Wednesday, March 14, 2018


If anybody has done this before, I've never heard of it. Making an original album wasn't enough for the Tin Pan Darlings, so the group went ahead and made a movie to go along with it as well. Not a documentary or making-of, an actual movie that matches the plot of the album. And, the Maritime group is touring the creation, so you can go see the show, as they perform the album to go along with the film. Tres cool.

You'll also be able to see the film on YouTube starting in April. It's a silent movie, a comedy, reflecting the jazz age style of the music, a '20's - '30's vintage feel and look. Tin Pan Darlings is lead by singer Tracy Anderson, who conceived of the project five years ago, first as music. Then her sister, pianist Amy got more involved, and learned, yes learned, how to make a film. The nine-track album runs about 36 minutes, so a good chunk of filming to do.

I can't tell you about the visuals yet, but the music is superbly created, featuring some of the region's best jazz players. Anderson teamed up with the dean of the scene, Halifax jazz-blues pianist Bill Stevenson, a fixture on CBC for years, and a frequent collaborator with, hmm, everybody, as producer and co-writer. He brought along his colleagues in Easley (Thom, double bass), Stevenson and Arsenault (Geoff, drums) for some cuts, and there are different combinations of players on each cut, featuring rich horn arrangements, and even some vintage jazz violin from Ray Legere. Amy handles lots of piano, and predictably Stevenson wades in with some tasty keys himself, especially the organ on Bathtub Gin.

Legere's violin is featured on Let's Have A Romance, playing off Anderson's vocals, a lighthearted proposal played out to a tango. On Cabana Song, the troupe goes Latin as the lovebirds go on vacation to a gentle samba, with Anderson getting to playfully follow the melody, scatting along to the piano notes. You can get a good sense of the plot from the soundtrack, all those classic jazz scenarios, and revel in the fine performances all the way through.

The live show is going to be quite an event, with the movie and with the Tin Pan Darlings performing as a jazz quintet, featuring both Andersons, Paul St. Amand on trumpet, Adam Bourque on double bass and Brendan Melchin on drums. Here are the tour dates so far:

March 21st, Second Wind Music Centre, Florenceville - Bristol
March 22nd, Five and Dime, Saint John
March 23rd, Sackville Commons, Sackville, NB
March 24th, Grimross Brewery, Fredericton 
May 12th, CodaPop Studios, Halifax

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