The Shuffle Demons
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The Shuffle Demons

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Jazz Funk

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"Great old and new school jazz/funk"

As a critic it is incredibly easy to reach a level or burn out or perhaps musical indifference when going through the motions of critical review. Let's face it, reviewing roughly 800 releases a year leaves one little time to listen simply for enjoyment. There are those rare occasions when the job of the critic and the joy of the music come together and make musical multi-tasking a thing of beauty. Welcome Shuffle Demons!

The Shuffle Demons and their first release in nineteen years, Cluster Funk makes this review a literal walk in the park. Canada in general and the Toronto area in particular are home to some great artists but one question begs to be answered. Where in the hell have these guys been for nineteen years? For those of you playing along at home, Shuffle Demons are a Canadian jazz fusion band that may quiet possible fuse old and new school jazz/funk as well as any band since Tower of Power or some of the larger Blue Note ensembles of the late 60's and early 70's. Instead of imposing my own genre tag, Shuffle Demons refer to the band as a mashup of funk and free form jazz however their vision is not limited to mere labels.

Opening with the slightly tongue in cheek "Sell Me This" which is seemingly a jab at the rampant materialism occurring in society, the horn section immediately grabs your attention with their foot to the floor articulated pop reminiscent of Tower of Power. Musical frames of reference are inherently unfair. Every artist or band has their own voice but to grasp a sonic visual of where I am coming from sometimes these references can be of great help so for me they are the Canadian Tower of Power and I mean that with great respect. The vocals are well constructed and seem to set the table for that party band atmosphere but one that actually finds their groove without the need of the listener to ingest semi-lethal quantities of alcohol to find it with them. "All About The Hang" has an incredible cool retro groove that brought back memories of the 70's hit television show Sanford & Son. Unlike similar jazz/funk ensembles the one key ingredient to Shuffle Demons would be their improvisational chops are equal to that of just about any band on the planet. "Shanghai Shuffle" is another blistering tune guaranteed to set your hair on fire or make your musical back leg shake if that's how you roll.

So after roughly nineteen years where have they been? In 1995 the band took a break while exploring other creative ventures. Richard Underhill released his Juno nominated debut release. For those of you playing at home the Juno is the Canadian Grammy. George Koller began working with the great Holly Cole. Stich also worked with Holly Cole among others. Perry and Kelly resumed their careers as "A" list studio musicians with Kelly receiving a Juno nod in 2011.

Long story short...These cats can play!

Tracks: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He's The Drummer; All About The Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin'; Bottles And Cans; On The Runway. - Critical Jazz


"Great old and new school jazz/funk"

As a critic it is incredibly easy to reach a level or burn out or perhaps musical indifference when going through the motions of critical review. Let's face it, reviewing roughly 800 releases a year leaves one little time to listen simply for enjoyment. There are those rare occasions when the job of the critic and the joy of the music come together and make musical multi-tasking a thing of beauty. Welcome Shuffle Demons!

The Shuffle Demons and their first release in nineteen years, Cluster Funk makes this review a literal walk in the park. Canada in general and the Toronto area in particular are home to some great artists but one question begs to be answered. Where in the hell have these guys been for nineteen years? For those of you playing along at home, Shuffle Demons are a Canadian jazz fusion band that may quiet possible fuse old and new school jazz/funk as well as any band since Tower of Power or some of the larger Blue Note ensembles of the late 60's and early 70's. Instead of imposing my own genre tag, Shuffle Demons refer to the band as a mashup of funk and free form jazz however their vision is not limited to mere labels.

Opening with the slightly tongue in cheek "Sell Me This" which is seemingly a jab at the rampant materialism occurring in society, the horn section immediately grabs your attention with their foot to the floor articulated pop reminiscent of Tower of Power. Musical frames of reference are inherently unfair. Every artist or band has their own voice but to grasp a sonic visual of where I am coming from sometimes these references can be of great help so for me they are the Canadian Tower of Power and I mean that with great respect. The vocals are well constructed and seem to set the table for that party band atmosphere but one that actually finds their groove without the need of the listener to ingest semi-lethal quantities of alcohol to find it with them. "All About The Hang" has an incredible cool retro groove that brought back memories of the 70's hit television show Sanford & Son. Unlike similar jazz/funk ensembles the one key ingredient to Shuffle Demons would be their improvisational chops are equal to that of just about any band on the planet. "Shanghai Shuffle" is another blistering tune guaranteed to set your hair on fire or make your musical back leg shake if that's how you roll.

So after roughly nineteen years where have they been? In 1995 the band took a break while exploring other creative ventures. Richard Underhill released his Juno nominated debut release. For those of you playing at home the Juno is the Canadian Grammy. George Koller began working with the great Holly Cole. Stich also worked with Holly Cole among others. Perry and Kelly resumed their careers as "A" list studio musicians with Kelly receiving a Juno nod in 2011.

Long story short...These cats can play!

Tracks: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He's The Drummer; All About The Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin'; Bottles And Cans; On The Runway. - Critical Jazz


"Great old and new school jazz/funk"

As a critic it is incredibly easy to reach a level or burn out or perhaps musical indifference when going through the motions of critical review. Let's face it, reviewing roughly 800 releases a year leaves one little time to listen simply for enjoyment. There are those rare occasions when the job of the critic and the joy of the music come together and make musical multi-tasking a thing of beauty. Welcome Shuffle Demons!

The Shuffle Demons and their first release in nineteen years, Cluster Funk makes this review a literal walk in the park. Canada in general and the Toronto area in particular are home to some great artists but one question begs to be answered. Where in the hell have these guys been for nineteen years? For those of you playing along at home, Shuffle Demons are a Canadian jazz fusion band that may quiet possible fuse old and new school jazz/funk as well as any band since Tower of Power or some of the larger Blue Note ensembles of the late 60's and early 70's. Instead of imposing my own genre tag, Shuffle Demons refer to the band as a mashup of funk and free form jazz however their vision is not limited to mere labels.

