Sure it does. Like “poo,” the word “goo” provokes giggles. Affixed to a jazz band, “goo” may just as easily provoke giddy excitement for music fans. Really. Goo! is Canadian jazz bassist Graig Earle’s baby. Earle, who’s gigged with former Shuffle Demon Richard Underhill, jazz vocalist Denzal Sinclaire, trumpeter Kevin Turcotte and others, moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, to explore new musical expression horizons.
An element of jazz is change. Something cool in the move certainly favoured Earle. He won 2008’s jazz album of the year at the Danish Music Awards. Good things were percolating happily for another young Canadian jazz cat---also residing in Copenhagen---drummer Kevin Brow. He’d released his CD, KOPTER, on hip label Fresh Sound New Talent, for which current luminaries Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel and The Bad Plus have cut tracks.
When hot Canadian saxophonist Brodie West responded to Earle’s call to join a tour of Scandinavia, Goo! took shape. A recording session with Danish keyboardist Simon Toldam Rosegren---“one of Scandinavia’s most exciting and acclaimed pianists and Danish Rising Star”---and Goo!’s instrumental complement was complete. In concert, the band exclusively performs personal compositions, inspirationally drawn from an eccentric range of influences. They cite 1940s jazz and “classical tradition of the 1840s,” along with sounds of the West Indies and India.
For those unfamiliar with Nordic European po-mo jazz expression, Scandinavian players favour music cling-wrapped in focused moods, intellectual intensity, flavoured with interestingly nuanced harmonic invention. So what to expect from Goo! the band? Methinks provocative Nordic aesthetics cowboyed-up with athletic North American-style virtuosity.