Two years after their debut album, Cranbrook’s The Little Jazz Orchestra have gone back into the studio — that is, the stage of the Key City Theatre — to record another record.
“Key City’s been awesome, donating the space here and wanting to host for the CD release again,” said keyboard player Evan Bueckert.
READ MORE: Little Jazz Orchestra record debut album
They recorded their last album and had the last CD release party at the Key City Theatre, and as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Bueckert is accompanied by Janice Nicli on bass, Sven Heyde on drums and Graham Barnes on guitar. Founding member Dave Ward is no longer with the band, meaning Nicli is now the only original member.
WATCH: The Little Jazz Orchestra perform “Freaky Hijiki” by the Beastie Boys
“We were just going in a different direction,” said Bueckert. “Our trumpet lead player moved away and we didn’t want to stop because of that, that would have been a waste of a lot of effort and time put together.
“We’ve really gotten to know each other really well and we’re like a little family. For it to just stop would be unthinkable.”
Bueckert continued, saying that they enjoyed playing with each other so much, they decided to carry on, change the style, change the repetoir and take the band in a new direction, but kept the name, joking: “We’re the Littler Jazz Orchestra now.”
The band recorded all the tracks in two and a half days on stage at the Key City Theatre, and then will be doing their own mixing and production on the album.
Their process is to record every song three or four times live off the floor before moving on to the next one. They’ll then get together as a band and listen through, and “hopefully pick the same ones” as their favourite cuts.
After that they’ll go into production phase and hope to have everything done by late fall to early winter.
The band preforms regularly at the Heidout, and so they’re well versed in their new material before going into the studio setting.
The last record was completely comprised of the band’s own original material but this time they’ve gone in a different direction, opting instead to release a selection of their favourite covers of songs from throughout different points in history, including jazzed-up versions of The Beatles and the Beastie Boys.
“Everything from old standards to new jazz,” said Barnes.
This new album represents more than just another record for the band, they have some motivation behind it.
“We’re mostly doing it because we love playing together,” Bueckert said but we want to have something current to promote what we’re doing and get some opportunities that are maybe a little father reaching.”
He explained that the band hopes to approach the festival scene next summer and play some festival gigs, and without a current, tangible recording, they won’t be able to approach promoters.
“Our previous record is not how we sound anymore,” he added. “It’s not us, it’s not reflective of what we are so we had to have something refreshed. And then we hope to have some fun playing further abroad.”
Beyond that, there’s of course the satisfaction of having something tangible to show for all their hard work spent practising.
“Even the last album I’ll listen to it and I’m super proud of it,” Nicli said. “Nothing worse than listening to yourself sometimes and it’s like ‘ugh!’. But that one there I’m super happy with it and very proud and I’m sure this one’s going to be just as good.”
Follow the Little Jazz Band on social media for more information on the release of their new record, and catch them live the first Thursday of every month at the Heidout.