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UZEB was a Canadian jazz fusion band from Montreal, Quebec, who were active from 1976 to 1992. The members were Alain Caron (bass guitar), Michel Cusson (guitar), and Paul Brochu (drums). UZEB had a blend of skilled playing and modern synthesized timbres, along with an emphasis on original compositions. The band won a number of Canadian awards during the 1980s. By 1989, international sales of UZEB's first eight recordings had exceeded 200,000 units, which the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada calls "an unprecedented figure for a Canadian jazz group".
UZEB was formed in 1976 in Drummondville, Quebec, by guitarist Michel Cusson. After the band's debut in St-Eusèbe, Qc, the name Eusèbe-Jazz was used; this name was later shortened to UZEB. The band soon moved to Montreal. Drummer Jean St-Jacques and bassist Alain Caron joined Cusson in 1978. The drummer's position was next filled by Sylvain Coutu, and then in 1980 by Paul Brochu. Until 1987, UZEB also used a keyboard/synthesizer player. In the 1980s, UZEB had what was then a very technologically advanced MIDI system for its synthesizers.
After 1987, UZEB became a trio consisting of Cusson, Caron, and Brochu. UZEB won Quebec Félix awards as group of the year in 1984 and 1989 (in competition with Quebec pop and rock bands). As well, the band won awards for jazz album of the year in 1983, 1984, 1986, and 1987. UZEB did Quebec-wide and several Canadian tours. In 1991 UZEB received the Oscar Peterson Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented at the 1991 Montreal International Jazz Festival.
UZEB played its first European concert in 1981 at the Bracknell (England) Jazz Festival. In 1983, UZEB appeared at the Festival de Jazz de Paris and recorded at the Olympia in Paris. UZEB also played in other European countries and in Southeast Asia (in 1990). However, UZEB rarely played concerts in the US. UZEB's most popular songs include "Junk Funk", "Smiles and Chuckles", "Mile 'O'", "60 rue des Lombards", "Spider", and "Uzeb Club".
- UZEB - Live in Bracknell (1981, Paroles & Musique, WL-532).
- Fast Emotion (1983, Paroles & Musique, WL-010).
- You, Be Easy (1984, Paroles & Musique, WL-021).
- Between the Lines (1985, Paroles & Musique, WL-027).
- Live à l’Olympia (1986, Paroles & Musique, WL-034).
- Absolutely Live (1986, Paroles & Musique, WL-035). (with Didier Lockwood)
- Noisy Nights (1988, Paroles & Musique, PEM-047).
- Live in Europe (1988, Paroles & Musique, PEM-050).
- UZEB Club (1989, B.C.C.L., BCCL-060).
- UZEB World Tour 90 (1990, Disques Avante-Garde, AGCD-602).
- Entre Ciel Et Terre (1996, Cream (Fra), B000005FR7).
- UZEB - The Last Concert (from a 1991 performance)
- "UZEB," Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Web, Nov. 18, 2010.
- Official websites