Last Ark Out – Lift (ENG review)

Street date: February 23st 2024
Rock Jazz
Last Ark Out - Lift (ENG review)

The Canadian-European collective of musicians,Last Ark Out, is actively preparing for the release of their new album “Lift.” LAO was initially formed during their music studies at Vancouver Community College and Capilano University. After their first album ‘Wake’ in 2017, the group members participated in residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and were nominated for prestigious Western Canadian Music Awards.
In the rhythmic aspect of this group, rock influences are evident, and the synthesizer, reminiscent of the 70s, will occasionally remind you of the soaring sounds of the band YES. However, in reality, this group delves deep into both rock and jazz, as well as ethnic music. Overcoming the physical distance that separated them, the album features the distinctive contributions of six international artists, including Larnell Lewis (Snarky Puppy, Quincy Jones, Kurt Elling), Sarah Thawer (Jacob Collier, A. R. Rahman, Jon Batiste), and Sasha Berliner (Christian McBride, Tyshawn Sorey).
This creative process ventures in various directions, sometimes difficult to follow, but it exudes both urban music and the joy of outdoor living. It is impossible to pinpoint but genuinely entertaining! The group is composed of Arthur Pascau Smith on guitar and composition, Jeff Gammon on bass, Justin Gorrie on alto saxophone, guitar, and EMEO, James Huumo on keyboards, and Colin Parker on drums, where the drums play a prominent role but may lack finesse, being overly focused on energetic mode. Similarly to when I question the relevance of a jazz album that closely resembles classical music, this album may appeal more to those who enjoy 70s rock. Although it may not be aired on Bayou Blue Radio (a matter of style), I highly recommend it for its rich and diverse cultural contributions. Personally, like many others, I primarily listen to jazz, but I also appreciate different styles of music like classical, blues, funk, and occasionally rock.
In the 70s, I would have certainly marveled at such an album, but having experienced Weather Report and everything that followed afterwards, it takes much more to impress me. I particularly enjoy the saxophone playing of Justin Corrie and the bassist Jeff Gammon on this album. In fact, these two musicians succeeded in making me listen to this album several times. As you know, Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-move have different editorial styles and enjoy sharing their knowledge. While Bayou Blue Radio might have given it only three stars, Paris Move convinced us to consider it a “favorite.” This is the true essence of two different editorial perspectives that can come together and sometimes…

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, January 16th 2024


To buy this album (soon, here)


Every song is accompanied by a video release, available via YouTube.