman, New York-based composer of idiosyncratic jazz music and lap-steel player for St. Dirt Elementary School (among other projects). The Martin, Haynes and Driver performance featured on this record was captured at The Western Front in Vancouver, BC. It was a high point in their 2008(?) cross-Canada tour.
Indeed, Martin is more known for his work on the drum kit proper, Haynes as a guitarist, and Driver for various other things, but this pared-down trio exposes the bare bones of jazz and revels in the new possibilities and challenges set upon them by the collective limitations of their tools. The music is fascinating in its simplicity and its complexity, its banality and its unbridled creativity.