The Jessica Stuart Few Albums Released in Japan

The Jessica Stuart Few1+


The Jessica Stuart Few
From: Toronto, Canada

You wouldn’t expect it from a white girl who grew up in Vancouver, but the Japanese ‘koto’ is in Jessica’s blood. Growing up in a household with a koto master for a mother, Stuart also lived in Japan as a child, and came upon the traditional 13-stringed floor harp honestly, taking lessons with her mother’s sensei. Now, following extensive Canadian touring plans in support of their new release Two Sides to Every Story (March 12, 2013), Jessica and The `Few will head abroad for their first tour of Japan in fall 2013.Jessica Stuart’s deep musical history and love of guitar heavy rock and soul music are put on equal footing with the Canadian singer-songwriter tradition. On Two Sides to Every Story, Stuart exhibits a pitch-perfect vocal sensibility strikingly reminiscent of Joni Mitchell, with stunning harmonies proudly laid free of auto-tune. Her innovative take on the Japanese koto, and her exceptional guitar work are both inspired. Performing and recording alongside Dan Fortin on double bass (Serena Rider, Bernice) and Tony Nesbitt-Larking on drums (The Most Serene Republic, Tanika Charles), Stuart and her long-time band mates are all vital players in Toronto’s indie music community. The ‘Few’s instrumentation is one-of-a-kind, and Stuart’s approach to songwriting is fresh, taking influence from folk, soul, rock and jazz, while creating a distinctive new sound that has earned the trio main stage performances at some of Canada’s top festivals (North By Northeast, Canadian Music Week, TD Toronto Jazz Festival, Islands Folk Festival, Vancouver Chutzpah! Festival, to name a few). The band also received two 2012 Toronto Independent Music Award nominations (Best Live Performance, Best Recording), and continues to enjoy their songs and videos in regular rotation on CBC Radio and Bravo! TV.Produced by Jessica and long-time collaborator Mischa Chillak (K-OS, Herb Alpert), and mixed by Ian Bodzasi (Sam Roberts, Hey Rosetta), Two Sides to Every Story was recorded almost entirely live-off-the-floor, capturing the warm sound and charismatic energy of the band’s live shows. The album transports the listener – it’s storytelling set to music that takes surprising turns, all the while maintaining sing-along hooks and harmonies that you can’t forget. Aesthetically, this album is part of an ongoing collaboration between Jessica and noted Japanese-Canadian visual artist, Takashi Iwasaki, whose playful original artwork on the recording’s packaging is the perfect visual accompaniment to the listening experience. The two have developed a routine of sharing their art and music back and forth, inspiring each other’s projects, and fittingly, this album also features an art insert coupling Takashi’s images with Jessica’s words.

カナダのバンクーバーで育ち、琴の熟練者である母親の繋がりで幼少期から琴のレッスンを受け、日本でも過ごしたこともある異色のバックグラウンドもつミュージシャン“Jessica Stuart”。音楽の英才教育を受けてきた才女がトロントのインディーズシーンにおいて重要な存在であったダン・フォーティン(Ba./ Serena Rider, Bernice)とネスビット-ラーキン(Dr./ The Most Serene Republic, Tanika Charles) と出会い、正に音楽の化学反応で結成されたのが、フォークジャズ・パワー・トリオ“The Jessica Stuart Few”である。フォーク、ソウル、ロック、ジャズなど様々なジャンルに影響を受けてきた彼ら3人が奏でる、日本の伝統の楽器である琴 (13弦の琴) の独特な音色に加え、ダブルバス(Dan Fortin)とドラム(Tony Nesbitt-Larking) そしてギターという構成に、Joni Mitchellを髣髴とさせる叙情的な歌詞と歌声をのせたコンビネーションは、結成間もない頃から話題を呼び、North By Northeast, Canadian Music Week, TD Toronto JazzFestival, Islands Folk Festival, Vancouver Chutzpah! Festivalといったカナダ国内で開催された数々のフェスティバルに出演を果たすだけでなく、新人としては異例ともいえるメインステージへの抜擢等、その異色のグループ編成と確かなライブパフォーマンスがインディーズシーンで瞬く間に注目を浴びる。その後もSerena Ryder、The Creaking Tree String Quartet、The Odds、Maylee Todd、Steve Poltz 、Elizabeth Shepherd & By Divine Right といったカナダの一流アーティスト達とステージを共にし、2012年にはTorontoIndependent Music Awardで最優秀ライブパフォーマンス、最優秀レコーディングの2部門にノミネートされ、現在に至るまで数々のテレビ番組やラジオなどでピックアップされる等、今最もカナダのインディーシーンにおいて話題を集めている。