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Guelph 2013: Bomata warmed a rainy-day audience with melodic yet unusual jazz

Bomata had a warm, all-acoustic sound that was a delight to listen to  ©Brett Delmage, 2013Bomata
Guelph Market Square (outdoors)
Guelph Jazz Festival
Saturday, September 7, 2013 – 2:30 p.m.

View photos of this concert

Montreal trio Bomata plays melodic mainstream jazz – with surprises. Led by Jean Félix Mailloux on double bass, it features a less-usual instrumentation: Guillaume Bourque on clarinet and bass clarinet, and Patrick Graham on drumset and a wide variety of percussion instruments. Ottawa audiences may remember Graham's range of textures from his appearance with Trifolia with Marianne Trudel at the 2013 Ottawa jazz festival, and his earlier collaborations with Jesse Stewart.

Their hour-long concert on the Guelph Jazz Festival's outdoor stage on a Saturday afternoon attracted a reasonably large and quite attentive crowd, who heard eight originals from the trio's two albums. The group showed considerable inventiveness in styles and rhythms, and demonstrated a fine blending of different tonal qualities; the deep notes from Bourque's bass clarinet melded well with Mailloux's full-bodied bass riffs. Graham added an adventurous quality with his frequent shifts among instruments, including an extended solo on kanjira and another on frame drum.

Overall, the trio's warm, all-acoustic sound was a delight to listen to: too interesting to be called mellow, but easily approachable by even peripheral jazz or world music listeners.


This was one of a series of free outdoor concerts run by the Guelph Jazz Festival, running from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, September 7. The concerts ranged from cello improvisations to Latin to world rhythms, and featured all Canadian artists, including higher-profile names like Jane Bunnett and Jayme Stone.

    – Alayne McGregor

All photos ©Brett Delmage, 2013
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See also:

Read more about the 2013 Guelph Jazz Festival: