Morgan Childs on the drums. (Photo submitted)

Morgan Childs on the drums. (Photo submitted)

Childs highly regarded for musical vocabulary

Drummer being joined by a stellar lineup for Pat’s House of Jazz return

Toronto-based drummer Morgan Childs likes working without chordal instruments — they just get in the way of his melodic playing.

Childs says he “embraces the freedom to explore rhythms that comes from using a two-horn front line without the constant chordal support of piano or guitar.

“It’s harmonically spare, challenging music built upon the polyrhythmic undercurrents inherent in the beat of the jazz rhythm,” says Childs.

“I was inspired by Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden and others who used such line-ups with great effect.”

Childs plans to make his drums sing when he brings a quartet to Pat’s House of Jazz in the Osborne Bay Pub in Crofton on Sunday, Jan. 13.

The show, with a stellar lineup of Victoria sidemen — tenor saxophonist Ryan Oliver, trumpeter Patrick Boyle and bassist John Lee — kicks off the seventh season of Sunday afternoon jazz presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society.

Childs, who originally hailed from Invermere, has built an international career as a university instructor, band leader, sideman, composer and performer with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Ingrid Jensen, Brad Turner, Bill Coon, Mike Allen, Phil Dwyer and Don Thompson.

A veteran of the festival, club and university circuits, the Capilano College graduate has won many scholarships and awards, including the General Motors Grand Prix du Jazz at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009 and 2012 with the Amanda Tosoff Quartet and Robi Botos Trio, respectively.

Georgia Straight’s Alexander Varty says “Childs rides the cymbals like Max Roach while dropping bombs like Billy Higgins,” while Raul de Game Rose of All About Jazz once described Childs as the “beating heart in the wholesome body” of the group he was playing with.

Rose added that “though he is playing a traditional trap set he often sounds as if he were playing a melodic instrument.”

The show is a re-union of sorts for Childs, who played with Oliver for several years in Toronto before Oliver moved to Victoria. And Childs first met Patrick Boyle at the Banff School of Fine Arts in 2009.

Ever versatile, Childs is highly regarded among his peers for his deep swing feel, sensitivity, musicality, a reverence for jazz history and a wide-ranging musical vocabulary.

His latest album, On the Street of Dreams, features Kelly Jefferson, David Restivo and John Maharaj. He also appeared on Amanda Tosoff’s Juno-nominated 2016 release, Words.

The show begins at 2 p.m. Admission is $15. For reservations, call 250-324-2245. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m.

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