Ottawa guitarist Lucas Haneman introduced his trio (Paul VanDyk on acoustic double bass and Evan Tighe on drums) to the Ottawa Jazz Festival Friday – and everyone was pleased.
The two Montreal musicians had never played at the noon-hour Rideau Centre Rendez-Vous Jazz stage before (VanDyk noted it was odd to see an elevators full of shoppers in front of him instead of an audience in a club). But their experience playing together with Haneman – live and on Haneman's recently-released CD – showed in their easy communication and smooth transitions.
All but one number (Valerie by Amy Winehouse) were from the CD, This is What's Up. Haneman's electric guitar set the style – fluid and melodic and fusion-influenced. Some songs, like Tunnel Vision and Odds and Ends, were funkier, while Taken Captive displayed a touch of Pat Metheny.
Particularly notable were Sahara Sand Dune, in which Haneman steadily increased the tension with fast pizzicato notes on his guitar playing against VanDyk's steady bowing on the bass, and Smiling Faces, a lovely ballad which Haneman dedicated to his mother who died two years ago.
In fact, both the musicians on stage and audience members smiled often during the concert. Almost no one vacated the chairs, and there was enthusiastic applause at the end followed by brisk purchasing of his CD.
All photos ©Brett Delmage, 2011