Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Memoriam, Craig Magill

With the new year dawning and new beginnings, I am very sad to report an all too early ending.
Craig Magill - educator, jazz enthuasist, friend and host to numerous visiting and local musicians, tireless supporter, former president and volunteer of the EJS and Yardbird Suite - musician, bon vivant, fashion plate and world traveller, passed away in New York this week, after a fall onto an icy sidewalk outside a jazz venue. I had received an email before Christmas from Craig and Wendy (his wife) detailing their extensive travel itinerary for 2010 including a trip to Greece. Craig had bravely battled and won against the big C, coming through with flying colours...although I'm sure he would have used some hep cat, jazz speak to describe it....
There is a memorial service planned in January I understand at the Yardbird...he will be sorely missed, such an integral part of the history of Edmonton's jazz scene for some six decades.
I was thinking of them having dinner in my home, enjoying my vegan cooking immensely, Craig giving some newly discovered performance, then on another visit, going out to the Rex with Craig to hear Kirk MacDonald, who Craig raved about. That same trip he attended the memorial concert for the great Doug Riley.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Wendy and his family, friends and jazz fans. I feel comforted he will be welcomed and appreciated by all the jazz greats who gave gone before him to that big jazz club in the sky.
Thank you Craig for your passion and dedication to the "sound of surprise".

Monday, December 28, 2009

Writing and writing....

Back at the Archive today after feeling immense guilt about a "holiday"...i.e. Christmas and Boxing Day. A lovely get together with my some nice fuzzy pajamas to go to work in...see first line of this paragraph....:)"Vegan Brunch" - which I am eager to try out...sort of a "Homer Simpson" gift, that from the potential experimentee...Tofu Benedict, Omelettes, pancakes, waffles....yummm....
I went to two new movies - the amazing "Avatar" which took me a little while to adjust to (in 3D - how retro is that?)...but you get enveloped in the world of Pandora....on a different take...."It's Complicated" - rom/com - Meryl there anything that woman can't do? She looks great, is fab as is Alec Baldwin...who I have considered hot for ages...very much the Aries that man, or at least his character is.... So, successful film outings so far - I'm still thinking of seeing Mr. Clooney's "Up In the Air" and maybe Mr. Downey in "Sherlock Holmes" - I am so glad Robert has gotten his act together.
Tomorrow....jazz jam at the Rex with Quinsin Nachoff and hosted by Justin Gray? Nathan Dell Vandenberg at Tranzac..7:30...there may be cookies as enticement as I understand..... making Moroccan Chickpea Soup from Jae Steeles' wonderful "Get It Ripe" as I type.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle Bones report

Fearless leader, Colin Murray.....
Tens of tens of trombones...well, hundreds of thousands would be a slight exaggeration. They sounded great - trombone players are a gregarious and fun loving lot...can you imagine (sorry) this many trumpet players or saxophonists? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy...
I have completed Christmas shopping, am still working on the Archive - I am learning even more about musicians and more still about compressing their lives into a paragraph....challenging.
Tomorrow baking some Festive Bread for Christmas other than Jingle Bones or writing about it has been pretty quiet...Gary Morgan's incredible PanAmericana band plays Lula Lounge on Monday the 28th with shows at 8 and 9:30.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Time Flies

I realize I havent' written anything since Monday. By the way, the Vince Guaraldi tribute was a great time....very fun, Robert Scott is amazing - how can he remember so many movie and TV themes? The mind boggles. It was nice to see the incredible Brandi Disterheft on bass too. This Sunday I am helping out at Jazz FM for Heather Bambrick's annual "Kitchen Party" - now I guess you need to have either been down to the Martimes or from there, but basically it means everyone hangs out in the kitchen (the warm spot and natch where there is food) and brings their instruments and/or voices...some alcoholic beverages may be involved - or in Newfoundland - Heather's home province - "Screech".....I don't believe that to be the plan on Sunday....but there will be food, music and tons of witty banter. Monday is that most special annual event - "Jingle Bones" at the Rhino on Queen - a cornucopia, a a plethora, a tantalizing tangent of trombones for your listening pleasure plus a long, long list of beer selections....7:30 ish. Cash and or non perishable items for the Food Bank are most welcome.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cam Britton and Charlie Brown

Will this happen tonight at the Old Mill's "Sound of Toronto" concert - a tribute to Vince Guaraldi? One never knows.
The bassist looks nothing like the lovely Brandi Disterheft, as far as Schroeder/Robert Scott.....
Should be a blast...
Check out the new posting on the Jazz FM blog about Mr. Cameron Britton....
I am plugging away on the Archive but may feel a need to create some seitan and some fig and anise biscotti this week...ah, the annual Christmas baking procrastination!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Just in - Dora Keogh Pub has jazz

I got this listing from The Toronto Star today...apparently Roberto Occhipinti, bassist and producer extraordinaire (who mysteriously shows up at Jazz FM when I bring cookies...hmmm) is scheduling gigs at this pub on the Danforth on Saturdays from 4 - 7 p.m. This week it's Roberto with Hilario Duran and Mark Kelso...should be fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dave Young Live to Air