Opening with the slightly tongue in cheek "Sell Me This" which is seemingly a jab at the rampant materialism occurring in society, the horn section immediately grabs your attention with their foot to the floor articulated pop reminiscent of Tower of Power. Musical frames of reference are inherently unfair. Every artist or band has their own voice but to grasp a sonic visual of where I am coming from sometimes these references can be of great help so for me they are the Canadian Tower of Power and I mean that with great respect. The vocals are well constructed and seem to set the table for that party band atmosphere but one that actually finds their groove without the need of the listener to ingest semi-lethal quantities of alcohol to find it with them. "All About The Hang" has an incredible cool retro groove that brought back memories of the 70's hit television show Sanford & Son. Unlike similar jazz/funk ensembles the one key ingredient to Shuffle Demons would be their improvisational chops are equal to that of just about any band on the planet. "Shanghai Shuffle" is another blistering tune guaranteed to set your hair on fire or make your musical back leg shake if that's how you roll.

So after roughly nineteen years where have they been? In 1995 the band took a break while exploring other creative ventures. Richard Underhill released his Juno nominated debut release. For those of you playing at home the Juno is the Canadian Grammy. George Koller began working with the great Holly Cole. Stich also worked with Holly Cole among others. Perry and Kelly resumed their careers as "A" list studio musicians with Kelly receiving a Juno nod in 2011.

Long story short...These cats can play!

Tracks: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He's The Drummer; All About The Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin'; Bottles And Cans; On The Runway. - Critical Jazz


"Great old and new school jazz/funk"

As a critic it is incredibly easy to reach a level or burn out or perhaps musical indifference when going through the motions of critical review. Let's face it, reviewing roughly 800 releases a year leaves one little time to listen simply for enjoyment. There are those rare occasions when the job of the critic and the joy of the music come together and make musical multi-tasking a thing of beauty. Welcome Shuffle Demons!

The Shuffle Demons and their first release in nineteen years, Cluster Funk makes this review a literal walk in the park. Canada in general and the Toronto area in particular are home to some great artists but one question begs to be answered. Where in the hell have these guys been for nineteen years? For those of you playing along at home, Shuffle Demons are a Canadian jazz fusion band that may quiet possible fuse old and new school jazz/funk as well as any band since Tower of Power or some of the larger Blue Note ensembles of the late 60's and early 70's. Instead of imposing my own genre tag, Shuffle Demons refer to the band as a mashup of funk and free form jazz however their vision is not limited to mere labels.

Opening with the slightly tongue in cheek "Sell Me This" which is seemingly a jab at the rampant materialism occurring in society, the horn section immediately grabs your attention with their foot to the floor articulated pop reminiscent of Tower of Power. Musical frames of reference are inherently unfair. Every artist or band has their own voice but to grasp a sonic visual of where I am coming from sometimes these references can be of great help so for me they are the Canadian Tower of Power and I mean that with great respect. The vocals are well constructed and seem to set the table for that party band atmosphere but one that actually finds their groove without the need of the listener to ingest semi-lethal quantities of alcohol to find it with them. "All About The Hang" has an incredible cool retro groove that brought back memories of the 70's hit television show Sanford & Son. Unlike similar jazz/funk ensembles the one key ingredient to Shuffle Demons would be their improvisational chops are equal to that of just about any band on the planet. "Shanghai Shuffle" is another blistering tune guaranteed to set your hair on fire or make your musical back leg shake if that's how you roll.

So after roughly nineteen years where have they been? In 1995 the band took a break while exploring other creative ventures. Richard Underhill released his Juno nominated debut release. For those of you playing at home the Juno is the Canadian Grammy. George Koller began working with the great Holly Cole. Stich also worked with Holly Cole among others. Perry and Kelly resumed their careers as "A" list studio musicians with Kelly receiving a Juno nod in 2011.

Long story short...These cats can play!

Tracks: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He's The Drummer; All About The Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin'; Bottles And Cans; On The Runway. - Critical Jazz


"ClusterFunk- a highly funky night out on the movin' groovin' town"

Heh! Great play-on-words title: Clusterfunk, as well as an odd but very workable configuration (3 saxes, 1 bass, 1 set of drums…and 5 singing throats) resulting in what is most definitely a highly funky night out on the movin' groovin' town from yet another ensemble of kuh-razy Cuh-nadians. There sure are some talented folks up there! The Shuffle Demons come replete with a history and even a Guiness World Record, having coordinated 930 saxophones playing the Hockey Night in Canada theme all at once in Toronto's Dundas Square. Hee-haw! Sounds like a segment of South Park, but it's true. That had to have been unreal, but don't figure that such a cacaphonously leviathan outpouring is typical of these hipsters' gig. It ain't. What they purvey is zesty, jumpin', humorous, swingin', blow session jazz-funk that interpolates a good deal more of the 70s fusion vibe than ya might expect.

Hell, these bad actors go so far as to tout righteous hand-painted suits making 'em seem like long-lost members of the Bonzo Dog Band, but when the cats get cookin', you're going to hear Mingus/Kirk style irreverence and killer chops with elements of loopy Tower of Power, Passport, Kraan, Either-Orchestra, even shards of Strata Institute and such, nor would Gil Evans have passed on the blokes, knowing clever skillful chopsters when he heard 'em. The vocals tend to bluesy turns (Mose Allison, etc.), War (yep, Lowridery in places), Louis Prima echoes, and strong working class undertones, but the guys seem to have absorbed an encyclopedia of influences, as we see in the Weather Report-y Earth Song.

