Panacea comes to the Canadian jazz scene out of Montreal determined to offer up their own interpretations of the genre.
The CD is experimental, progressive jazz which caresses and jars the senses, often at the same time.
The five-piece band offers a cornucopia of instrumentation, from the traditional trumpet, trombone, bass and drums through to synthesizer, French horn, euphonium and didgeridoo. Guests artists add in violin, oboe, cello,and bassoon, so musically Panacea draws on orchestral roots.
As artists; Nick Kirshnit, Eli Chamber, Gregory Burton, Josh Dodds and Ben Dodds, take the listener on a wild ride, yet never so far to the edge of jazz that they risk loosing the traditionalists among their listeners.
There is enough pure jazz layered here that when the curves do comes, the listeners can take them at full speed, and Panacea never lays down a real hairpin corner that would shake us loose from enjoying what they are doing.
And what they do is tell some interesting stories in a language not totally familiar, yet with enough phrases we can identify that we are comfortable listening.
They do it all with just a bit of humour too as witnessed by song titles which include Freedom Fries, Ode to an Ugly Pig Parts I & II, which combined for a 15-minute excursion, and the CD ending Trash Stash which weighs in at more than 10 minutes.
This is a CD I like because it pushes jazz sensibilities, yet without going too far as to lose even a casual jazz fan. That is not always an easy balance to achieve, but Panacea succeeds. Check them out at www.panacea1.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 14, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada