CD launch promises to set night on fire

For the launch of her first album, Anita Eccleston promises she and her quartet will literally set the night on fire with a mix of traditional jazz riffs and modern beats.

"When people think jazz, they often think it's this complex, hard-to-listen-to mix. Not when I do it," Eccleston said Monday. "It's fun and it's interactive and it's easy to listen to."

And Eccleston, who studied music at McGill University, expects to have a packed house up and dancing when the Anita Eccleston Quartet performs at the Westsyde Pump on Saturday night.

Between songs, Amanda Buder-Eccleston will perform Poi fire spinning and fire fan dance outside the pub, adding a visual element to the evening.

"The concept of the show is jazz on fire. You take the concept of traditional jazz and you set it on fire," she said.

Eccleston recently released her first album, the Anita Eccleston Jazz EP, in Vancouver. But, having grown up in Kamloops, she wanted to host a special bash in her hometown.

No stranger to the local music scene - she developed a passion for music while a student at Westsyde secondary and performed with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra - Eccleston will pay tribute to the standards that bring jazz to life while infusing the music with her own unique touches.

Her style of jazz is traditional yet boundary pushing, she said, adding it incorporates elements of blues, reggae and disco.

"It's classy and fun," said Eccleston.

Recording an album is a long, hard process. The Anita Eccleston Jazz EP was recorded during three separate session in Montreal and at Small World Studios in Kamloops.

"Think vocal jazz. It's more like Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn, with trumpet of course," said Eccleston, a trumpeter

The recording was completed in May, but it took several more months to put the seven-track CD together. In the meantime, Eccleston has been hard at work on a nine- or 10-song follow-up album she hopes to release later this year.

"You aim for something but, when you put a date on it, it's not usually ready for months later," she said of the process.

Copies of the Anita Eccleston Jazz EP will sell for $10 at the Pump on Saturday night. Eccleston promises the show won't begin until after the Vancouver Canucks game.

"I'll be there watching the third period," she said.

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