Forget using Clusterfunk as the background music for the next meeting of your local book club or even the annual board conference of the Mister Rogers Niceness Appreciation Society 'cause peeps is gonna be dancin', carousin', drinkin', and be-boppin' all over the place as soon as the first cut, Sell Me This, jumps out, amigo. No doubt about it. Not only is the band popular in The Great White North and the upper U.S. festival circuit but has earned awards and acclaim far and wide. Mssrs. Underhill, White, Jefferson, Koller, & Wynston are doing something quite unique in covering myriad musical bases. Whether you just want a lot of way-shakin' jump numbers or outside stretches of dexterity and imagination—as in Way after Midnight and Fukushima—well, ya gets it all, Hiram, and lots more besides. Heck, hook 'em up in concert with an ensemble like Soullive (here), and you'll have a night to remember.
Track List:

* Sell Me This (Richard Underhill)
* One Good Turn (George Koller)
* Way After Midnight (Underhill / Koller / Wynston)
* He's the Drummer (Koller / Wynston / Underhill,
* All About the Hang (George Koller)
* Earth Song (Richard Underhill)



* Daddy Long Legs (Koller / Underhill / Wynston / Parker)
* Shanghai Shuffle (Underhill / Koller)
* Fukushima (Stitch Wynston)
* Strollin' (Stitch Wynston)
* Bottles And Cans (Richard Underhill)
* On the Runway (Kelly Jefferson)

Edited by: David N. Pyles
(dnpyles@acousticmusic.com)
- Peterborough Folk Music Society.


"The Shuffle Demons know from jazz to funk, and how to shift from party-down to down-tempo."

Shuffle Demons – Clusterfunk – Linus 270152, 54:10 ***1/2:

How do you get people to spontaneously rise up and move to the music, whirl and dance, grab the nearest stranger and swing across the floor? Just punch up the speakers and put on the latest, long-awaited release from Canadian quintet Shuffle Demons. For over a quarter century the jazz-funk-fusion artists have entertained crowds from Australia to America and from New Zealand to the old world charms of Europe. Clusterfunk is the group’s eighth release and first of all original material in close to 20 years, the result of the ensemble’s 2004 reunion tour (they broke up in 1997), which celebrated a Shuffle Demons greatest hits package.

The band may best be known above the 49th parallel, since their 1986 debut, Streetniks, had a surprise hit with “Spadina Bus”; they have been seen on Canadian television shows; and the Toronto-based musicians have garnered much praise and some Canadian music awards. But many tours and concert appearances at jam band and jazz venues outside the Maple Leaf nation has also generated a receptive audience which appreciates the group’s high-energy live performances. That no-holds-barred deportment vividly comes alive on the seven vocals and five instrumentals which make up the 54-minute Clusterfunk. The three-sax, bass and drums lineup creates a palpable party atmosphere right from the get-go on the sardonic “Sell Me This,” where the horn section has an ear-catching funk orientation reminiscent of Tower of Power or The Brecker Brothers. Electric bassist George Keller lays down a thick bass beat while drummer Stich Wynston keeps the backbeat and groove going. Lyrically, “Sell Me This” brings to mind the parodist/mass media irony parlayed by The Tubes, with couplets like “I don’t care if we are headed to disaster/I just want to get my junk food faster.” There’s even an emcee who echoes Fee Waybill’s larger-than-life persona. The mid-tempo “He’s the Drummer” has a similar, quirky attraction, although the minimal lines don’t say much; however, there is some excellent sax soloing. “All About the Hang” has a retro soulful tang, which relates how everyone enjoys a good time, from CEOs and British royalty to Joe Schmo, and from “Juliet and Romeo to JFK and Jackie O.” The album title refers to the heady funk-fueled “Daddy Long Legs,” about a spider on the wall not Fred Astaire, although the titular arachnoid does some dancing. “Daddy Long Legs” has a persuasive shuffle, memorable sax interaction and a rolling percussive charisma: it’s not often alto, tenor and baritone saxophones get together in a jazz-funk triple play.

Although the members of Shuffle Demons like witty wordplay, the quintet’s reputation is not built on narrative strengths, which is why their instrumental prowess is always at the forefront. The five instrumentals are prime pieces. “Way After Midnight” has a quickened hard-boppish pace and is a real cooker, where Keller (on acoustic bass) and Wynston maintain a loose, slightly earthy beat while the three sax players display an r&b influence. This cut is evocative of some of Sonny Rollins’ material (think the good-natured “Did You See Harold Vick?”). Shuffle Demons exhibit their ecologically-edged side on “Earth Song,” a contemporary groove track with a notable Keller arco solo, which provides an almost disconcerting balance against the funky, urban meter. There is a comparable swagger on “Fukushima,” which is dedicated to the victims of the recent, tragic nuclear disaster. While others might have produced a wistful, reflective composition, Shuffle Demons craft something with more chaos and clamor, obviously inspired by the confusion and pandemonium which followed the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. There’s a cool jazz/Caribbean posture to the sauntering “Strollin’,” another vehicle for the saxes: this has a genuine jazz attitude and drive, and suggests the spirit (but not necessarily the tone or sound) of Monty Alexander’s work. Shuffle Demons end with the down-tempo “On the Runway,” the sort of gig-closing, last-call tune which puts listeners in a somewhat melancholy mood and proves if Shuffle Demons wanted to do a straightforward jazz record, the results would be probably be quite good.

TrackList: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He’s the Drummer; All About the Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin’; Bottle and Cans; On the Runway.

—Doug Simpson - Audiophile Audition


"The Shuffle Demons know from jazz to funk, and how to shift from party-down to down-tempo."

Shuffle Demons – Clusterfunk – Linus 270152, 54:10 ***1/2:

How do you get people to spontaneously rise up and move to the music, whirl and dance, grab the nearest stranger and swing across the floor? Just punch up the speakers and put on the latest, long-awaited release from Canadian quintet Shuffle Demons. For over a quarter century the jazz-funk-fusion artists have entertained crowds from Australia to America and from New Zealand to the old world charms of Europe. Clusterfunk is the group’s eighth release and first of all original material in close to 20 years, the result of the ensemble’s 2004 reunion tour (they broke up in 1997), which celebrated a Shuffle Demons greatest hits package.