What a great treat on a chilly winter night. Dave and the band sounded great - Robi Botos, Frank Botos and Kevin Turcotte. There was an enthusiastic audience and a genial "cheerleader" boss Larry Green.
"Mean What You Say" - a great motto in life and one I try to abide by - the name of the CD. Norbert Botos - the up and coming young drummer phenom (and son of Frank) was rapidly selling the new release after the taping.
"Everytime We Say Goodbye" of my favourite tunes. I listened to the album tonight - gorgeous...especially Robi's contributions.
I have now commenced work on updating the I am getting a bit of jazz bio brain. Took a break at "Shanghai Cowgirl" and bought some red gloss - GOSH at Shoppers. I'm not really a red lipstick girl - but am inspired by "Mad Men"'s Joan to bring out my inner vixen. I just haven't found the perfect shade yet.
Tomorrow in my time honoured tradition of procrastinating I will be baking some Rugelach....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Un Poco di Paquito

Wow...great show last night at Koerner -posting up soon on Jazz FM...lovely to hear Luis Mario Ochoa again this week and Hilario Duran. I also got to see Cam Britton who is working at Koerner....Cam, I will do a blog posting on the Jazz FM website - promise! Today is chili and it is chilly - and I need to get going on the Archive...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jingle Bones and Barbados and Biscotti

Hee, hee or is that ho, ho, ho...that's my brother Colin's cat - looking very, very annoyed in his Santa finery to promote the 6th annual "Jingle Bones" trombone extravaganza with "Christmas-like" music on December 21st at the Rhino on Queen....great beer selection - bring your trombones all you trombonists and your undying appreciation listeners - plus money or non perishable food contributions for the food bank. The excitement starts at 7:30 ish. Baking chocolate biscotti today - pictures to follow. I'm off to hear Paquito D'Rivera tonight at Koerner Hall which I'm looking forward to and will blog about for Jazz FM. I was thrilled with Sophia Perlman's gig at the Rex on Thursday - where I crashed the Toronto Music Lover's Meetup. Ori Dagan - newly minted on CD singer was there. Band members were Alex Dean, Pat Collins, Dave Restivo and Terry Clarke - how can you go wrong. Check out the rest of her Thursday night run this month at 6:30. I understand Mr. Clarke has a new CD coming out. Live to air broadcast on Monday night for Dave Young - I have it on good authority - Mr. Ross Porter - the new album is great - in fact, possibly Ross' favourite this year. Booked for Barbados in January - my first Caribbean vacation...don't know if there will be jazz...I think I am arriving AFTER the jazz festival - the airline deals don't take jazz festivals into account.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Follow up

I got a lovely comment from Luis Mario Ochoa on Facebook! Muchas gracias! I neglected to mention what an engaging person he is - very warm, funny and charming. And that voice - gives you chills - Canto Siboney - the heartache was palpable. There was a fun little singalong towards the end of the program "Cemento, Ladrillo y Arena" (cement, brick and sand) about building a house...I am still singing it in my head as I write... I recommend you go out and hear him when possible...he's often at Lula Lounge.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cuban Interlude

Although we have been having an unseasonably mild "winter" so far it's still nice to get some Cuban sunshine - Luis Mario Ochoa's group gave a wonderful concert tonight at the Richard Bradshaw amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre - among the musicians - Hilario Duran and Mark Kelso. Particularly effective : "Longina" - which featured Luis and Hilario alone - on a very poignant song of longing.
I also moseyed over to see Ali Berkok and his band Arkana Music at Trane - as usual - more bodies would be nice in the house. Still I enjoyed the set - thank you very much. Happy Birthday to Ali tomorrow - I look forward to hearing the band again soon. Ali is also playing on Friday night - different band.
Tomorrow - "Jazzology" taping - Justin Sauson, Mohawk, bass and Sophia Perlman is at the Rex every Thursday for the 6:30 show this month.
I made some shortbread cookies today...some with lavender...since I'm on an all things flowery kick - I bought some violet mints today - strangely I am attracted to purple, violets and lavender these days. I was reading purple is a very spiritual colour, intuitive and creative...hmmmm....Children are also very attracted to it - maybe I am having the second childhood....
The lovely photo is from flickr/creative commons and was taken by Eliza1946.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Full force jazz - no trauma

Isn't this a great image? I went to hear Blunt Object again last night - unfortunately I was one of the few....people, people, what do I have to do to get you out to hear this great big band - doing the charts of Carla Bley and some of Robin Jessome...possibly in future charts of the wacky and wonderful (and sadly disbanded) Orange then Blue?
On the bandstand: Heather Segger - trombone; Mark Segger - drums/percussion; Tom Van Seters - keyboards; Robin on trombone and conducting; the always scintillating Ben Dietschi...former "Jazzology" guest all....I am hoping for a venue like the Rex and more audience put me in mind of some of the bad old days of the Yardbird in the 80's where the band members and volunteer staff outnumbered the audience - for out of town BIG NAME acts...shame , shame.
Am I going to have to promise baked goods?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jazz FM Youth Band at The Rex

All I can say is Wow! I am certainly impressed with our Youth Band under the tutelage of Jules Estrin. Thanks for the great set of music - you guys are awesome! I'd like to forward an email I got from the sweet and talented Francois Mulder - he is an angel and a wonderful performer...check out his CD as he advises.... Thanks to your support, some hard work and the grace of God, I have recently recorded and released my first album, The Love Led Acoustic Sessions. You can listen to sound clips of the album by clicking on either of the following links: the music page on my website : or my MySpace page : The album is also available for purchase, in both digital format and as a hard copy, at iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon. The links to these online stores are at the bottom of this e-mail. Alternatively you can get in touch with me at , and I can mail the CD directly to you. If you have any feedback on the album, please write to me. I’d love to hear form you! If you like the music, please tell a friend about it by forwarding this e-mail to them.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Whole Health and Whole Lotta Frishberg

