Montreal bassist and composer, Nicolas Caloia, leads the 20-piece Ratchet Orchestra, assembling a panoply of seasoned and inspiring musicians capable in equal measures of dynamic group improvisation, executing complex and nuanced notated works, and romping on swinging big-band-style tunes. Ratchet repertoire has included pieces by composers as diverse as Sun Ra, Malcolm Goldstein, Duke Ellington, and Captain Beefheart, but currently the group focuses on works by Caloia. Last in Guelph in 2010, Ratchet’s approach and style has been thoroughly refined and galvanised in the intervening years. It’s unquestionably the finest large ensemble in Canadian creative music.
Listen to Ratchet Orchestra here
Photo credit: Dana Powell