It was the last night of Quantic’s tour and Will Holland lit up the stage of the Montreal Jazz Fest with his gorgeous, tropical cumbia music. Holland took off from the UK six years ago and re-established himself in Colombia where he become an international innovator of this little-known music. Cumbia is a mutt in the music world from Colombia’s Pacific coast that developed from the musical traditions of slaves brought from Africa, indigenous peoples, and Spanish settlers. It combines salsa, reggae, and other tropical rhythms braided together. Will Holland, though, is too restless to stick to one musical type and liberally mixes in dj beats and other styles to craft something that is total ear orgasm.
The audience at Club Soda — which seemed to include a good number of Latin Americans — could not get enough of Quantic. The entire room shook, pulsed, bounced, hooted, hollered, cheered and just made love to Will Holland and his band. And what a band it was! Holland, to his credit, took up guitar, accordion, and loop station and each time he took a solo or hit a little hook, the audience went wild. Wilson Viveros made announcements from behind his two snare, cymbal, two-conga set up in Colombian Spanish that resulted in raucous cheering from the crowd. Sly 5th Ave was all smiles and general chill with his oversized-glasses as he brought out his flute and rather gorgeous flower-covered saxophone. His female back up singer came on for a few songs to provide some soul singing and big smiles herself.
Holland played new music from his latest release Magnetica (his 17th!), as well as a few familiar older songs (Dog with a Rope). It didn’t matter, ultimately, because anything they did was magnífico. Tú, ven, vuelva más tarde.
Quantic played Club Soda on June 29, 2014.