Since first arriving on the scene at the turn of the millenium, the Souljazz Orchestra has never stopped pushing the limits of its signature sound: an explosive clash of soul, jazz and tropical styles, unleashed by blaring majestic horns, dusty vintage keyboards, and an arsenal of earthquaking percussion.
The Souljazz Orchestra returns with a brand new studio album for our troubled times, Chaos Theories. Always known for its uncompromising social and political messages, the Canadian collective hits harder than ever on these nine new tracks, outing the hypocrisy of modern day politics, abuses of power by law enforcement, and the everyday struggle of the working man. The band continues to evolve its sound as well, drawing on a broad palette, from its trademark Latin, Afro and Caribbean styles to some of the cross-pollinated UK sounds of the early '80s, the era of The Clash, The Police, 2-Tone and frontline reggae. "We were basically messing around with the idea of creating our own flavour of Afro-punk", mentions composer Pierre Chrétien, "something with the fierce, in-your-face energy of punk rock or free jazz, but still backed by the soulful, hypnotic grooves of tropical music."
The album takes the listener from carefully targeted sonic missiles to more reflective thought-provoking moments. 'Police The Police' starts the offensive, exposing the problem of police violence in North America from a personal standpoint; 'House Of Cards' then takes a thinly veiled swipe at the current US administration on an infectious disco groove; 'Boat Rockers' challenges us all to look beyond accepted norms and 'General Strike' documents the frustrations of the working class as the economic gap gets increasingly wider; 'Slumlord' shines the spotlight on dodgy landlords while the brilliant closer 'Well Runs Dry' laments modern day living, with its confused pace and mundane obsessions, and incites us to seize the day while we still can.
Now celebrating its 17th year, the Souljazz Orchestra continues to be an unstoppable force. The three-time Juno nominees have been fortunate enough to bring their dynamite show to over two dozen countries across North America, Europe and Africa, sharing the stage with major heavyweights along the way, while showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, years of relentless touring have formed the Souljazz Orchestra's live concerts into the stuff of legends - more often than not culminating in ecstatic, sweat-soaked, cathartic affairs, mixing pulsating arrangements with eruptive improvisations.
THE SOULJAZZ ORCHESTRA Philippe Lafrenière - drums, percussion, vocals Marielle Rivard - percussion, vocals Pierre Chrétien - vintage keyboards, percussion, vocals Ray Murray - baritone saxophone, percussion, vocals Steve Patterson - tenor saxophone, percussion, vocals Zakari Frantz - alto saxophone, percussion, vocals