Martin Alex Aucoin
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Martin Alex Aucoin


Band Jazz Blues


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"Dan Berhman"

"Unknown in my battalion until July, Martin Alex Aucoin sings and plays
piano a bit like Mose Allison which doesn't take anything away from him,
quite to the contrary and it's actually a good thing in my book!

Superbly produced by Martin Alex who hails from Toronto, the album features
eleven solid titles (nine songs and two instrumentals). The players are
excellent and the music grooves to the max no matter the direction, jazz,
blues or original compositions and the lyrics are chock full of intelligence
and humor which isn't necessarily a given in these two musical genres.

I would say that, for his first album release, Martin Alex Aucoin has hit
the target right in the eye and that this album really makes me want to hear
and see him do on-stage what he does so well in the studio. So, and as one
says, let's see what happens right?"

Dan Berhman
- Espace Musique/Radio Canada

"A Sideman Steps Out"

A sideman steps out. Or at least a sideman in blues circles. Aucoin has played keyboards on numerous releases, most recently with Johnny Max and Jack de Keyzer but he gigs regularly as a solo act and it's this jazzier side that's featured here, starting off the set with some lovely Mose Allison-style vocals. The songs are all original and they show a serious talent at work. His vocals work best on the jazz numbers but he has clearly absorbed other influences. "Running For Cover" and "4 Letter Word" are solid R&B efforts that seem to cry out....... A quartet backs him here, trumpet, sax/flute, bass & drums and if your tastes run to the jazz side, you'll enjoy this one. - Derek Andrews/Maple Blues


LP : So Far
Songs w/airplay: I don't Mind
Gotta get Over You
I Feel Your pain



Martin Alex Aucoin is an award nominated songwriter/producer/keyboard player. This year he is nominated for the ECMA's in the Jazz category for his own album "So Far"; he is a Maple Blues Awards nominee for Best Songwriter & Producer, and The Johnny Max Band album "A Lesson I've Learned" (for which he wrote/co-wrote 11 songs and produced) has been nominated for a Juno.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Martin grew up with Acadian folk songs, Celtic fiddle music, country music, and whatever was on AM radio in the late 60's and 70's. Seeing a clip on television of Joe Cocker and Leon Russell performing "The Letter" from the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour proved to be an epiphany. He soon began to play chords on the family piano and learning tunes by the Beatles, Burt Bacharach, and other pop songs of the day. By the end of high school he developed an interest in jazz and blues through Dave Brubek, Duke Ellington, and Muddy Waters records.
After some soul searching (hitchhiking all over North America, Spain and Morocco, working on a rail gang, tending bar, an aborted stint in the Canadian Armed Forces, etc.) he decided to study music seriously and enrolled in Toronto's famed Humber College music program. Essentially a jazz program, Martin studied piano, orchestration, and arranging. He worked his way through college by playing local gigs, and upon graduation, immersed himself in the bustling blues/R&B scene in Toronto. Playing with Juno award winners Morgan Davis and Jack DeKeyser, he was also playing on country sessions in local studios.
Becoming increasingly disenchanted with Toronto and the Canadian music business in general, Martin moved to Nashville, TN in 1990. He soon found work in local nightclubs, backing singers of varying talents, where the hours were long and the pay was short. Eventually, he landed a job with one of his favorite singers, BJ Thomas. From Hawaii to Alaska, California to New York, Vegas to Timbuktu, it was a whirlwind experience marked by breath-taking views of the USA and bone-crushing boredom on airplanes, buses, and in hotel rooms.
After a year and a half, Martin left the road and set upon the task of breaking down the Nashville studio session door. He supported himself by going back to nightclubs and playing radio shows on the weekend. He was Musical Director on an amateur show airing out of Russellville KY, called "Live at Libby's" and was part of the Grand Ol' Opry radio/tv show for 4 years, playing with the great Cajun singer, Jimmy C. Newman. With so many artists and musicians playing on the Opry every week, it was fantastic to meet and talk with so many of his Southern heroes.
Songwriter demo sessions began to come in and Martin played on countless songs that were recorded by country greats Garth Brooks, George Strait, John Michael Montgomery and more of the current Nashville stars. Playing on these sessions gave him a sense of structure with regard to his own songs. He also squeezed in some stage time with jazz great Larry Carlton, funkster Tony Joe White, Johnny Gimble (from the Bob Wills band), country-jazz fiddler Vassar Clements, Ricky Van Shelton, Alan Jackson, and others. He raised a small stir when he got a job playing in a Black Baptist church just across the Davidson county line in Lavergne, Tn. Local white church members came to a service at the Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church and brazenly offered him a job at their church. He refused, being more at home on the African-American side of the gospel groove.
Family matters brought Martin back to Toronto in 2000, and he re-integrated himself in the Toronto music scene. Remaining true to his musical split personality, he found himself in blues/R&B Bands, playing on country sessions, doing jazz gigs and writing sardonic and heartfelt songs suited to a countryman living in the city.

The beat goes on……