Here is the sparkly (jewellery courtesy of Louisa LaBarbera) and chic Ilana Waldston along with Ross McIntyre (bass) and Mark Kieswetter (piano) at Trane last night.
Great show! I had a great chat with the bartender about jazz and singing. Nathan Hiltz was there - his always charming self and that lovely jazz couple about town - Lisa Particelli and Norman Marshall Villeneuve...made a note to myself about FINALLY going up to Chalkers for Girls Night Out.
And who was at the door but two great chanteuses - Bonnie Brett and Maureen Kennedy!
Earlier that day I was working at The Whole Health Expo for the stylish and serene Jalanna at Soul Symbols - she makes incredible jewellery - perfect for balancing your chakras....
A sampling of her work....
I got some essential oils - Colour Therapy for balancing a couple of my chakras too.
There are all kinds of practioners - clothing, food (including raw food products), lectures....
Tonight, energy willing I am going to check out Maybe Not at Tequila Bookworm and tomorrow - the Jazz FM Youth Band is at the Rex for the noon show - I can say hello to their fearless leader Jules Estrin...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On the Town

Jazz happenings: The lovely and hilarious Ilana Waldston is at Trane tomorrow night with her Frishberg tribute. I hope not to be too tired out to enjoy it after a day at the Whole Life Expo....last time she had her gig at the Trane there was a huge thunderstorm...which knocked out power. Saturday - I will go to the Bookworm (Tequila) to hear this week's "Jazzology" guest - Nathan Dell Vandenberg on trombone....listen to Ali Berkok's show tonight - he has a gig at Trane next Wednesday.... Monday it's Blunt Object at Trane - the music of Carla Bley under the sure-handed direction of yet another trombone player (and former "Jazzology" guest) Robin Jessome. Some of our other "graduates" are likely to be in the big band... Tuesday sees another after work jazz gig at the Reservoir with that Demon about town (on his trusty bicycle) Richard Underhill... Now I am off to Fressen for a celebratory dinner - I will let you know later...but it involves jazz and income...both good.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marmalade and Chocolate and The Beach

I visited Lady Marmalade for a brunch meal today - it's located on Queen East - 898 and Logan. I didn't realize it had taken over the former Pulp Kitchen
Vegan options on the menu - funky tables and chairs - cozy and busy.
Feeling adventurous and having some time to kill before meeting up with a friend I decided to walk east toward the Beach. En route I checked out some shops and in particular Kakayo Chocolate Company at Queen Street East. They make amazing chocolate and even have vegan truffles - organic is the name of the game here and the shop is charming.
I also bought some lip balm - and this is jazz related - apparently a favourite of many a sax player - it's chocolate mint and is by Earthly Paradise 416 504 1653 and the creator also sells at the Dufferin Grove Market.
The Coconut Pistacho truffle (off the vegan wagon for that one) is incredible, postively silky...try out all the flavours. The dark chocolate bar is made with agave which I'm curious to try...I had been meaning to check out this shop for the longest time and finally got to sample the goods at the Craft Off The Lot show recently.
Still en route I checked out "The Purple Thumb" at 1887 Queen East just going into the Beach. They have a terrific collection of locally made and ethically produced goods including clothing and jewellry. Plus - they had Jazz FM on in the store!
Afterwards tea and a cupcake from a shop way into the Beach called Life Is Sweet – A Cupcake House at 2328 Queen St. E., 416-698-0555 It was coconut...mmm... and a walk along the boardwalk watching the waves come in and the dogs frolic in them... - 1584 Queen Street East.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Fun-raising update

Great time at Jazz FM this morning - the crew raised over $31,000 on the shift from 9 - 1 p.m. Go Ralph! Last time I check we were above $570,000...yes! Still a few hours to go today... "Whoa Nellie" was a hoot and a half last spite of Lonesome Lefty not being there - stuck in Windsor, can catch them next time on January 2nd.... I am making Russian Cabbage Soup and had a great mini reflexology treatment from Melissa at All One's open house in Roncesvalles. She is amazing...need to book an actual session with her. As always, Gosia and the staff provide incredible energy. The EFT technique worked wonders as well....I continue to be astounded at the effectiveness of alternative therapies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Caramel Apple Pie (from Brandi via Veg News)

As you can see part of this is already eaten - it was far too tempting after smelling it baking for nearly an hour.
Thanks to Colleen Patrick Goudreau's pastry tips the crust is like "buttah"...always chill the ingredients - yes, all the ingredients even the flour - and don't overwork the dough!
Brandi's Famous Caramel Apple Pie!
Ingredients (use vegan versions):
your favorite Vegan pie crust recipe (I used one from "The Joy of Vegan Baking)
3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thinly
(I tossed these with a teaspoon or more to taste of cinnamon or even nutmet if you like...cardamom?)
"Caramel" topping:
1/2 cup vegan butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
(My addition - 1 teaspoon vanilla)
Directions:Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Pile apple slices in pie crust, and lattice crust over top of pie.
In a saucepan, bring "Caramel" topping ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
Pour "Caramel" over top of pie so that it seeps into the apples and covers the lattice.
Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, then cover with foil and continue to back at 350 degrees F. for another 35-45 minutes.
Serves: 12
Preparation time: 1 hr
I also made some delectable Mushroom Pate yesterday from Sara Kramer's recipe in "La Dolce Vegan"...why would anyone want to eat regular pate - especially knowing how it's derived when something can taste this amazing?
After a tense week, TVA elections are over for another year..onward and upward.
Tomorrow night I'm going to check out the Gladstone from 7 - 10 p.m. as our "postie" , (as she called herself) Vera is doing some fun, kickass country swing and rockabilly. "Whoa, Nellie" - that's what they're called. I have heard her at our local Farmer's market so this should be a great time. I do love the Gladstone...good atmosphere, food and drink.
Let me know if you want the recipe (s)....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Local Vocal

