TOO MANY ZOOZ | Montreal International Jazz Festival

What is a ‘zooz’ and how many is too many? Two of the ultimately irrelevant questions that went unanswered in a night as chest-thumpingly brilliant as you’re ever likely to see at any music festival.

The band tear into the set from the first note, blasting their ‘brass house’ beats into a young and hungry room with the energy of Moon Hooch and the party-savvy of Youngblood Brass Band. Propelled by the tub-thumping drums of the King of Sludge (David Parks), the brass duelling is left up to Matt Doe (trumpet in one hand, beer in the other) alongside Leo Pellegrino (baritone sax and outrageous thrusting). Topped with hair that possesses an enviable tequila sunrise colour-scheme, it is the other end of Leo P’s body that helped to bring the three-piece to the attention of the internet and then the world. The dance moves that were filmed as the band busked on the New York subway dominate the front of the stage and super-charge the performance. The crowd are loving every inch of the show.

Aside from the eye-catching look of Too Many Zooz, there is a bucket-load of musicality to match. Gesticulating with his right hand, Leo P annunciates his bari lines as if they are part of a conventional MC’s flow. The top-end melodic diction is extraordinary, broken only by bass lines that he lunges into. There is a raw, addictive feeling to the set reminiscent of The Prodigy — they are fire starters and rarely let up to catch a breath. When they do let up, Leo walks to the back of the stage, circling back to the front to roar at the crowd with all his lungs. The crowd roar back, drowning him out, baying for more. If you are up for a night of triple-strength mayhem then this is the band, these are the moves, these are the guys.

Leo P rides his baritone sax like it’s some form of magical unicorn, winks at the room and kisses the keys. Matt tells the room that they were up at 9am getting Russian visas. I’d wager a healthy amount of premium vodka that they’re going to have a lot of fun out there. Let’s hope they make it back because live music needs bands like Too Many Zooz.

Festival international de Jazz de Montréal runs from 28 June to 8 July. You can view the whole programme here.

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