The world beat has led former Saultite Danny Mott on a merry dance through some out-of-the-way musical places.
Mott, front man and originator of Mocombo, played the Downbeat Lounge last night and the crowd was juiced, jazzed and jiving.
Mocombo is a multi-faceted band that changes from gig to gig with last night's show featuring Mott, J. Scali, Kyle McKey, Bob "Crow" Clarke and saxman Pierre (Viallancourt).
Sometimes Mocombo is an acoustic group of three players, other times it's as many as seven or eight jazz musicians with guests who join them periodically throughout the show.
The common element to every Mocombo show is Mott, who, in his 30-year music career has produced three official full-length CDs – all last year.
Mott began work on his first album back in the 70s and the long awaited and aptly titled Odyssey was released last year, along with Dreamscape and Zubie Zubie.
"I started playing at the late age of 23 and was told by my family and others that I would never be a Beatle or a Rolling Stone but I never got disheartened," said Mott.
He picked up bass and started playing around town with local greats like J. Scali, whom Mott credits as one of his primary influences and who also joined him on stage last night.
Then, when he still didn't get to be a Beatle, Mott took up sitar for about three years and studied with Babu Das, a Bengali Baul fusion artist whose big-name collaborations include George Harrison and sitar legend Ravi Shankar.
That was the early 70s and Mott informed SooToday.com that, regrettably, the sitar still hasn't really caught on in popular music.
So Mott returned to the bass, still his instrument of choice, and played for some show bands out in Vancouver while working on songs for Odyssey, which has a distinctively Middle-Eastern sound.
Eventually he worked his way back east to Toronto.
Then, just over three years ago, Mott returned to the Sault where he built a house and studio while working on his BA in music from Algoma University, with a minor in anthropology.
In addition to his own three CDs in his last year of school, Mott produced an EP for local singer/songwriter, Catherine Taddo.
Also released early this year was Live Mocombo an unofficial bootleg featuring the Mocombo lineup playing the Downbeat last night.
But the circle that spun him around the worldbeat and back to the Sault, sent him out again this summer when he left town for gigs unknown in Southern Ontario and other interests.
"It was a hard choice because I really love the Sault, but it just seemed that so many things were leading me in that direction," said Mott.
He'll be back in town to reunite Mocombo at Loplops on December 28, again at the Downbeat on December 30 and intends to return for gigs as often as his schedule permits.