I certainly love it when serendipitous events happen. I was at the Pilot one Saturday recently and happened to notice a store across the street called "Song and Script Music Store"....very intriguing and made a mental note to check it out after listening to Mike Murley's quartet.. I was delighted to find this shop jam packed with sheet music, DVDs and an amazing selection of jazz CDs. One of the most frequent questions you get at the Jazz FM desk is "Where do I find jazz CD's" - usually from people frustrated with selection at a number of chain music stores or uninterested in searching online. Here there is Diana Panton, Ori Dagan, Carol Welsman and others. A chance remark from one of the owners - the irrepressible Dane Taylor about the early sunsets and we were off to the races...happily chatting about jazz. The store has been around for some 27 years - formerly on Bloor now on Cumberland Terrace. One little game Dane used to play was piping Amanda Martinez's first CD out onto the street to unsuspecting listeners at the bus stop. Result: many, many CD sales... Dane has watched many a blossoming career over the years. He will play you his current enthusiasm, which in this case was one Robin Hayle - a CD I am listening to now..."Bed Full of Roses" - she has a lovely smoke laced honeyed alto. How great that he is so supportive of local musicians - a vital part of the music scene. Dane will even track down the CD for you, search and bring it in for you. He doesn't have a website but here are his email address and phone: Song And Script Music Store (in Cumberland Terrace) 416 923 3044 Toll Free 1 -888-599-9655 Email: Coming up a little review of Robyn Hayle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Analogue Gallery on Queen

I love discovering new businesses in my neighbourhood....this one has been open only 2 weeks.. I was drawn in by Coltrane - a great set of photos of Coltrane and Miles on the "Kind of Blue" recording session - seminal stuff! There are numerous great portraits - Sinatra, Basie and wonderful descriptions of where and when, the atmosphere, the subject. Check out Bob Dylan's alternate photo for "The Freewheelin Bob Dylan" album cover, "The Doors"....early U2, the Sex Pistols, k.d. lang and many others. The gallery is just west of Bathurst on the southside of Queen.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dragons and horses

Last night...discovering a Japanese restaurant across the street from my building - where I have lived for 3 years mind you...oh well....Here is the very cool Veg Dragon Roll. It is a charming spot - Ichiban Sushi...Our waitress did a great job of checking with the kitchen if items contained any fish in them - so no go on the broth... Saw the great Michael Moore documentary "Capitalism - A Love Story" at the Revue - alternately enlightening and infuriating...but heartening in sections and of course good doses of humour. Today....the Royal Winter Fair - which I have never been to - if you can believe it...lots of great food sampling - local products like cheeses and gourmet items plus all manner of horse accoutrement - blankets, stirrups, combs. I met the very fun ladies purveying "From the Meadow" - great skincare and pampering products - bath products - I got the Venus Milk Bath - which smells heavenly - lilacs. Had a mini facial massage with - get this - "The Secret". One side of my face was done first and then the other - I seriously looked like one of those before and after photos - I couldn't believe what a difference it made - so yes I bought it...along with some Pumpkin Body Cream - scrumptious. Another of the bath salts looked like aquamarine crystals - with the scent of vetiver and rosewood....yet, I had already done enough damage. Got to watch the tail end of the barrel riding...was that a terrible pun? My dear friend Christina was my valued and knowledgeable guide having done the catering gig for a while here in the royal box. She knows and is loved by everyone due to her sparkling and warm personality.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Healing Power of Trombone?

I don't what it is...but I appear to be on the mend today...feeling better and better. I attribute it to the powerful healing vibrations of Ray Anderson...what else can I say? I went to check out Craft on the Lot at King and Shaw this afternoon - lots of creativity and beautiful things - including sparkly stuff for those magpies out there - you know who you are - I am one.... I have included a picture of my new "Bermuda Blue" Swarovski crystal earrings....made by Penny K - check her out - she has lots of beautiful glittery necklaces, earrings and She does a lot of custom orders and has a multitude of amazing Swarovski crystal shapes - a number of which are no longer available... There was also chocolate from Kakayo Chocolates - even vegan chocolates - chai and ginger pecan plus lip smacking looking chocolate bars with bittersweet chocolate. I bought cards with lovely Japanese images from Jasmine Bashaj....there were cool purses from cipolla (, beautiful jewellery from Dragonfly Designs - and you know I like dragonflies - there was a beautiful pink stone bracelet I was toying with from there...perhaps I need to hint for Christmas. Great smelling skincare from Bumblebee, The sale is going on all this weekend and it's certainly worth checking's pay what you can $5 - earns you one raffle ticket, $10 - 3 raffle tickets...there is a lot of great unique stuff and the size is very manageable. If you are in Markham next weekend Penny K Design is having an open house Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a portion of the proceeds going to CP24/Chum FM Christmas Wish Foundation - so an opportunity to make yourself feel beautiful on more than one level...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A little under the weather

