I just found out through a buddy of mine on Facebook that one of the greatest musicians that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, Scott Merritt, was playing at this years Guelph Jazz Festival today.
Three Parades, by Guelph artists/multi instrumentalists/producers Scott Merritt and Jeff Bird, will orchestrate a performance by three different bands, each made up of 10-20 musicians, that will approach the St. George’s Church’s bell tower from different directions. All three bands will play a Merritt composition in counterpoint with one another and with the tolling church bell (played by Guelph player Jeff Bird), which will act as both a time pulse and key center for the composition.
Along the three routes, road signs will provide supplementary cues for the musicians to change what they are playing. The bell tower will house a PA system, which will project a pre-recorded score for solo voice that is reminiscent of a muezzin, who delivers the Muslim call to prayer from mosques. Once the bands converge at the tower and play together for several minutes, they will turn around and recede to their original starting positions.
The compositions for the three bands, the bell, and recorded voice work both independently and in concert, regardless of the listener’s position.
The Guelph Jazz Festival
The man was always a head of the curve. How he composed his songs were brilliant and very innovative. He did it such a way that I have never heard of before. I guess this is what peaked my curiosity with his overall body of work. In 1986 he was a nominee for the Juno award of Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year!
He was the kind of guitarist that when he entered the local music store, Music and Sound, everyone who was holding a guitar put it down making it look like they didn’t play it at all! We all just had so much respect for him that we felt a little bit insecure about playing in front of him. The man was always a gentle giant in person and Scott’s interviews were always insightful.
My wife and I feel in love with his Gravity is Mutual album when we first heard it. We still have our original vinyl copy downstairs!
I will leave you with a video that he did to support his album and I know that you’ll all enjoy it!
Scott Merritt, Keep on Jammin’ PLEASE!!!
More things about Scott Merritt