March 2007

March 15, 2007Lula LoungeToronto
To Gruv or not to Gruv…
by Craig Pady with photo by Roger Humbert
That is the question that Grüvoria seems to answer without hesitation. Grüvoria are a local Jazz-Funk band led by guitarist Blair Purdy.
Recently, Lula lounge was host to an evening of Jazz-Funk, a nice addition to the already stellar latin base of music the venue is known for.

Although Grüvoria have been around since 1997, they are still largely underrated, so it was nice to see such a good turnout last Thursday night. The 7-piece combo started off the set with a John Scofield tune that set the pace with a fat-funky groove, bass and drums locked in tight, laying down the jazz-funk platform they are so well known for.

Tune after tune we experienced fiery solos from Tenor Sax-man Marcus Ali and fellow Alto Saxophone-Samurai Ashot Grigorian. Eric Boucher’s keyboard solos were so intense that we kept wondering if he was going to spontaneously combust!

One thing we would have liked to hear from this band would have some more dynamics in the pacing of their tunes. A few more slow-funk grooves and even a little change up in the amount of musicians playing at one time. Firing on all cylinders all the time detracts slightly from the essence of the style of music they are performing.

Whether you like John Scofield, Medeski Martin & Wood, Weather Report or even Return to Forever, it’s safe to say that Grüvoria are carrying the Jazz-Funk torch. Let’s hope it’s for a long long time…

Ashot Grigoryan
The musicians
Blair Purdy – guitar
Milos Angelov – bass
Vladimir Mladenovic – drums
Ashot Grigoryan – alto sax
Marcus Ali – tenor sax
Eric Boucher – keyboards
Ruben Esguerra – percussion

We welcome your comments and feedback
Craig Pady
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Roger Humbert
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The Live Music Report
Craig Pady works as a music producer for film & television and also produces and hosts What is Hip? Radio on CIUT 89.5FM.

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