The band may best be known above the 49th parallel, since their 1986 debut, Streetniks, had a surprise hit with “Spadina Bus”; they have been seen on Canadian television shows; and the Toronto-based musicians have garnered much praise and some Canadian music awards. But many tours and concert appearances at jam band and jazz venues outside the Maple Leaf nation has also generated a receptive audience which appreciates the group’s high-energy live performances. That no-holds-barred deportment vividly comes alive on the seven vocals and five instrumentals which make up the 54-minute Clusterfunk. The three-sax, bass and drums lineup creates a palpable party atmosphere right from the get-go on the sardonic “Sell Me This,” where the horn section has an ear-catching funk orientation reminiscent of Tower of Power or The Brecker Brothers. Electric bassist George Keller lays down a thick bass beat while drummer Stich Wynston keeps the backbeat and groove going. Lyrically, “Sell Me This” brings to mind the parodist/mass media irony parlayed by The Tubes, with couplets like “I don’t care if we are headed to disaster/I just want to get my junk food faster.” There’s even an emcee who echoes Fee Waybill’s larger-than-life persona. The mid-tempo “He’s the Drummer” has a similar, quirky attraction, although the minimal lines don’t say much; however, there is some excellent sax soloing. “All About the Hang” has a retro soulful tang, which relates how everyone enjoys a good time, from CEOs and British royalty to Joe Schmo, and from “Juliet and Romeo to JFK and Jackie O.” The album title refers to the heady funk-fueled “Daddy Long Legs,” about a spider on the wall not Fred Astaire, although the titular arachnoid does some dancing. “Daddy Long Legs” has a persuasive shuffle, memorable sax interaction and a rolling percussive charisma: it’s not often alto, tenor and baritone saxophones get together in a jazz-funk triple play.

Although the members of Shuffle Demons like witty wordplay, the quintet’s reputation is not built on narrative strengths, which is why their instrumental prowess is always at the forefront. The five instrumentals are prime pieces. “Way After Midnight” has a quickened hard-boppish pace and is a real cooker, where Keller (on acoustic bass) and Wynston maintain a loose, slightly earthy beat while the three sax players display an r&b influence. This cut is evocative of some of Sonny Rollins’ material (think the good-natured “Did You See Harold Vick?”). Shuffle Demons exhibit their ecologically-edged side on “Earth Song,” a contemporary groove track with a notable Keller arco solo, which provides an almost disconcerting balance against the funky, urban meter. There is a comparable swagger on “Fukushima,” which is dedicated to the victims of the recent, tragic nuclear disaster. While others might have produced a wistful, reflective composition, Shuffle Demons craft something with more chaos and clamor, obviously inspired by the confusion and pandemonium which followed the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. There’s a cool jazz/Caribbean posture to the sauntering “Strollin’,” another vehicle for the saxes: this has a genuine jazz attitude and drive, and suggests the spirit (but not necessarily the tone or sound) of Monty Alexander’s work. Shuffle Demons end with the down-tempo “On the Runway,” the sort of gig-closing, last-call tune which puts listeners in a somewhat melancholy mood and proves if Shuffle Demons wanted to do a straightforward jazz record, the results would be probably be quite good.

TrackList: Sell Me This; One Good Turn; Way After Midnight; He’s the Drummer; All About the Hang; Earth Song; Daddy Long Legs; Shanghai Shuffle; Fukushima; Strollin’; Bottle and Cans; On the Runway.

—Doug Simpson - Audiophile Audition


"The KISS of Canadian jazz is back."

ClusterFunk (Linus)
Shuffle Demons

ShuffleDemons Clusterfunk 270152 l

Five Canadian quintets, Demonic and otherwise (CD reviews)

The KISS of Canadian jazz is back.

I refer, of course, to those costumed, high-energy beatnik cut-ups, the Shuffle Demons. (Lest you might disagree with my analogy remember: Gene Simmons was a Demon too.)

Spadina Bus, Out Of My House, Roach and The Puker made the sax-heavy Toronto group, now 28 years old and still going strong, hip before there was hipsters. With ClusterFunk, their first album of original material in more than 17 years, the Demons are back, delivering extroverted, hard-hitting crowd-pleasers like the groovy One Good Turn, the slow and nasty Daddy Long Legs and He’s the Drummer, a much deserved salutatory rap to that slamming Demon Stich Wynston and drummers everywhere. Here’s a slightly potty-mouthed, bikini-enhanced version of that track that also features two members of the Barenaked Ladies guesting:

But the Demons have much more than grooves and goofiness on their minds. Most notably, Demon Rich Underhill is a prominent voice for social justice, environmentalism and other left-wing causes — not just a wailing alto saxophonist. Thus, his tune Sell Me This is a send of mindless consumerism, “1,000 useless things headed straight to the dump.” Shanghai Shuffle is a companion piece, pointing to the exploitation of Chinese workers. Bottles and Cans is a booty-shaking ode to recycling. Fukashima and Earth Song are instrumentals that flow from funk to free, nodding respectively to Japan’s recent nuclear disaster and the planet as a whole.

Those who might find the shades, suits and shtick a bit much can just focus on the music. As caricaturish as the Demons can seem, their music stands on its own merits. The oversized, viscerally appealing rhythms, the smart and tightly executed horn arrangements and passionate improvisatory flights combine for a mighty wallop. Instrumental tunes such as bassist George Koller’s breakneck swinger Way After Midnight, drummer Wynston’s reggae blast Strollin’ and especially tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson’s On The Runway would boost anyone’s jazz cred. - Ottawa Citizen


"The KISS of Canadian jazz is back."

