ALTON - Alton's jazz history goes all the way to the birth of Miles Davis on Milnor Street, and it continues to this day through bands such as The Bonbon plot.
Fronted by Altonians Will and Janet Buchanan, with drummer Keith Bowman from the Webster University Jazz Program, The Bonbon Plot brings several melodic styles to an amalgamation similar to jazz. Will Buchanan, who plays guitar as his wife, Janet Buchanan, sings and plays upright bass, said the band is inspired by a wide range of influences from French guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt to adult contemporary guitar icon John Mayer to Brazilian bossanova.
The couple met at Principia College in Elsah playing music together. Will Buchanan said he had a band, which specialized in blues, and Janet Buchanan would come over and sing with him - introducing him to a more folk and singer/songwriter genre of playing.
Together, they would make music, and continue to add elements of genres they enjoyed. Will and Janet Buchanan both preach the gospel of bossanova, a laid-back Brazilian form of music in the 1950s-1960s. This is a form the duo have mixed with other styles to create their unique form of jazz.
"Bossanova is a sunny, happy style of music," Will Buchanan said. "It spoke to both the national and international mood of the time. In the 60s, a military coup took over and the national psyche got stressed. The feel disappeared overnight - and never came back."
Will Buchanan said bossanova also has interesting timing signatures, which differ from the usual 4/4 time used in most popular music. He said adjusting to those changes takes some practice, but it creates a unique sound a lot of listeners find to be refreshing, albeit not what they are used to hearing.
Currently, The Bonbon Plot is working on recording an album in St. Louis through a friend in the Webster University Jazz Program. Most of their shows are on the Missouri side of the river, including coffee shops in St. Charles and St. Louis, and even playing orchid night at the Missouri Botanical Gardens.
They also are going to play at St. Louis's beloved independent radio station, KDHX 88.1 on April 18.
In Alton, The Bonbon Plot has filmed a video at Alton's Lighthouse Sounds with three songs being portrayed. They are also going to play a showcase at Jacoby Center for the Arts on February 24.
More information on The Bonbon Plot can be found on their Facebook page.
People can RSVP to the Jacoby show at the event page.
Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at email@example.com.