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Jay Crocker - JPop.com
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Jay Crocker

Jay Crocker

Jay Crocker


There has been no presence on Calgary music in the past decade quite like Jay Crocker. A bandleader to be reckoned with, a band‐mate of envious talents, a uniquely pin‐sharp producer/arranger, and a fierce improviser and musical explorer Crocker's inspiring shadow hangs long. Following a banner year for his "other" bands Ghostkeeper (including a Polaris Prize nomination for their sophomore self‐titled album) and international acclaim for trash improv/jazz outfit NoMoreShapes Read more on Last.fm
There has been no presence on Calgary music in the past decade quite like Jay Crocker. A bandleader to be reckoned with, a band‐mate of envious talents, a uniquely pin‐sharp producer/arranger, and a fierce improviser and musical explorer Crocker's inspiring shadow hangs long. Following a banner year for his "other" bands Ghostkeeper (including a Polaris Prize nomination for their sophomore self‐titled album) and international acclaim for trash improv/jazz outfit NoMoreShapes, 2011 marks the release of Crocker's finest, laser‐precise bursts of creative spark yet, the twin LPs Turned to Giants, and Co‐Stars. Fresh, exciting, and entirely original, the creative force behind Giants and Co‐Stars practically spills from the speakers, barely contained on the shiny underside of a compact disc (or within the 1's and 0's, should digital be more your speed). Ricocheting in a multitude of directions, both Giants and Co‐Stars mark a shift in Crocker’s work in which the possibilities of noise are meshed with a fool‐proof sense of melody and composition.

Melting pianos, makeshift music boxes, and pulsating guitars bubble beneath Crocker's developed lead vocals ‐ from a gentle whisper to a multi‐tracked howl. Rarely does one hear a record of such imagination and skill emerging from a solitary voice ‐ that Crocker has created two in just one year is testament to his standing as one of Canada’s most forward looking musicians. But before looking ahead, it’s always important to look back, and Crocker’s musical history is one of intense growth and versatility. Following the dissolution of Recipe From a Small Planet (with whom Crocker toured Canada incessantly, playing over 1,000 shows), Crocker re‐grouped and re‐emerged with his debut solo album Melodies from the Outskirts, proclaimed the “Best Indie Release of 2006” by The Calgary Herald.

Crocker also has been in eminent figure in Calgary's ever growing improv and noise scene. Recorded in Tuscon with producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Iron & Wine, Neko Case) at the legendary Wavelab Studios, 2008’s Below the Ocean Over combined the classic songwriting of Melodies from the Outskirts with a razor‐sharp sense of epic instrumental arrangement. Built upon sweeping horn sections and strings (Calexico’s Joey Burns guesting on cello), Below the Ocean Over stands up as a manifesto of purpose and intent. Spending much of the interim following Ocean Over behind the boards, Crocker has since become one of Calgary’s most sought‐after producers, his small backyard studio Sea Legs capable of capturing the gigantic sounds in his head within a tiny hand‐built secret bunker shack. Turned to Giants and Co‐Stars marks Crocker’s re‐emergence as a songwriter and performer to be reckoned with, and they stand as a one‐two punch destined to match the critical praise heaped upon not only the other recent projects given the Crocker touch, but the full canon of modern music. This time, keeping Crocker as Calgary’s own favourite secret is out of the question. Read more on Last.fm.

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