Sick Boss
Sick Boss
Ron Samworth
Dogs Do Dream
Peregrine Falls
Peregrine Falls
Film in Music
Tell Tale
Fond of Tigers
Tony Wilson 6Tet
A Day's Life
Subtle Lip Can
Reflective Drime
The Peggy Lee Band
Ratchet Orchestra
Dixie's Death Pool
The Man With Flowering Hands
Aeroplane Trio
Naranja Ha
Subtle Lip Can
Subtle Lip Can
Gord Grdina Trio w/ Mats Gustafsson
Barrel Fire
Fond of Tigers
Continent & Western
Creesus Crisis
A Vacant Lot
Tommy Babin's Benzene
Your Body Is Your Prison
The Tony Wilson Sextet
The People Look Like Flowers At Last
Viviane Houle
Escape Through The Trees
The Perilous Beauty of Madness
Jim McAuley
The Ultimate Frog
The Peggy Lee Band
New Code
Butcher/Müller/van der Schyff
Way Out Northwest
Fond Of Tigers
Release the Saviours
The Furniture Moves Underneath
Tony Wilson 6tet
Pearls Before Swine
Escondido Dreams
ZMF Trio
Circle The Path
Francois Houle
Jesse Zubot
Fond Of Tigers
A Thing To Live With
Dark Blue World
Tony Wilson
Horse's Dream
Crouched Head
Crouched Head
The Winks/Tights
Split CD

(high res cd cover here!)
Ratchet Orchestra

1. Winnow
2. Dusty
3. Yield (listen!)
4. Wish - part 1 (listen!)
5. Wish - part 2
6. Kick (listen!)
7. Safety
8. Hemlock - part 1
9. Hemlock - part 2

*nominated for a Juno Award '13


Listen to Ratchet Orchestra at:
Ratchet Orchestra

The eclectic astounding and sometimes mystifying Ratchet Orchestra continue to attract attention with the release of their third recording Hemlock. Recorded by Godspeed you! Black Emperor bassist Thierry Amar and released on the Vancouver label Drip Audio, The Ratchet Orchestra is a who's who of Montreal's edgiest musicians. Director Nicolas Caloia's compositions provide a structure to showcase fierce talents like Tom Walsh, Jean Derome, Lori Freedman, Sam Shalabi, and Christopher Cauley. The Ratchet Orchestra has existed since the early 1990s when Caloia started experimenting with improvised chamber jazz. In 1998 the size of the band began to swell for a legendary birthday tribute to the inspirational SunRa and it has continued expanding to it's current membership of 30 strong. This band makes a powerful sound but is not designed to be a demonstration of force, rather, it embraces human frailty. The Ratchet Orchestra does not resemble a sports team or an army, it's members do not have to march in perfect formation. They are pirates, not the navy. The group defies reason.

Since 1990 Nicolas Caloia has worked at creating a contemporary music generated by using accurately composed textures to channel collective improvisation. The goal is a music that erases the lines between improvised and composed, pop and avant-garde, good and bad. He hopes this music will satisfy the body, the mind and, above all, the heart. He has worked as a performer, composer, and organizer in Montreal and has toured in North America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed and recorded in a vast array of contexts with the most important members of Montreal's creative music community as well as with internationally renowned musicians like Marshall Allen, John Butcher, Joe McPhee, Steve Lacy, Hassan Hakmoun, Tristan Honsinger and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. His concerts and numerous recordings have been critically acclaimed both at home and abroad. Currently, the majority of his work as a composer and improviser finds a voice in: The Ratchet Orchestra – a 30 piece bigband; Tilting – the Nicolas Caloia Quartet, Ring – a sextet, Spell – a 10 piece marching band, Trephining a quintet, Mercury - a duet Lori Freedman as well in solo performances.


Jean Derome (Bass Flute, Piccolo et Flute), Craig Dionne (Flute), Lori Freedman (Clarinet), Gordon Krieger (Bass Clarinet), Cristopher Cauley (Soprano Sax), Louisa Sage (Alto Sax), Damian Nisenson (Tenor Sax), Jason Sharp (Bass Sax), Elwood Epps (Trumpet), Philippe Battikha (Trumpet), Tom Walsh (Trombone), Scott Thomson (Trombone), Jacques Gravel (Trombone), Thea Pratt (E flat Horn), Eric Lewis (Euphonium), Noah Countability (Sousaphone), Gabriel Rivest (Tuba), Joshua Zubot (Violin), Guido Del Fabbro (Violin), Brigitte Dajczer (Violin), Jean René (Viola), Gen Heistek (Viola), Norsola Johnson (Cello), Nicolas Caloia (Bass), Chris Burns (Guitar), Sam Shalabi (Guitar), Guillame Dostaler (Piano), Ken Doolittle (Percussion), Michel Bonneau (Conga), Isaiah Ceccarelli (Drums), John Heward (Drums)


"Jazz has never had much of a sniff at Polaris, but this record’s epic scope transcends genre to appeal to anyone with a love for big, bold sounds. Hemlock a record this country needs to hear and celebrate." - Polaris Music Prize

"With Hemlock, Rachet Orchestra have finally found their sound, and it's splendid." - Exclaim!

"Classical lushness and avant garde edginess coalesce into a sharp-witted yet delicate set, one of the year’s best releases." - Cult Montreal

"It all ends up sounding like big band music performed in an industrial blender. The cool thing of it is, once the novelty of the sound fades, the ingenuity of the music shines through." - emusic

"...the feeling and idealism are infectious." - Down Beat Magazine

"The music on this cd is majestic, a constant flow of colourful images in high resolution, it charms with melodious substance but captivates with harmonic depth and grandeur." - (Free) Jazz Alchemist

"Listening to the Ratchet Orchestra's new album is like stumbling into an alchemist's garden: the magical storybook kind, with ancient stone walls and a network of labyrinthine paths that creep through brambly shrubs and scrambling vines. It's far more extensive than what you'd imagined from the outside — and the further you wander, the more unfathomable it seems. You begin to wonder if a garden could actually have no limits." - CBC Music (online)

"...Caloia melds lustrous textures, some of which issue from a sizeable strings section deployed for maximum sweep that recalls Alice Coltrane, to scrappy guitars that seem intent on chipping away at the music's broad face." - The Wire

"...both comfortably experienced and stride-catchingly fresh." - Forest Gospel

"...thoughtfully constructed and there are moments of inspiration and spontaneity throughout." - Free Jazz

"Finally, a Ratchet Orchestra release that gives the full measure of this gigantic band." - Monsieur Délire

"...should have Ellington smiling down from above." - Signal To Noise

"Hemlock is a strong recording with good tunes; what helps is that the audio is top-notch—all the instruments are clear and there's no sonic mud to cloud the waters." - All About Jazz

Album Review: Forest Gospel
Album Review: Exclaim! (Review #2)
Album Review: Pop Matters

Album Review: Something Else!
Album Review: All About Jazz

Album Review: (Free) Jazz Alchemist
Album Review: Exclaim!
Album Review: Cult Montreal
Album Review: Free Jazz
Interview: CBC Music (online)
Album Review: Monsieur Délire


In The Studio !!!!!!


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