Since its relatively recent inception, Montreal-based band John Jacob Magistery has certainly been enjoying a steady impulse. A debut EP, “Narcissism Unto Loneliness” was released in 2014, collecting rave reviews and prompted a grand exposure from rock radio CHOM 97.7 and an Osheaga performance last summer.

This year at the Montreal Jazz Festival, John Jacob Magistery were to show off what they are made of in the intimate rendez-vous that is the Metropolis’ Savoy, for a series of two consecutive concerts. The first night brought in a good number of devotees, half-of them sitting on the floor in order the get the best in the venue.


As the music begins, we can only acknowledge that it would be hard not to share the enthusiasm that the band generates. On stage, the delivery is vigorous, the chemistry between musicians is palpable and the music is of the soft-and-loud contrast, roaring and soaring. Lead by Johnny Griffin, a rock-star aura singer and guitarist, the spirited quintet are going for an energetic folk-pop forgoing orchestral arrangements for a straightforward style. The violin make an rare apparitions on a few titles, the rest of the time, the layered guitars are softened is softened by keys and vocal harmonies.


More than anything The band as a capacity to effortlessly hook you up and carry you along. Songs from album Phantom i/Are you too sensitive? seems to have been written to make you us sing along made to sing with authenticity. For a band that has been getting a lot of attention, it is absolutely justified and also, heartwarming.



John Jacob Mystery were performing at Metropolis at the Savoy during the Montreal Jazz Festival.

All other articles on the Montreal Jazz Festival are here.

Photos: Benoit Rousseau, Montreal Jazz Festival




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About The Author

Collaborator - RREVERB

Christelle is a Montreal-based writer, musician and translator based and born in Montreal. An hyperactive brainard, her first love really is music. She makes a living putting words together in different contexts.