I'm not sure if it's flu or something else..but I'm hoping it's going away soon..I want to go see Ray at the Rex! Also, Kaos Theory at Tequila Bookworm on Saturday - with some of our former "Jazzology" guests - Justin Gray, Adam Teixeira, Andrew Kay...9 ish... Oliver Jones is at the Glenn Gould Theatre on Saturday - a concert in aid of the Jazz Education and Performance Centre...a very worthy cause... Mike Murley has a concert up at York University of Tuesday....need to get more details on that... Drinking ginger tea, mint tea and lots of water. The very thought of food, smell of food or reading about food makes me feel queasy...yuck.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ray and Dave and Hammiett

Lots of exciting things happening T.O. this week - the one I'm most thrilled about is Ray Anderson at the Rex on Thursday and Friday for the late show....should be a blog posting up on the Jazz FM website shortly singing his praises...this great photo is by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe from his Dave Young also has a gig on Thursday, a CD release at Trane - "Say What You Mean"..starting at 8..but you can go earlier and have some fine food and welcoming service. Hamiett Bluiett along with Kahlil El Zabar holds court at Trane, Friday and Saturday nights. And yes, it's that time of year again - fall fundraising for Jazz FM 91 - or 1-800-811-2400. Keep jazz on the air and in the community!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Impromptu Riff

Jim Gelcer Trio in action at Ten Feet Tall yesterday...a packed house and great band. One of the things I don't really like about a lot of raw "cheese" recipes is the raw garlic...something about too much raw garlic makes me nauseous... I created a little fun mix today: 2 cups of cashew and brazil nuts (soaked for a couple of hours, then drained), 1 tsp miso, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, a squeeze of orange juice - or lemon, enough water, maybe 1/4 cup to make it creamy and voila! Scrumptious.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Finds...some delicious

Finally checked out White Lotus restaurant yesterday (303 Lansdowne) - right smack dab at Dundas and it was yummy. We had the #9, 22 and 46. Each dish comes with a little side of pickled vegetables. The pancake was really fun..filled with faux meat and bean sprouts and liberal accompaniments of fresh mint...yum. #22 - was grilled shrimp and lemongrass chicken with rice. #46 - yellow noodles and rice noodles with assorted "meats" and vegetables. All served with graciousness... It's been a long time since I've had great Vietnamese veg food - since the days of the sadly missed Lotus Garden on Dundas in Chinatown. I am very happy to find a replacement! Great music from Mike Murley and the band yesterday at the Pilot (Barry Elmes, Pat Collins and Ron Westray). Looking for jazz CD's especially local? Try the Song and Script Music Store across the street...more on my visit there hopefully in a Jazz FM blog. In the meantime 416 923 3044 or 1 888 599 9655....that's the toll free. Dane Taylor is the best! Enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend - off to a PFW event and then to Ten Feet Tall....

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rudresh at the Rex

I wonder does this make me a "moldy fig" ? In spite of the build up of the New York alto saxophonist's gig and the many musicians in attendance : Occhipinti brothers, Bob Brough, Chris Butcher among others...I couldn't get into it. Maybe it was my mindset last night...I don't know. I appreciate the musicianship involved, especially with our own Rich Brown on bass but when I watch the clock...I know I am not involved...I like to think I am very open to experimental music - which engages me. Kudos to the Rex for expanding the parameters all the time. I could have gone to Gate 403 to see Ali Berkok in a band, the Earth Tones - had I know the band personnel - this is always a nice touch when deciding on a show...or I could have gone to hear Cam Britton....oh well. I feel Mr. Murley et al will be more my speed this afternoon at the Pilot. Especially since I see Pat Collins is on bass and Barry Elmes on drums...two of our present and former "collaborators" on "Jazzology". New satin shirt...very 70's or Prince, his purple and veg fabulousness.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Correction...

When I mentioned Jim Gelcer's Trio at Ten Feet Tall...I neglected to mention DAY and TIME...d'oh! Sunday from 3:30 - 6:30...visit to check out their extensive menu at this welcoming spot on the Danforth.... Did you watch "30 Rock" last night? Alec Baldwin kills me...

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Thus far November, supposed to be big changes for yet nothing. So feeling very blue today, frustrated with my life....I feel things are not progressing at I'm standing at the base of a mountain with no idea how to get over or around it. I love my writing...but what am I supposed to be when I grow up? Today I feel like I want to escape to a different place, leave everything and everyone behind and start over. It's not mature but it's how I feel. Unknown and unappreciated. I have been working on trying to be positive...doesn't seem to penetrate today. Today is wallowing, unable to see the blue skies or brighter horizons. Even music is not inspiring. Here's hoping for better days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

You are Here

Or are you there? I am both here and there with upcoming jazz concerts...tonight a "Showcase" of extremely talented Humber students doing some R and B and Pop...some Steely Dan? 8 p.m. tonight at the Lakeshore campus. Speaking of Humber, Alex Tait, vocalist is our "Jazzology" taping star tomorrow. Friday it's the 9:30 show with New York sax sensation Rudresh Mahanthappa with Rich Brown for the first set and Humber's own graduates: Justin Gray on bass and Adam Teixeira on drums for the second. Marvelous Mike Murley at the Pilot this Saturday at 3:30 p.m....Jim Gelcer Trio at Ten Feet Tall... Just a smidgen of things that are happening jazzwise... Don't forget Jazz FM 91's fall fundraising campaign starts on November 9th...

