Jon Bentley Quintet
from Vancouver BC
“Bentley…played harmonically substantive solos on challeng-ing tunes…” — Chris Wong, Vancouver Courier
Saxophonist Jon Bentley is one of the most versatile players in Vancouver burgeoning jazz community. He is a dynamic member of local groups as diverse as Chris Gestrin’s Stillpoint, Ross Taggart’s Quartet, UGETSU (tribute band to drummer Art Blakey), To Be Ornette To Be (inspired by the music of saxophonist Ornette Coleman), Sharon Minemoto’s Quintet and the Bernie Arai Trio. Bentley is probably best known for his work with the electric group Diversions, a Vancouver based trio also featuring Chris Gestrin on keyboards and Bernie Arai on drums. Inspired by Miles Davis, Zorn’s Masada, Weather Report and drawing on influences from traditional jazz, funk, early electric jazz and free improvisation, the band focuses on Bentley’s original compositions but also includes a wide variety of material from Monk to Joe Lovano. Jon is currently working on a follow-up recording to the group’s debut album American Prophesy.
The Jon Bentley Quintet is a relatively new group on the local scene having formed in 2002. The two-horn front line of Brad Turner trumpet and Bentley saxophones is backed by a stellar rhythm section featuring Chris Gestrin piano, Andre Lachance bass and Bernie Arai drums. The ensemble mainly plays the original compositions of its members. Influences are diverse with an emphasis on the sound of 1960’s Miles Davis, ECM and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and saxophonist Mark Turner.
Greatly inspired by trumpeter Kenny Wheeler’s significant contributions to jazz, the quintet was honoured to be featured at a sold out Cultch concert with Kenny Wheeler during the 2003 Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The concert was recorded by CBC Radio and will air on Jazz Beat during the winter season. Other concerts by the Quintet have included tributes to jazz legends Art Blakey and Joe Henderson.