Every Sunday OttawaJazzScene.ca recommends a live jazz or improvised music performance in Ottawa-Gatineau from the dozens of live jazz events in our comprehensive Live Jazz Guide we send to donors. There's a lot of wonderful jazz being presented, so it's often a difficult choice.

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 8 p.m.: Live @ Record Runner: The Epoch Quintet

Mike Essoudry is a prolific and inventive composer and bandleader. His projects have ranged from brass bands like the Bank Street Bonbons and the (former) Mash Potato Mashers, to more groove-oriented projects like his organ-drums duo Bumpin' Binary, and improvised groups like the two-drum Mirror Duo and his duo collaborations with Linsey Wellman. He also performs in high-profile Ottawa bands including the Rakestar Arkestra, the Back-Talk Organ Sextet, the Atlantis Jazz Ensemble, Linsey Wellman's Wedding and Funeral Trio, Megan Jerome and the Together Ensemble, and the Ottawa Jazz Collective.

For many years, he led his own Mike Essoudry Sextet, with musicians from both Ottawa and Montreal, which performed at the NAC Fourth Stage several years ago. Now he has a successor to that group: the Epoch Quintet. For this group, he's chosen four Ottawa musicians, all of whom he's played with before. Guitarist Alex Moxon (the HML Trio and the Chocolate Hot Pockets) and saxophonist Zakari Frantz (the Souljazz Orchestra) are well-known on the scene, while bassist Phil Charbonneau has lately been playing more with indie groups like the Hilotrons. Pianist Roland Racz moved to Ottawa a few years ago from Hungary, where he had won many awards, and has been steadily increasing his profile here.

Essoudry is known for his vigorous and multi-layered compositions, and the painstaking care with which he prepares and rehearses his original music. He originally workshopped the tunes with this group last September at four Jazz Monday sessions. When we heard them on September 11 at Le Petit Chicago. we were impressed at the music's richness and interactivity. The audience applauded strongly as well. They've played two or three other shows since then, at Le Petit Chicago and the Record Centre.

"Time-based", edgier, and "of the time": that's how Essoudry describes the group's music. You can judge how applicable that description is at the group's first formal concert, on May 12 in the intimate and friendly Live @ Record Runner series.

Listen to our earlier interview with Mike Essoudry about this project (with music clips from the group's second show): The Epoch Quintet plays new tunes for new times

Live @ Record Runner presents The Epoch Quintet on Saturday, May 12 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, available on the Record Runner website or at the door. Record Runner Rehearsal Studios is located at 159 Colonnade Road South, Unit 6. OC Transpo route 86C stops immediately by the building (do NOT take 86B). Colonnade Road runs from Prince of Wales Drive to Merivale Road, and the studios are in the southern loop of the street.

 OttawaJazzScene.ca announces our pick of the week every Sunday, covering the following Monday to Sunday, in order to give listeners more notice of shows they might want to buy tickets for before they sell out.

Every week all season long we send a full-featured Jazz Bulletin with our Live Jazz Guide full of dozens of live jazz events including this concert to our donors. It's our way of saying 'Thank you! to readers who help us shine a spotlight on the scene all year long. Support OttawaJazzScene.ca and discover a lot more jazz every week