ClusterFunk (Linus)
Shuffle Demons

ShuffleDemons Clusterfunk 270152 l

Five Canadian quintets, Demonic and otherwise (CD reviews)

The KISS of Canadian jazz is back.

I refer, of course, to those costumed, high-energy beatnik cut-ups, the Shuffle Demons. (Lest you might disagree with my analogy remember: Gene Simmons was a Demon too.)

Spadina Bus, Out Of My House, Roach and The Puker made the sax-heavy Toronto group, now 28 years old and still going strong, hip before there was hipsters. With ClusterFunk, their first album of original material in more than 17 years, the Demons are back, delivering extroverted, hard-hitting crowd-pleasers like the groovy One Good Turn, the slow and nasty Daddy Long Legs and He’s the Drummer, a much deserved salutatory rap to that slamming Demon Stich Wynston and drummers everywhere. Here’s a slightly potty-mouthed, bikini-enhanced version of that track that also features two members of the Barenaked Ladies guesting:

But the Demons have much more than grooves and goofiness on their minds. Most notably, Demon Rich Underhill is a prominent voice for social justice, environmentalism and other left-wing causes — not just a wailing alto saxophonist. Thus, his tune Sell Me This is a send of mindless consumerism, “1,000 useless things headed straight to the dump.” Shanghai Shuffle is a companion piece, pointing to the exploitation of Chinese workers. Bottles and Cans is a booty-shaking ode to recycling. Fukashima and Earth Song are instrumentals that flow from funk to free, nodding respectively to Japan’s recent nuclear disaster and the planet as a whole.

Those who might find the shades, suits and shtick a bit much can just focus on the music. As caricaturish as the Demons can seem, their music stands on its own merits. The oversized, viscerally appealing rhythms, the smart and tightly executed horn arrangements and passionate improvisatory flights combine for a mighty wallop. Instrumental tunes such as bassist George Koller’s breakneck swinger Way After Midnight, drummer Wynston’s reggae blast Strollin’ and especially tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson’s On The Runway would boost anyone’s jazz cred. - Ottawa Citizen


"The KISS of Canadian jazz is back."

ClusterFunk (Linus)
Shuffle Demons

ShuffleDemons Clusterfunk 270152 l

Five Canadian quintets, Demonic and otherwise (CD reviews)

The KISS of Canadian jazz is back.

I refer, of course, to those costumed, high-energy beatnik cut-ups, the Shuffle Demons. (Lest you might disagree with my analogy remember: Gene Simmons was a Demon too.)

Spadina Bus, Out Of My House, Roach and The Puker made the sax-heavy Toronto group, now 28 years old and still going strong, hip before there was hipsters. With ClusterFunk, their first album of original material in more than 17 years, the Demons are back, delivering extroverted, hard-hitting crowd-pleasers like the groovy One Good Turn, the slow and nasty Daddy Long Legs and He’s the Drummer, a much deserved salutatory rap to that slamming Demon Stich Wynston and drummers everywhere. Here’s a slightly potty-mouthed, bikini-enhanced version of that track that also features two members of the Barenaked Ladies guesting:

But the Demons have much more than grooves and goofiness on their minds. Most notably, Demon Rich Underhill is a prominent voice for social justice, environmentalism and other left-wing causes — not just a wailing alto saxophonist. Thus, his tune Sell Me This is a send of mindless consumerism, “1,000 useless things headed straight to the dump.” Shanghai Shuffle is a companion piece, pointing to the exploitation of Chinese workers. Bottles and Cans is a booty-shaking ode to recycling. Fukashima and Earth Song are instrumentals that flow from funk to free, nodding respectively to Japan’s recent nuclear disaster and the planet as a whole.

Those who might find the shades, suits and shtick a bit much can just focus on the music. As caricaturish as the Demons can seem, their music stands on its own merits. The oversized, viscerally appealing rhythms, the smart and tightly executed horn arrangements and passionate improvisatory flights combine for a mighty wallop. Instrumental tunes such as bassist George Koller’s breakneck swinger Way After Midnight, drummer Wynston’s reggae blast Strollin’ and especially tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson’s On The Runway would boost anyone’s jazz cred. - Ottawa Citizen


"The KISS of Canadian jazz is back."

ClusterFunk (Linus)
Shuffle Demons

ShuffleDemons Clusterfunk 270152 l

Five Canadian quintets, Demonic and otherwise (CD reviews)

The KISS of Canadian jazz is back.

I refer, of course, to those costumed, high-energy beatnik cut-ups, the Shuffle Demons. (Lest you might disagree with my analogy remember: Gene Simmons was a Demon too.)

Spadina Bus, Out Of My House, Roach and The Puker made the sax-heavy Toronto group, now 28 years old and still going strong, hip before there was hipsters. With ClusterFunk, their first album of original material in more than 17 years, the Demons are back, delivering extroverted, hard-hitting crowd-pleasers like the groovy One Good Turn, the slow and nasty Daddy Long Legs and He’s the Drummer, a much deserved salutatory rap to that slamming Demon Stich Wynston and drummers everywhere. Here’s a slightly potty-mouthed, bikini-enhanced version of that track that also features two members of the Barenaked Ladies guesting:

But the Demons have much more than grooves and goofiness on their minds. Most notably, Demon Rich Underhill is a prominent voice for social justice, environmentalism and other left-wing causes — not just a wailing alto saxophonist. Thus, his tune Sell Me This is a send of mindless consumerism, “1,000 useless things headed straight to the dump.” Shanghai Shuffle is a companion piece, pointing to the exploitation of Chinese workers. Bottles and Cans is a booty-shaking ode to recycling. Fukashima and Earth Song are instrumentals that flow from funk to free, nodding respectively to Japan’s recent nuclear disaster and the planet as a whole.

