The Moving Instant at The BeatNiq Review, February 4 and 5, 2011

Grunge met jazz, jazz rock, bebop and gospel when the The Moving Instant, took to the stage at The BeatNiq Jazz and Social Club on Friday, February 4, 2011. They performed a number of original compositions and standards.

The group, comprised of Jason Graham, Stefano Valdo and Gavin Sorochan looked at home on stage at The BeatNiq Jazz and Social Club when they performed. The jazz fusion trio welcomed guest musician Steve Fletcher on keyboards.

Grunge, Bebop and Mindblowing Licks in the First Set

“Track 1”, written by Jason Graham is a jazz rock number that was reminiscent of some classic Santana songs. While Graham's solo on electric guitar was edgy and very rock influenced, Steve Fletcher's hummingbird-like solo contained elements of bebop.

“I'm a product of the grunge era,” admitted Graham before playing another original work called “Facelift”. He confessed to the audience that he grew up listening to the Stone Temple Pilots and other influential grunge bands. “Facelift” was the group's tribute to the Stone Temple Pilots.

“Crisis at Christmas” is a number written by bassist Stefano Valdo, who performed on a fretless bass. This was one of the few slow numbers on the programme. The melancholy timbre gradually built up momentum.

Gavin Sorochan's drum solo was riveting. The driving beat metamorphosed into equally driving rolls and complex rhythms. Just as mesmerizing was Sorochan's expressiveness at his instrument.

The group wrapped up the first set with a John Scofield number, “Filibuster”. Also featured in the first set was another Jason Graham number, “Nothing Crass”.

Funky Grooves, Gospel and Standards Mark the Second Set

The Moving Instant launched the second set with a cover tune called “Crash Course”. Graham's guitar solo weaved at a moderate pace before gathering steam. Valdo, who switched to a fretted electric bass, played a funk-influenced solo. The guitars comped with a rock groove throughout Sorochan's drum solo.

“BFD” was written by Graham and Valdo. This began with a driving drum riff before the other instrumentalists joined in. This number evoked images of video game fight scenes its the aggressive, funk rhythms. Steve Fletcher demonstrated his versatility by switching from a funk groove to a gospel-influenced one in the blink of an eye.

The group ended their show with a John Coltrane classic, “Giant Steps”. “Fast” doesn't begin to describe this number. The tempo and rapidly changing harmonies make this number a challenging one to play (but so much fun to hear). Graham, Sorochan, Valdo and Fletcher did not miss a beat during their rapidly flowing lines. Even at that fast tempo, each musician was able to play some very punchy rhythms.

Also performed in the second set were “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis, “Big Jewel” by Stefano Valdo and “You're Only Young Once” by Jason Graham. For an encore, The Moving Instant played another Miles Davis classic, “All Blues”.

All four musicians demonstrated technical virtuosity, confidence and love for their art. They were evenly matched. For the most part, the balance was good, although there were times that it was hard to hear the keyboard and bass over the drums.

The most frustrating element to the evening was the lack of audience etiquette. At times, it was difficult to hear the bass and keyboards simply because several members of the audience were talking loudly throughout the performances.

Just as disturbing was the small amount of applause after technically demanding solos played with aplomb. There is a difference between background music and performance music. The Moving Instant played the latter, which should have generated more applause than was given.

The Moving Instant Plays the BeatNiq

The Moving Instant is a jazz fusion trio made up of Jason Graham, Stefano Valdo and Gavin Sorochan. The group was formed in 2009. Joining them for this performance was Steve Fletcher on keyboard. All musicians are based in Calgary, Alberta and perform in a number of groups, including the Allistair Elliot Band and the Tricia Edwards Quartet.

Jazz fusion trio The Moving Instant played to a lively crowd at The BeatNiq in Calgary, Alberta on February 4 & 5, 2011. Jason Graham (guitar), Stefano Valdo (bass) and Gavin Sorochan (drums), along with special guest Steve Fletcher (keyboards) delivered technically demanding and impressive solos.

Originally published on on February 7, 2011. Updated August 7, 2013. Please note that the BeatNiq has closed since the original  publication of this article. The venue has since re-opened as The Wine-Ohs.