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rodgers and Hart Songbook

So many great tunes so little time. I got to hear Denzal again...yay! He did a wonderful version of "I Didn't Know What Time it Was" and "My Heart Stood Still"..sigh, that man has the most honeyed set of pipes! Heather Bambrick - lovely "Where or When" and funny on "I Wish I were in Love Again". A heartbreaking number from organizer John Alcorn - "My Funny Valentine". The very talented Diana Braithwaite - "It Never Entered my Mind" and Chris Whitely - "Blue Moon"plus the Mark Eisenmann trio - with Steve Wallace on bass and John Sumner on drums AND fiery tap dancing to "The Lady is a Tramp" by David Cox. Love this concept - here's to another year... And now to make Granola from the "Candle Cafe Cookbook"...with my own variations of course...

Divine Denzal

How great to see Denzal Sinclaire again...after too long an abscence here. He was ably abetted by Joel Haynes on drums and Jon Maharaj on bass. He did "Tofu and Greens"...which I was really, really hoping for...thus covering off the vegan element of the blog posting..:) A good crowd at the Canwest Cabaret show last night. Denzal was in fine form with lovely treatments of "You and the Night and the Music" in tango fashion, "Follow You, Follow Me" segueing into "Unforgettable"...because when you sound spookily like Nat King Cole..why not? "Nature Boy", "What a Wonderful World"....his unique take on "I Got Rhythm"..a tight but full to the brim set. Love the intimacy of the venues for this series... This afternoon is "Rodgers and Hart" songbook...on a windy day here in the Big Smoke. Tomorrow I should go and visit Nathan Hiltz at Joe Mama's his regular Sunday night gig with Bernie Senensky... Photo from

Friday, October 30, 2009

Plaid Rain Boots....and Denzal Sinclaire

Bought some brand new rainboots in Kensington this morning...but d'oh forgot the umbrella so the rest of me got wet even though my feet were toasty and dry... Tonight going to hear the wonderful Denzal Sinclaire down at the Distillery for the Canwest Cabaret series...hopefully the Rodgers and Hart songbook tomorrow afternoon and maybe, maybe "Shopping Cart of Love"....remains to be seen. Also went to a fun lecture last night with the "Raw Witch" - who is a very sweet person actually - Nathalie Lussier...check out her website at

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"An Education"

Loved this movie...partly because of the early 60's fashions but also Carey Mulligan is great as Jenny, a smart savvy teen with aspirations for Oxford until she gets waylaid by smoothtalker David played by Peter Sarsgaard who is not quite what he seems. He introduces her to a bigger, more exciting world which includes a trip to Paris - perfect for the girl obsessed with all things French. Delightful. Rosamund Pike takes on an unusual part as a dim blonde - love her because she is gorgeous and always plays smart, sophisticated types. Carey plays the intelligent on paper but naive young thing perfectly. I think I like the 60's fashions because they are rectangular which is the "shape" my body is supposed to be... I am also reading Shmuley Boteach's "The Kosher Sutra" which sounds racy but is actually more about having passion in life... An Excerpt: "In other words, eroticism is a recognition of the infinity of life and its endless nature. There is no climax, there is no summit. There is only an endless journey of accelerating passion. Changing our lives from a goal to a means-orientation would bring back the curiosity and passion that is the very stuff of the erotic spark. Take our jobs for example. All too many of us work in order to advance or work in order to earn money. But if we were to work in order to maximize our productive capacity for creative output, we would achieve those ends, but would also enjoy the journey."

Monday, October 26, 2009

The falling leaves drift by my window The falling leaves of red and gold I see your lips, the summer kisses The sunburned hands I used to hold Since you went away the days grow long And soon I'll hear old winter's song But I miss you most of all, my darling When autumn leaves start to fall A great fall tune by Johnny Mercer and Joseph Kosma...the past 2 days have been lovely here with all the trees decked out in beautiful shades of gold and red and russet. I enjoyed a lovely walk by sparkling Lake Ontario this morning... Tonight is the monthly John McLeod and his Rex Hotel Orchestra, at the Rex natch, 9:30 the way if you aspire to be a benefactor to this great group they certainly could use a good fairy to help fund the recording of their CD...or was that sugar daddy? Diana Panton holds court at the Old Mill tonight with a sold out show...more jazz happenings to come. Photo from Wikipedia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Zombie and Toxic Avengers...oh my!

Yesterday, starting from Trinity Bellwoods Park was the annual Zombie walk and I headed over to take photos and hopefully not be eaten... Before the walk got underway, there were winners to be selected for best costume and best walk and was a blast. Lots of creativity went into fashioning the outfits and staying in character... "The Toxic Avenger" was silly fun..not for the squeamish as there is some dismemberment and ahem... colourful language.. but appropriate Hallowe'en fare with rock and roll score...thank goodness for earplugs. The supporting cast is great playing multiple roles especially Daren A. Herbert and Peter Dewick who veer from playing thugs to scientists, gay hairstylists, little old ladies and giggly girlfriends. As for Louise Pitre - that woman rocks! Her always stellar self even when doing a number playing two characters at the same time. Looks like everyone is having a great time. You've got to hand it to a production that rhymes uranium with geranium...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sage West

This is a charming venue on College Street near Dovercourt you should check out..they have a jazz brunch on Sundays (brunch period on Saturday and Sunday)from 10 a.m. (the musicians arrive at noon apparently). I have seen a couple of jazz musician friends perform here and it's a cozy spot with great food and the owners are very music friendly and welcoming... Tonight it's off to see "The Toxic Avenger"...which means missing Ori Dagan's CD release...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Adam Fielding plug...