Those who might find the shades, suits and shtick a bit much can just focus on the music. As caricaturish as the Demons can seem, their music stands on its own merits. The oversized, viscerally appealing rhythms, the smart and tightly executed horn arrangements and passionate improvisatory flights combine for a mighty wallop. Instrumental tunes such as bassist George Koller’s breakneck swinger Way After Midnight, drummer Wynston’s reggae blast Strollin’ and especially tenor saxophonist Kelly Jefferson’s On The Runway would boost anyone’s jazz cred. - Ottawa Citizen


"Shuffle Demons: Irreverence synonym of geniality"

Again, Miguel Auza square was the site of a
spectacular concert within the framework of
the 24TH Cultural Festival Zacatecas 2010 in
the forum for world music and jazz. We are
referring to the participation of the Canadian
band Shuffle Demons, which made a deep
impression to the public.
The group is the result of the mixture of three
amazing saxophonists (Richard Underhill, Perry
White and Kelly Jefferson) extravagantly
dressed. A playful and peculiar drummer (Stich
Wynston) and a bassist (George Koller) whose
mad style was reflected in the whole concert.
Led to another plane, the concert was
characterized by the game which starred the
members of the band with the audience, as
well as the irreverent "demonic" attitudes that
caused the public to rise from their seats,
infected by rhythm and dance.
Considered as an antidote to the seriousness in
Canadian music, Shuffle Demons performed
songs such as "Spadina Bus", "Out of my house,
Roach" and "Hockey night in Canada".
Shuffle Demons came from a Canadian legend;
the band started on September of 1984 when
the seasoned saxophonist Demon Richard
Underhill, performed on the corner of Yonge
and Bloor for delighted Torontians. The group
quickly evolved to became a popular band.
Characterized by its Jazz-fussion in 1986
achieved success called “Spadina Bus”,
included in their first album “Streetniks”,
which references the public transit commission
for Spadina Avenue in Toronto.
With a multitude of musical tours, the Group
has made to consolidate the world of Canadian
jazz and has captured the imagination of a
whole generation with their wild game and
exotic costumes.
Shuffle Demons have released six albums and
seven videos in their already 23-year career,
has played in the best jazz shows, has traveled
15 times to Europe from Estonia to Italy, from
the Netherlands to Norway, from Switzerland
to Sweden, from Germany to Belgium.
In these presentations, the band built in the
public the emotion, the dancing and the smiles
leading to a solid fan base. Certainly a proposal
for a high quality that was present in the 24TH
Cultural Festival of Zacatecas 2010, organized
by the Government through the Zacatecano
Institute of Culture, backed by the National
Council for Culture and Arts.


By Carlos Zapata
On Good Friday five demons got their way
beside the convent and the bishopric: the
Shuffle Demons, Canadian jazz fusion band
presented in Miguel Auza square possessing
chaste ear.
The demons entered dancing three
saxophones shrieking and two more behind
surrounded the public until getting on stage.
Extravagantly dressed with costumes stamped
with shapes coming from smokes of a festive
ritual, madness and jazz from old school,
unconcerned of looking like jokers they were
occupied at the same time to respond with
the demon of their instruments and
spontaneous songs wit.
Between “Out of here cockrach” - as
gracefully strove to translate the title of one
of their songs-“Bread with cheese”, a curious
representation of dying cockroaches by all
members of the band “Funkin pumpkin”, “ a
song dedicated to his former tailor”, a strong
solo of the drummer who danced as being
exorcized from time to time, while the
bassist played his instrument with a guitar
pick and shouted at the same time as a black
cat in heat between a healthy madness, they
sounded very well.
Since 1985, their first album called Streetniks
and in the most recent they collected their
best songs. Recently, coordinated a Guinness
record by putting more than nine hundred
saxophonists playing a song. With seven
albums they have presented in almost all of
Canada, part of Europe and Asia; now for the
enjoyment of the listeners, they did their
pranks in Zacatecas.

Nuevamente, la Plazuela Miguel Auza fue sede
de un espectacular concierto realizado en el
marco del XXIV Festival Cultural Zacatecas
2010, en el foro destinado a la música del
mundo y al jazz, nos referimos a la
participación de la banda canadiense Shuffle
Demons, que impactó al público.
La agrupación es el resultado de la mezcla de
tres sorprendentes saxofonistas (Richard
Underhill, Perry White y Kelly Jefferson)
vestidos de manera extravagante. Un baterista
jugador y peculiar (Stich Wynston) y de un
bajista (George Koller), que a lo largo del
concierto plasmó su loco estilo.
Llevado a otro plano, el concierto se
caracterizó por el juego que protagonizaron los
miembros de la banda con su audiencia, así
como por las irreverentes actitudes
“demoníacas”, que provocaron que el público
se levantara de sus asientos, contagiados de su
ritmo y baile.
Considerados como un antídoto contra la
seriedad en la música canadiense, Shuffle
Demons interpretó canciones como “Spadina
Bus”, “Out of my house, Roach” y “Hockey
night in Canada”.
Shuffle demons provienen de una leyenda muy
conocida por los canadienses; la banda inició
en septiembre de 1984, cuando el vete - El Sol de Zacatecas


"Shuffle Demons: Irreverence synonym of geniality"

