The Tiki Collective are an octet who play "ersatz exotica".
It's a delicious blend of surf pop, jazz and Polynesian grooves that promises to conjure images of palm trees and South Sea islands.
The group is led by musical director/guitarist Eric St. Laurent and features Michael Davidson (vibraphone), George Koller (bass), Ernie Tollar (reeds and flutes), Great Bob Scott (drums) and vocalists Jocelyn Barth, Jaymz Bee, Gigi Marentette, Denielle Bassels, Irene Torres, June Garber, Heather Luckhart, Jessica Lalonde, Lily Frost and more. BOOK US NOW
"Everything that there was to shake was shaken, and everything that could be stirred was stirred at the launch for the MUSE CD by Toronto's The Tiki Collective on a recent balmy August night. Florid songstresses and torrid musicians (the always exploratory Ernie Tollar, above, was especially smooth) generated a lounge-y tropical atmosphere under a waxing moon in an air-conditioned harbour of song, courtesy of Vesuvius Records and host Jaymz Bee."
"A new look at lounge from a crew that loves lounge/exotica but hates clichés and tropes that have been beaten to death. Mixing originals with the Bergmans, overlooked oldies and BOC, the gumbo is a low fire thing just right to heat up the frozen north this comes from. Nu lounge but not for the lounge on Mars, it's fun stuff you don't have to be a musical tourist to get charmed by. You don't even need martinis to enjoy it. Well done."
Chris Spector - The Midwest Record
"The name Muse carries with it two meanings: Firstly as a noun, “to honour a person who is a source of artistic inspiration”, and secondly as a verb, because they “mused” over how to create a fresh new sound. The album is a blend of exotica, jazz, and pop music that will have you dreaming of beaches, palm trees, and wondrous sunsets. The melodies are timeless, while the production is modern and seamless."
The Republic of Jazz
"With seductive vocals, lush and layered instrumentation and a production quality that is sublime and polished, this release is destined to create a new genre in jazz-exotica."
Marty Delia – The Jazz Music Blog
"For the Tiki Collective’s opening salvo, producer Jaymz Bee has assembled a conflagration of noted musicians and chirps that could rival Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. Tenuously classified as “Exotica Lounge Music,” the 13-track project is essentially an ensemble of friends (led by musical director Eric St-Laurent) exploring various musical sub-genres, including snippets of surf, retro, jazz, pop and South Pacific Island influences of the 50s Tiki Culture. The tune menu contains a couple of standards such as Chelsea Bridge, rock anthems (the electric-sitar drenched Don’t Fear the Reaper) as well as pop hits, including a version of Nigerian/British chanteuse Sade’s mega-hit Sweetest Taboo."
"The twelve member Tiki Collective includes a wide variety of instruments including strings, reeds, sitar and a rotating collection of vocalists on lush and romantically exotic readings of jazz material and beyond. There’s lots of Ellington interpreted here, with Tyra Jutai on a saucy “Mood Indigo,” Mingji Chen oohing on “Chelsea Bridge” and Jocelyn Barth languishing during “All Too Soon.” Most intriguing is an exotic take of Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Melissa Lauren and the Willows that is wonderfully alluring, while their read of “Hypnotized” is seductively sultry. Rich romance exuded by Genevieve Marentette” make “I’ve Never Left Your Arms” a lush delight and Denielle Bassels has fun on “The Wanderer.” Mixing and match with sensuality."
"If I had to describe the atmosphere engendered by listening to this album, this scene comes to mind: a dim room (with mid-century modern decor, of course), lit only by a fire, an adult beverage to hand, a sunset skyline out the window. If you’re in the mood for that level of cool, this is the album for you."
Lesley Carter – Great Dark Wonder