Adam is a charming drummer and student at Mohawk College in Hamilton. He was the guest for our taping yesterday for "Jazzology" # 2. The shows will start airing after fundraising so I think his show will be on December 3rd. Since he was such a wonderful guest I thought I would give him a plug for his regular Wednesday night gig...for those of you in the Hamilton area... Steve Collett 's"Cat Jam" which starts every Wednesday at 10 p.m.. It is a long running ( 8 years or so) open jazz jam at the CAT N' FIDDLE in Hamilton. It is very popular with local players and students. (As Adam emailed to me) Keeping you up to date...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Celery "Soul Food" Soup, Ori Dagan and Windfall

Still on the Horace Silver kick.. Very exciting news - Ori Dagan is having a CD release event at Chalkers on Saturday October 24th. Unfortunately, social butterfly that I am - prior engagement to see "The Toxic Avenger". It should be great with always delightful scat stylings and rich baritone of one Mr. Dagan. Congratulations Mr. D! It's a rainy afternoon and since I have a large "bouquet" of celery as the handsome clerk at 4 Life called it soup is in order. Cream of celery.... here's what I did... CELERY "SOUL FOOD" SOUP 2 Tbls. olive oil or half margarine if you want to be French 2 - 3 stalks of celery including greenery, chopped 1 onion chopped 1 zucchini chopped 1 carrot chopped 2 cloves garlic minced 6 cups veg broth (homemade, canned or bouillon w/water) 1/2 cup chopped parsley 1 tsp celery salt to taste Lavish dusting of black pepper 1 can black eyed peas (that's the soul food part and optional) 1 cup soy or rice milk Saute celery, onion, garlic, carrot and zucchini over med high heat until wilted/onion is translucent. Stir in veg broth and spices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook about 30 minutes until carrot is cooked. Removed from heat in batches and process in blender or food processor. Return to heat and add milk until heated through. Listening to Horace also helps with the cooking.. And now a shameless blug for effervescent Jazz Festival volunteer, wonderful singer and aspiring PR person - Rucsandra Maria Saulean. She will be performing at this fundraiser for Windfall, a worthy's called "Tea Talk" The Event will Feature: Live jazz performance Interior Design talk from Karl Lohnes about “What’s in and out for 2010” Followed by a Q&A period Outstanding silent auction featuring items for the home Amazing tiers of tasty delights Endless supply of tea and coffee Cash Bar A tremendous Gift Bag When & Where: Sunday, October 25, 2009 The Granite Club 1 pm – 4 pm Buy your Ticket Today: Reserve your ticket today, only $50, space is limited! For tickets please call 416 703 8435 and speak to Kelly, or fill in and return the form below by fax to 416 703 8437 or e-mail to Another teeny plug, although it has been a while (since IAJE in fact) that I have been to Azure Restaurant in the Intercontinental Hotel on Front Street I may be tempted to go down there again to listen to the jazz stylings of Dan Bodanis, Bernie Senensky and Steve Wallace on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30 - 10:30 p.m. I believe different people sit in as well as this week it's Brian Dickinson at the piano.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pigs, Purple and Pedagogy

Pigs first. I see and hear the sad sounds of pigs going to a slaughterhouse in my neighbourhood at least once a week and so therefore I am asking if you would please go to PayPal and donate to
This pig rescue sanctuary has been lovingly operated by Ilona and Ellis Osborne. Sadly, Ellis passed away recently and Ilona is in need of our support spiritually and financially. Any amount you can give would be very much appreciated by all concerned. You can also check out Facebook for more information.
Thanks to Holly Larson, kind soul and activist extraordinaire for bringing this to my attention.
The purple is a new bag from Winners - synthetic of course. Purple and grey are my colours of choice this fall.
Pedagogy - check out the posting on "Jazzology" on the Jazz FM website - complete with my photo - self portrait. If anyone out there can do a nice photo cheap let me know..perhaps I can reciprocate in baked goods...
Wednesday at the Rex - 9:30 show - Klezmer music with our first "Jazzology" guest of the season, Ali Berkok.
Richard Underhill has a CD release tonight at Lula Lounge.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Gourmet Jazz