Again, Miguel Auza square was the site of a
spectacular concert within the framework of
the 24TH Cultural Festival Zacatecas 2010 in
the forum for world music and jazz. We are
referring to the participation of the Canadian
band Shuffle Demons, which made a deep
impression to the public.
The group is the result of the mixture of three
amazing saxophonists (Richard Underhill, Perry
White and Kelly Jefferson) extravagantly
dressed. A playful and peculiar drummer (Stich
Wynston) and a bassist (George Koller) whose
mad style was reflected in the whole concert.
Led to another plane, the concert was
characterized by the game which starred the
members of the band with the audience, as
well as the irreverent "demonic" attitudes that
caused the public to rise from their seats,
infected by rhythm and dance.
Considered as an antidote to the seriousness in
Canadian music, Shuffle Demons performed
songs such as "Spadina Bus", "Out of my house,
Roach" and "Hockey night in Canada".
Shuffle Demons came from a Canadian legend;
the band started on September of 1984 when
the seasoned saxophonist Demon Richard
Underhill, performed on the corner of Yonge
and Bloor for delighted Torontians. The group
quickly evolved to became a popular band.
Characterized by its Jazz-fussion in 1986
achieved success called “Spadina Bus”,
included in their first album “Streetniks”,
which references the public transit commission
for Spadina Avenue in Toronto.
With a multitude of musical tours, the Group
has made to consolidate the world of Canadian
jazz and has captured the imagination of a
whole generation with their wild game and
exotic costumes.
Shuffle Demons have released six albums and
seven videos in their already 23-year career,
has played in the best jazz shows, has traveled
15 times to Europe from Estonia to Italy, from
the Netherlands to Norway, from Switzerland
to Sweden, from Germany to Belgium.
In these presentations, the band built in the
public the emotion, the dancing and the smiles
leading to a solid fan base. Certainly a proposal
for a high quality that was present in the 24TH
Cultural Festival of Zacatecas 2010, organized
by the Government through the Zacatecano
Institute of Culture, backed by the National
Council for Culture and Arts.


By Carlos Zapata
On Good Friday five demons got their way
beside the convent and the bishopric: the
Shuffle Demons, Canadian jazz fusion band
presented in Miguel Auza square possessing
chaste ear.
The demons entered dancing three
saxophones shrieking and two more behind
surrounded the public until getting on stage.
Extravagantly dressed with costumes stamped
with shapes coming from smokes of a festive
ritual, madness and jazz from old school,
unconcerned of looking like jokers they were
occupied at the same time to respond with
the demon of their instruments and
spontaneous songs wit.
Between “Out of here cockrach” - as
gracefully strove to translate the title of one
of their songs-“Bread with cheese”, a curious
representation of dying cockroaches by all
members of the band “Funkin pumpkin”, “ a
song dedicated to his former tailor”, a strong
solo of the drummer who danced as being
exorcized from time to time, while the
bassist played his instrument with a guitar
pick and shouted at the same time as a black
cat in heat between a healthy madness, they
sounded very well.
Since 1985, their first album called Streetniks
and in the most recent they collected their
best songs. Recently, coordinated a Guinness
record by putting more than nine hundred
saxophonists playing a song. With seven
albums they have presented in almost all of
Canada, part of Europe and Asia; now for the
enjoyment of the listeners, they did their
pranks in Zacatecas.

Nuevamente, la Plazuela Miguel Auza fue sede
de un espectacular concierto realizado en el
marco del XXIV Festival Cultural Zacatecas
2010, en el foro destinado a la música del
mundo y al jazz, nos referimos a la
participación de la banda canadiense Shuffle
Demons, que impactó al público.
La agrupación es el resultado de la mezcla de
tres sorprendentes saxofonistas (Richard
Underhill, Perry White y Kelly Jefferson)
vestidos de manera extravagante. Un baterista
jugador y peculiar (Stich Wynston) y de un
bajista (George Koller), que a lo largo del
concierto plasmó su loco estilo.
Llevado a otro plano, el concierto se
caracterizó por el juego que protagonizaron los
miembros de la banda con su audiencia, así
como por las irreverentes actitudes
“demoníacas”, que provocaron que el público
se levantara de sus asientos, contagiados de su
ritmo y baile.
Considerados como un antídoto contra la
seriedad en la música canadiense, Shuffle
Demons interpretó canciones como “Spadina
Bus”, “Out of my house, Roach” y “Hockey
night in Canada”.
Shuffle demons provienen de una leyenda muy
conocida por los canadienses; la banda inició
en septiembre de 1984, cuando el vete - El Sol de Zacatecas


"Music and madness"

*

At times I felt peaceful, others I felt out of my mind. "An Evening of Jazz", part of Bangkok's 12th International Festival of Dance and Music, was a roller coaster ride for the musical senses and rightfully so - it's a genre that can't be pinpointed to one sound, one style or even one stage presence.

So, in the true spirit of the genre, the concert was comprised of two performances as different as night and day - the elegant, classically-driven ensemble the Swedish Jazz Kings, followed by funk-infused party animals the Shuffle Demons.

Well known for covering big-band style tunes by Clarence Williams, Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller, the Swedish Jazz Kings came to Bangkok toting an assortment of colourful, feel-good compositions from the Chicago and New Orleans music scenes. For a group comprised of members pushing 60 or 70-plus, they were on point, in sync and totally vigorous.

The '20s may be long gone, but the Swedish Jazz Kings still know how to kick out the cabaret.

Admittedly, this is a sound probably best enjoyed by my father's generation. Judging from the faces of the audience, I could only imagine the nostalgia that was being stirred for some people. The Swedish Jazz Kings recognised this passion and channelled it well.

Ordinarily, this would be a tough act to follow for legendary goofballs the Shuffle Demons - but luckily, theirs was a completely different kind of act.

Being a Canadian, I was familiar with the band and their attempts to break the Guinness World Record for most saxophonists playing a song. But when they burst onto the stage, I wondered what exactly I had gotten myself into.

Where the Swedish Jazz Kings were polite and pleasantly old school, the Shuffle Demons were over the top, outrageous and, arguably, out of their damn minds.

They danced down the aisles wearing suits striped in neon paint, convulsed on the stage like seizure patients - hell, the drummer even ripped his shirt off in the heat of a melodramatic saxophone riff. The Shuffle Demons play jazz, but they are influenced by the cheesiest of rock 'n' roll. They are the expired and asinine musicians of This Is Spinal Tap come alive - only with a little more head banging.

