Peter and the Wolves
The late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s were a time of experimentation in rock music, and incorporating elements of jazz was the focus of many of the top artists of that era. Van Morrison hired virtuoso jazz bassist Richard Davis and drummer Connie Kay [of The Modern Jazz Quartet] to record his landmark album Astral Weeks, followed by Moondance, one of the jazz-iest pop singles ever. Blood, Sweat & Tears released their first two albums featuring, rich, melodic horn lines and bop solos. Carlos Santana cited John Coltrane and Miles Davis as influences, and 1972’s Caravanserai, considered one of his best albums, confirms it. Frank Zappa [Hot Rats and Waka Jawaka albums], Chicago Transit Authority, Brian Auger and the Trinity, Chase and, later, Steely Dan – all were striving to fuse jazz with rock music.
Ottawa’s Peter and the Wolves approach their ‘70’s–style original music in a similar way – pop/rock with an adult sensibility, anchored by a rock rhythm section with Latin percussion and 4 horns. Guitarist/vocalist [and bandleader] Peter Forêt is the main song writer, and his work suggests a wide range of influences, from Van Morrison to Todd Rundgren, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, Jackson Browne and Randy Newman. Stylistically there are elements of Afro-Cuban, southern rock, blues/rock, rhythm & blues and, of course, jazz.
“The Wolves” rank among the region’s busiest, and best, freelance musicians. They’ve performed with Alanis Morrissette, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Colin James, Natalie Cole, The National Arts Centre Orchestra, Gladys Knight, Lou Rawls, David “Fathead” Newman, Josh Groban, Frankie Valli and Martha Reeves. The band’s roster includes world-class jazz players Mark Ferguson [Holly Cole, Manteca] and saxophonist Mike Tremblay, veteran rockers Forêt and Eddy Bimm [Cooper Bros., Les Emmerson], drummer Tom Denison, Ron Ferguson, Brian Asselin [The Funk Bros., J.W. Jones], René Fortier [Robert Paquette] Dave Arthur and Martin Newman [The Flaps].
It’s been the band’s mission to experiment with style and substance, and to bring together great players with diverse experience, to create music uniquely their own. From it’s inception as a 3-piece bar band in 1985, Peter and the Wolves sought to recapture the spirit of the golden age of rock music. They’ve done just that.