2 min

Jazz focus

Straight up, no chaser

SIZZLING SUMMER. Vincent Wolfe says his new CD is more upbeat. Credit: Xtra files

Emerging as one of the finest singers on the jazz scene today is Vincent Wolfe, whose new CD Until Tomorrow hits stores later this summer. Wolfe has been on the learning curve since his 1999 CD, Trust The Vibe, was met with strong reviews.

Never one to imitate singers from the past, Wolfe is forging new ground in his career with a decidely optimistic edge.

“People would come and see me and say my voice had this heartbreak quality to it. ‘It makes us so sad.'” Wolfe says. “Well, this is the new Vincent Wolfe. Upbeat. It’s a real summertime album.”

Until Tomorrow offers a mixture of contemporary songs, nuggets from the past and original compositions; Wolfe doesn’t have to try and steer clear of the rigid guidelines that seems ensnare most jazz musicians today. He is his own man.

“I don’t have to do things a certain way. That’s what pisses me off about a lot of young artists today,” says Wolfe. “There are so many imitations today. They have to show off.

“And I hate scat.” Which is why you’ll find none of it on Until Tomorrow. Recorded over two sessions, the CD features some fine musicians. Mike Murley’s sax is one of the highlights, as is the guitar work of Wolfe’s writing partner Sean Bray. There are four original compositions on the CD; Bray scores and Wolfe pens the lyrics.

“It’s very collaborative. We throw stuff around with each other. A chorus, a verse, a title idea. We wrassle with it. And then I go off alone and come up with something.”

Preferring a live audience to the recording studio, Wolfe holds that he and his band “never play a song the same way twice.” The moment of creation for Wolfe lies in the unpredictable nature of his emotions and he channels this energy into singing.

Judging by audience response at his recent Du Maurier Jazz fest appearance, Wolfe is on the right track.

Until Tomorrow is a self-produced project and although Wolfe has distribution, he has no big label backing. “I should just marry somebody rich,” Wolfe says, laughing. “Mariah Carey did it. No, it’s hard, but independents can do it. I just want to expand the audience, keep the buzz going, you know, have the work pay off.”

Wolfe is a Toronto native but has lived in Montreal and spent a lot time in South America where he became interested in the samba and bossa nova beats that are interspersed though out the new CD.

Until Tomorrow is a straight-forward jazz album, as opposed to his first effort that was much more ecclectic and varied. By honing his scope, Wolfe hopes to conquer the business from a marketing standpoint, as well as musically. In the world of jazz, this seems to be quite an undertaking. Vincent Wolfe seems up to the challenge.


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