Jaron Freeman-Fox, violin in hand, is regularly spotted around town backing up musicians who occupy every imaginable niche of folk, fusion and experimental music. On his instrumental debut full-length, many of his collaborators - David Woodhead, Christine Bougie, Ben Whiteley - return the favour.
Manic Almanac chronicles Freeman-Fox's adventures across Canada and around the world (a BC native, he studied in India before coming to Toronto a few years ago). Opener Rainwood layers violins, guitar, bass, trumpets and percussion in a stimulating swirl that fans of Owen Pallett might appreciate. Caboose is hectic Gypsy jazz, while Prayer is a delicate, slow balance of East and West. Clarity is a love song to the violin, while Waterfall closes the album with swells of strings, whistling and chanting.
This is an album best enjoyed on rainy mornings as coffee is brewing and you're missing the coast. Any coast.
Top track: Waterfall
Jaron Freeman-Fox plays (as a member of the Bensons) at the Garrison Friday (August 13).