Dec 26, 2020
Jazz history is replete with brothers who played and recorded with one another over their careers. I can quickly think of the Montgomery Brothers (Wes and Monk), the Heath Brothers (Jimmy, Tootie and Percy), Randy and Michael Brecker, Nat and Cannonball Adderley, and Winard and Philip Harper. So many others only played or recorded together from time to time – think the many Marsalis Brothers or Elvin, Thad and Hank Jones.
On The Circle (from the celebrated Canadian jazz label Justin Time), Canadian jazz explorers Jim and Chet Doxas celebrate this bond of brotherhood by delving into the musical worlds that they have been exploring together since they were children. It represents their upbringing in a musical home, their years spent on the Montreal jazz and pop scene, and their arrival onto jazz stages around the world. Pianist Marc Copland and bassist, Adrian Vedady join Chet on saxophone and Jim on drums for their first formal recorded outing as the Doxas Brothers.
Besides each other, they’ve worked with Carla Bley, Oliver Jones, Dave Douglas, John Abercrombie, Steve Swallow, Joe Lovano, and many more. Chet’s own album Rich in Symbols—featuring Douglas and guitarist Matthew Stevens, among others—was nominated for a Juno Award in 2018. Jim has played with Copland and Vedady as a trio for several years; adding his brother to the lineup was a logical next step.
When asked to pick their favorite compositions on the album, Jim chose the elegiac “Fourteen Daughters,” while Chet picked the spiritual “Uno a la Vez.” In many ways, these two tunes are indicative of the sound and structure of the album - excellent modern jazz, with the distinctive sound of Copland’s piano at the core of many of the pieces.
Podcast 784 is my conversation with Jim and Chet Doxas, as we talk about the making of The Circle, how they have matured as composers and bandleaders over the years, and the state of the jazz scene in their native Montreal. Jim talks about his time working with Oliver Jones and Hank Jones for the album Pleased to Meet You in 2010, and both share insight into their next projects. Musical selections from The Circle include “Fourteen Daughters,” and “Uno a la Vez.”