July 2005

Carlos del Junco | Dr. John
July 3, 2005Star StageToronto
Report by Stanley Fefferman with photos by Roger Humbert
Carlos opens his set by blowing solo seeming scales that develop into short riffs that begin to sound like jazz because of his real delicate single note control on the ten hole diatonic harmonica using the ‘overblow’ technique he learned from Howard Levy.

Carlos Del Junco

Tune #2 is Kevin Breit’s, “No Particular Place”, from the album Blues Mongrel. Carlos and the band drive it down the sonic highway like an A model Ford full of keystone cops chasing Chaplin pumping a handcar down a parallel track, only it’s Shawn Kellerman playing the guitar.

Tune #3 is also by a local guitar player, Mark Sepic. “The Field” is in honour of “the universal field of buzz that connects us all”. This kind of slow tropical calypso tune with a feels-mystically-good aura to it, is followed by a mean funky blues duo with Kellerman’s slidey guitar playing a kind of cartoon music that segués into something called “The Heated Tadpole” that sounds like spooky circus music sound-track for a Federico Fellini film.

The set rides home on a car song, “Rocket 88” that sounds like “Ode to Joy” played on a calliope. Carlos shows here why some refer to him, quite rightly, as ‘maestro’, as he backs a precise, elegant, and clearly denoted solo with what sounds like the chords of B3. You have to look up to see that the band is not playing and it’s just him.

Virtuosity, taste, humour, and a drive that takes you into the space beyond where you started. That’s what you get from the music of Carlos del Junco.

He’s a hard act to follow.

Dr. John did his usual best with some tunes from his latest album Dis, Dat, or D’Udda. The Doctor plays two keyboards, draped with funereal crepe and skull and bones. He sings, he talks, he preaches, he gets you dancing in a voodoo groove that has more funkle than your uncle.

Dr. John
And on that note, the curtain came down on the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, 2005.
We welcome your comments and feedback
• • • • • •
Report by Stanley Fefferman
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Photographs by Roger Humbert

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