Song titles like Funkin' Pumpkin and Cheese and Bread make it hard to take the Shuffle Demons seriously without a few drinks first. They walk a dangerous line between having the audience rolling in the aisles to having them simply rolling their eyes. But as silly and arbitrary as the lyrics may be, the band is backed by solid musicianship - excellent drumming and abstract solos bordering on psychedelic.

In the end, their antics were a lot of fun. I had never experienced that brand of unbridled energy in a concert before, and I wonder now if I will ever be the same again.

"An Evening of Jazz" was a testament to the smorgasbord that the modern-day genre has become. Whether it's the jacked-up style of the Shuffle Demons or the traditional approach of the Swedish Jazz Kings, jazz has become a way of life.

One evening just isn't enough. - The Bangkok Post


"Music and madness"

*

At times I felt peaceful, others I felt out of my mind. "An Evening of Jazz", part of Bangkok's 12th International Festival of Dance and Music, was a roller coaster ride for the musical senses and rightfully so - it's a genre that can't be pinpointed to one sound, one style or even one stage presence.

So, in the true spirit of the genre, the concert was comprised of two performances as different as night and day - the elegant, classically-driven ensemble the Swedish Jazz Kings, followed by funk-infused party animals the Shuffle Demons.

Well known for covering big-band style tunes by Clarence Williams, Jelly Roll Morton and Fats Waller, the Swedish Jazz Kings came to Bangkok toting an assortment of colourful, feel-good compositions from the Chicago and New Orleans music scenes. For a group comprised of members pushing 60 or 70-plus, they were on point, in sync and totally vigorous.

The '20s may be long gone, but the Swedish Jazz Kings still know how to kick out the cabaret.

Admittedly, this is a sound probably best enjoyed by my father's generation. Judging from the faces of the audience, I could only imagine the nostalgia that was being stirred for some people. The Swedish Jazz Kings recognised this passion and channelled it well.

Ordinarily, this would be a tough act to follow for legendary goofballs the Shuffle Demons - but luckily, theirs was a completely different kind of act.

Being a Canadian, I was familiar with the band and their attempts to break the Guinness World Record for most saxophonists playing a song. But when they burst onto the stage, I wondered what exactly I had gotten myself into.

Where the Swedish Jazz Kings were polite and pleasantly old school, the Shuffle Demons were over the top, outrageous and, arguably, out of their damn minds.

They danced down the aisles wearing suits striped in neon paint, convulsed on the stage like seizure patients - hell, the drummer even ripped his shirt off in the heat of a melodramatic saxophone riff. The Shuffle Demons play jazz, but they are influenced by the cheesiest of rock 'n' roll. They are the expired and asinine musicians of This Is Spinal Tap come alive - only with a little more head banging.

Song titles like Funkin' Pumpkin and Cheese and Bread make it hard to take the Shuffle Demons seriously without a few drinks first. They walk a dangerous line between having the audience rolling in the aisles to having them simply rolling their eyes. But as silly and arbitrary as the lyrics may be, the band is backed by solid musicianship - excellent drumming and abstract solos bordering on psychedelic.

In the end, their antics were a lot of fun. I had never experienced that brand of unbridled energy in a concert before, and I wonder now if I will ever be the same again.

"An Evening of Jazz" was a testament to the smorgasbord that the modern-day genre has become. Whether it's the jacked-up style of the Shuffle Demons or the traditional approach of the Swedish Jazz Kings, jazz has become a way of life.

One evening just isn't enough. - The Bangkok Post


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

If you've booked the Shuffle Demons before, you know we are a crowd pleasing, full on jazz funk group that backs up wild stage antics with phenomenal playing by some of Canada's most talented musicians. We play a mix of straight ahead jazz, funk and jazz rap, wear spectacular hand painted suits and love to parade through the audience..a perfect festival act!

The Shuffle Demons first broke onto the Canadian music scene in 1984 with an electrifying musical fusion that drew in equal measure from Sun Ra, Charles Mingus, Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. The band was one of the first indie acts to break out on MuchMusic. This band was genre bending, highly visually entertaining, funny, and best of all, could really PLAY. All their eye catching, crowd pleasing stunts were backed up by incredibly solid musicianship and real ground-breaking playing.

Over a 29 year span The Shuffle Demons have released 7 CDs (our latest 'ClusterFunk' released in 2012), two hit videos, won several music awards, done numerous TV and radio appearances and toured nationally and internationally including 25 cross Canada tours, 5 US tours, 16 European tours, tours of Japan, Korea, Thailand, India, Australia and New Zealand, China and Cuba playing on big festival stages, theatres and clubs. They recently played the Barenaked Ladies Cruise!

We've been showcasing our talents around the world in the last year, playing in Japan in October at the Yokohama Jazz Promenade (Japan's biggest Jazz Festival), in Australia and New Zealand at the Taranaki Arts festival and the Dubbo Jazz Festival, in Thailand at the Bangkok International Festival of Music and Dance and in S. Korea at the Jarasum Jazz Festival. In February we were featured on the Barenaked Ladies Ships and Dip Cruise. We have played to very large festival crowds all around the world and the fans have loved it. Our last full Canadian tour was in 2012 and it was very successful.

To see videos of the band follow these links or the links at the bottom of the page.

With the Barenaked Ladies at Sea!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27KTawXtpHs&feature=related

Korea 2010: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asFuF_V1HR8&NR=1

At the Vancouver Jazz Fest in 2009:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEzRFWC8hHI&feature=related

At the Edge of the World festival
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qljp1s9rs2Q&feature=related

Spadina Bus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZnLjRi_g9o

Out of My House, Roach

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6_sLmuze98

Band Members