Chameleon Project
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Chameleon Project

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The best kept secret in music


"CD review for 'Stereoscopic'"

This four-piece fuses drum and bass, dub and jazz in a live setting.
Most of the tracks on this release were recorded live with no overdubs, and the result is impressive.
Innovative and hypnotic grooves meet tight instrumentation.
I gotta give a special shout-out to their drummer, who must be a cyborg to keep up some of the frenetic percussion going on.

Their overall sound can be described as follows:
If you were living in a 1970s vision of “The Future” (think Logan’s Run, Rollerball or Star Blazers),
this is the band that would be playing in the spaceport departure lounge as you prepare to rocket off for a weekend of zero gravity golf.
- Tribe Magazine (December 2003)

"Techno Meets Jazz"

By Janine Toms

Connecting the dots between two musical worlds, The Chameleon Project brings musical diversity to the monotony of the mainstream world.

Forming in 2002, bass player Jamie Kidd was the final member in this four-piece ensemble. Products of the music programs at Humber College and York University, the members of the band are in their mid–20s, but you wouldn’t know it from their influences, which include Ben Webster, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus and Herbie Hancock.

Each player has his own preference, which keeps their compositions unexpected and constantly changing.

“We all bring in different influences, so it’s easy to hear jazz, funk and reggae within one tune,” says Kidd about the chameleon nature of a band, whose name gives some indication of their musical concept. “It represents how we evolve and change constantly throughout our music.”

The group has successfully fused the classic workings of old school jazz with the fresh rhythm of new–age techno. Kidd says he’s always enjoyed playing jazz, and began drawing similarities when listening to techno music.

“I started at jazz and then I was listing to techno, which brought me back to jazz.” This unlikely fusion seems natural in the band’s able hands with break beats and bass grooves riding underneath guitarist Josh Laing’s palette of electronica. Using samples and effects Laing’s playing sits almost beyond the far reaches of jazz, just an arm’s length away from convention. Sounding like John Scofield one minute, and a club dj the next, Laing pushes Chameleon into new territory. The Chameleon Project released their independent album, Stereoscope, in November 2003. The band produced the record in, well, record time.

“The entire album took only one day,” assures Kidd. Most of the nine tracks on the release were recorded live, with no overdubs. The song “Broken Glass” quickly gives an indication of the band’s abilities. Laing’s wah pedal grooves and trigger–like time changes are tightly followed by beats from drummer Tyrone Caissie. And the tune “So What Else?” offers guitar driven melody, followed up with pulse–pumping chords by keyboardist Adam Hutchison.

Chameleon’s live performance has a contagious high energy — innocent foot tapping quickly leads to potentially hazardous, full–out grooves. And for a gigging band it is surprising that they only five or six formal songs. Instead of bulked up setlists they thrive on free–form improvisation and the occasional funk–induced cover. Because of their jamband roots, a song will never sound the same twice. In addition, each of their sets is played out seamlessly, with one song blending into the next.

“We try to create a continuous flow, like a dj would, and mix elements from various tracks together to create a link between them,” explains Kidd.

The abilities of the players are continuously pushed, as they jam out every tune. Their stage presence offers show goers the chance to get a look at what each player is up to.

“There’s no real focal point, or front man,” said Kidd. In fact, the group attempts to merge itself with its spectators. “We just want to be playing as part of the audience.”

After submitting their cd, The Chameleon Project was selected to perform at this summer’s Distillery Jazz Festival in Toronto. A ten–day event, the group will be one of few Toronto acts to be playing on stage in the category of electronic/jazz.

In the meantime, they are looking to broaden their fan base outside of the big city with performances lined up in Windsor and Hamilton.

Check out their website,, for music samples, where to buy the album, and up–and–coming gigs. Or even better, come out and see The Chameleon Project’s take on modern jazz, with dj Syrum at Jimmy Jazz in Guelph on Friday April 9th. - Echo Weekly


Chameleon Project - Stereoscopic


Feeling a bit camera shy


Jazz, jungle, disco, funk, dub, techno…it’s all about a groove.
What keeps it engaging is improvisation.
It keeps changing. It never stops.
It’s at the heart of all great music…and it’s in the DNA of the members of the Chameleon Project (CP).

CPs guitarist Josh Laing says the band is about using the musical tools pioneered by the masters of the past, to create progressive and distinct music for the future. “We’re all trained jazz musicians who’ve been heavily influenced by groove-oriented music of everyone from Art Blakey and Charlie Parker to James Brown and The Meters, to Lee Scratch Perry,  Amon Tobin and the most frenetic drum and bass and free jazz..”

The band has tuned into the growing audience that appreciates a wide range of improvised styles from classic straight ahead jazz to the propulsive rhythms of electronic music. The band is not afraid to take chances night after night and brings loyal followers wherever they play.