“We’re music nerds and we have a lot of gear; it’s just what came out” admits bassist Ash when asked about Antizario’s sound and new record. Antizario was formed in 2003 by Chris Naylor (Guitars, Trumpet and Effects), Dave Halabisky (Saxophones, Keys and Flute), Ash Shabnavard (Upright and Electric Bass, Samples and Effects) and Alan Reain (Drum Kit, Percussion and Programming) and built a following by playing clubs in the Ottawa and Montreal areas.
Antizario hit the studio in 2006 to cut their debut record, “It’s Great to be Fine,” which blends jazz, electronica, ambient soundscapes, hip-hop, drum n’ bass and afrobeat to create a sound that is equally at-home in sophisticated martini lounges, movie soundtracks, college radio and jazz clubs. The self-produced disc was mixed by Chris Naylor and mastered by Ryan Morey (Arcade Fire, Bedouin Soundclash, Kid Koala, Amon Tobin, etc.).
“It’s Great to be Fine” highlights the band’s versatility and collaborative nature as a slew of guests are featured on the disc, including spoken word artist Ritallin, MC Flip Kuma, vocalist Ana Miura, African percussionist Dr. Lee, tabla player Rob Reid and turntablist D-Mass.
Antizario kicked off 2007 in style by releasing their self-produced debut CD, “It’s Great to be Fine,” to great reviews, creating a significant buzz in the clubs and on radio. The album debuted at the top of the charts on CHUO 89.1 FM and topped the charts on CKCU 93.1 FM shortly after. Several tracks are receiving heavy airplay on CBC and college radio in Ottawa and Montreal. Antizario were named a Rising-Scene Star in Ottawa Magazine’s Best of Fall Issue, 2006.
In March 2007, the band welcomed Alun Davies (upright bass) and Matt Aston (drum kit) into the group to replace Alan and Ash who had both relocated to other cities. Alun has worked several high profile Canadian artists, including Juno Award winners Maestro Fresh Wes and Glenn Lewis and ECMA winner Bruce Guthro. Matt is one of Ottawa’s busiest drummers, playing with the Jean Trudel, 16 Corners, After the Troops Leave and numerous jazz ensembles.