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Jazzamatazz: The Canvas

Rock plus jazz equals…what exactly? Sometimes you get great-tastes-together goodness like Sweep The Leg Johnny, other times you get Dave Matthews. Osaka’s The Canvas promote themselves as a retro-leaning unit, jazz meets rock meets “garage,” but the final product sounds solely like the first. And thank goodness for that. Despite some electric guitar lending an air of chaos to their songs, The Canvas mostly indulge their jazzy side, loading their tracks up with soft drum hits and lounge keyboard. The retro feel they hype up so much definitely shines through, but it’s not a cheesy type of nostalgia produced by cheesy synths and drum machines – rather, they sound like some pre-Mad Men era club band. Lead singer Tomoe Tatsumi ends up being the key element of the group, her voice helping to corral what could have been clouds of jazz gas floating away into proper songs. Plus she sounds really good! They have a new album, Jazzy Red, Scattered Colors, out this week if you are jonesin for some jazz. Listen to it here.