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Souljazz Orchestra feeling forward momentum

For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

The best part about Souljazz Orchestra hitting its 10-year anniversary, according to keyboardist and co-founder Pierre Chretien, is forward momentum.

"It feels like about 10 years, but things are always getting better and always progressing" for the genre-blending Ottawa-based sextet, Chretien says. "This is our biggest tour yet, a whole three months across 12 different countries, 30 different dates.

"So, yeah, we can't complain."

Since its inception Souljazz Orchestra has taken its fans on a variety of musical journeys, blending elements of -- as the name implies -- soul and jazz with world music flavors. The group's last album, 2010's "Rising Sun," was a more jazz-fosused, acoustic-minded diversion, while on this year's "Solidarity" the group has plugged in again and brought in a number of guests to push in what Chretien calls "new fusions of styles."

"We always want to just try something different whenever we (record)," Chretien, 34, explains. "Our general fan base likes that, I think. We've been getting a lot of good feedback to ('Solidarity'), and I think they're digging it. Some people think it's too (diverse), but that's maybe more a concern of the media putting things in boxes, figuring things out like that.

"In general we've had a lot of positive feedback. We're very happy so far."

Souljazz Orchestra and Zomgo Junction perform Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the Pike Room in the Crofoot, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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