By Kerry Doole
Jesse Cook - Number 5 ( Coach House/Outside): The internationally-popular Toronto guitarist/composer has just released a new album, Libre (his 11th), accompanied by this single.
The full-length features Cook’s distinctive Spanish guitar stylings alongside contributions from Algerian multi-instrumentalist Fethi Nadjem, modern trap rhythms and 808 beats. He explains in a label press release that "I wrote and recorded Libre during the pandemic when, like most people, I was longing for freedom. My music was my escape from the four walls that surrounded me, and the storm that was swirling outside.”
A long summer-day drive with his 14-year old helped spawn the album's style, Cook reveals. “My daughter entertained me with her favourite playlists, much of which were trap and 808-inspired. I loved them too, and a question was planted in my mind: ‘what would my music sound like mixed with those sounds?’”
The beats on Number Five aren't as prominent as on some other album cuts, but the interplay between guitar and violin is both imaginative and appealing. Cook has long been known for his ability to mix different genres and elements into his sound, and Libre offers further evidence of that.
Over a recording career now spanning more than 25 years, he has released gold and platinum albums with a combined sales of two+ million copies, five-concert DVDs and live discs, five PBS specials, and multiple awards — a Juno win (from 11 nominations), a Gemini, and an Acoustic Guitar Magazine Player’s Choice Silver Award.
His streaming stats are also impressive, with Spotify plays surpassing 55 million, and Pandora with over 300 million plays.
Cook recently announced the first leg of his 2022 Tempest II tour, one originally set to take place in 2020 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his breakthrough debut album, Tempest. Launching in Spokane, WA on January 19, and spanning 43-dates, the trek will take Cook and his band across both Canada and the US. Canadian dates begin Feb. 23 at PAC in Vernon, BC. See his itinerary here.
Publicity: Eric Alper
Management: Richard Mills, NIkki Shibou
Agent (Canada): Tom Kemp, The Feldman Agency