“Ian McGimpsey and Harrison Argatoff” are an acoustic guitar and tenor saxophone duo. Their music draws from both singer-songwriter and contemporary jazz idioms, and is created with a mix of collaborative and individual composition. Precise interlocking lines, modern harmonic sensibilities, and decisive detail are presented in the format of concise songs. Their music strives to impart honesty, meaning, and simplicity.
McGimpsey, originally from Massachusetts, and Argatoff, originally from British Columbia, first met in the University of Toronto’s jazz program in 2015. After years of intermittent collaboration, this duo was formed in the winter of 2020. Inspired wholly by Nick Drake’s album “Pink Moon”, the duo’s inception was centered around encapsulating qualities admired in Drake’s music, while simultaneously overlaying personal music identities.
In early-March of 2020, they spent three days north of Toronto, in Carling Township, recording. It was decisively winter, with frozen water pipes, at least two feet of snow, and the surface of the Georgian Bay covered in ice. A beautiful, harsh landscape. After recording non-stop, with breaks only for eating and hand-warming, they tracked enough material for a debut album. Released on August 28th, 2020, the album “Ontario 559 West” features 15 original compositions.
Ontario 559 West
Ian McGimpsey and Harrison Argatoff
Released August 28th, 2020
Listen to the album
“Ontario 559 West” is an upcoming release from Ian McGimpsey and Harrison Argatoff. Inspired primarily by Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon”, this album pairs the tenor saxophone and acoustic guitar in short, precise, and heartfelt songs. The songs were developed both independently and collaboratively in February of 2020 and are an instinctive blend of the contemporary jazz and singer-songwriter idioms.
Ian is a guitarist and composer who now calls a little nook of bedrock on the shoreline of Georgian Bay (Ontario, Canada) home. Much of Ian’s musicality has come to be by virtue of the traditions of jazz music and blues music and his exploration of these. Ian has come across some things that he thinks are interesting in his meanderings with the guitar, and aims to continue to share them. Ian is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto’s jazz program, who grew up in the United States.
Harrison Argatoff is a Canadian tenor saxophonist and composer based in Toronto. A graduate of The University of Toronto’s jazz program, he strives to create an original musical voice capable of imparting personality, character, and vulnerability. Having grown up a Doukhobor, in the interior of British Columbia, teachings of pacifism, communal music making, and respect for life and nature have deeply affected his personal and artistic endeavors. Harrison is currently focusing on developing a modern approach to music through composition for a variety of ensembles, and also for solo performance. Harrison’s music combines the study of many musics, including free improvised music, jazz music, and classical music.