Imagine the most perfect, exquisite gourmet meal where each element is perfectly presented, each dish is mouthwatering, each morsel melts in the mouth.
(Photo by Eddy Westveer - Flickr Creative Commons)
That was the concert tonight at Humber college under the direction of renowned bassist, composer and arranger John Clayton and the Humber Faculty/Alumni Big Band.
Just watching him conduct was like "So You Think You Can Dance" as Larry Green, emcee for the evening commented. His graceful wingspan reached for invisible clouds on either side of his body, the movement of his fingers like raindrops indicating a diminuendo and then punching out the emphasis or using his digits like the barrel of a gun.
The band was obviously entertained as well and the soloists all were dishing it up - the appetizer started out the feast with Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia" - and I am a Hoagy girl. How much more satisfying can you get than Horace Silver? "The Jody Grind". ...some Monk which brought out Don Thompson on vibes. "Plunger Mute Syndrome" featured juicy work from Christian Overton and throughout tasty solos from Pat LaBarbera, John McLeod, William Carn and a new find for me baritone player Shinrantha Beddage.
John with great humour and grace provided one of the best evenings I have had in a long time. Plus, I got to see my brother Colin - whom I didn't know was rounding out the trombone A fully satisfying repast complete with the dessert of a trio of bass players, Don, John and Neil and a trumpet solo in "Shout Me Out" by the venerated Denny Christianson - dare I say benevolent king of Humber.
A sumptuous meal at a fast food price.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

First "Jazzology" taping of the new season

Our guest today was Ali Berkok, piano from U of T. I knew we would get along because he is ....vegan!! Plus, he recognized Jae Steele's Maple Flax Cookies from "Get It Ripe". Needless to say he's a delightful and talented person - check out his group Arkana Music on Myspace... Made another cookie recipe from "100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes" by Kris Holechek - this time Chocolate Peanut Butter Shells - delish! And wouldn't you know it when I brought them down to the station who should show up but cookie monster and bassist extraordinaire Roberto Occhipinti - it happens every time - he must have some amazing GPS on cookies... Tomorrow night is John Clayton at Humber...this afternoon a 1st anniversary celebration for Lush and Lavish - my favourite salon/spa. I'm heading off shortly for a facial...and then there will be snacks, discounts and prizes including a chance for a trip to Hawaii....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Posting is up on Jazz FM

I called it the "Sweets and Lowdown" - about my winning entry in the 2nd annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake Off....Nutville Cookies... Got very annoyed at TVO's "The Agenda" on Monday. Purported to have a segment on "Vegan and Vegetarianism" used some American - Lisa Dorfman to talk about was like a time warp of the 80's, including the very tired "Where do you get your Protein" question.... Hello, Mr. Paikin, the largest land mammal - the elephant? A herbivore? Do you see them collapsing from lack of protein? I couldn't believe they didn't contact ANYONE from TVA like David Alexander or Lisa Pittman or in Canada - Brenda Davis or Jae Steele or Brendan Brazier? The interviewee looked like a deer caught in the headlights or a deer talking to kindergarten students - insulting!! I just had to watch - like a potential natural disaster - that's 20 minutes of my life I won't get back. I also had a heck of a time trying to figure out how to post a comment to the TVO website! Enough - I am probably undoing any acupuncture or meditation I undertook in the past 24 hours. Tonight is another calming PFW event with music - spiritual and comedic..interesting combo. Friday John Clayton at Humber. Sunday afternoon - the fab Ilana Waldston at Ten Feet Tall....and more to come....

Friday, October 9, 2009

No turkey for me...Happy Thanksgiving

This is how turkeys should be - not on a platter in the middle of the dining room table..this colourful specimen is a Michigan wild turkey
(photo courtesy of JRidley1 - flickr creative commons).
I am of course, not having any turkeys sacrificed this weekend instead I will likely enjoy a delicious vegan Thanksgiving meal at a local restaurant such as Green Earth - which has a great meal special - or possibly Veg Haven. Besides I think my favourite part about the meal was always the side dishes anyway, not to mention the pumpkin pie - and I have made that a la vegan or a pumpkin cheesecake - also vegan - which were amazing! The most amazing thing about the pumpkin pie is the spice so actually you can use carrot as my friend Richard has or sweet potatoes... Tonight is Mr. "Brownman" Ali at Trane for his 2nd week of the 5 week Miles tribute and I'm not sure what else I will be up to this weekend...likely going to see Miss Julia Cleveland at the Rex on Monday night. Another wonderful PFW event last night at the Trey Anthony Centre (curiously - across from the Rex - I just can't get away from jazz!!). I did an elliptical trainer workout this morning since I feel I really should be using the equipment that the condos fees are charged for...and now I have an urge for a burger from Sadie's Diner. Last week after the Vegan Bakeoff I had it but they ran out of fries....I know, I know, defeats my workout... Rainy day today...good for reading a book. I am currently on "A Pigeon and a Boy" and just finished Jennifer Weiner's latest which was a hoot.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Weeds I love

As in - great music last night at Chalkers, even though the piano was woefully out of tune, the amazing Ross Taggart perservered....whew! I was really surprised at the small turnout for this great band which included Cory himself on tenor, New Yorker Jim Rotondi on trumpet and flugelhorn, a mesmerizing Jesse Cahill on drums and the always cool Pat Collins on bass. Apparently according to Cory's blog Canada Council didn't come through for Ken Lister's bass duties...."I Get By With a little help from my friends" indeed! My favourite excursions were the incendiary "323 Shuter", the lovely ballad "Cyclamen" and "The Poor"...all original compostions by either Ross and/or Cory. I can't tell you, as much as I love our local guys, how refreshing it is to have musicians visit from the "left coast" or elsewhere in Canada or the U.S. - which points out the necessity of arts funding - not just for audience but so that musicians can travel and perform together or in some cases perform with local musicians. Great to see Dave McMurdo in attendance listening intently and sporting a beard.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Today's Lunch - Cauliflower and Mushroom Pot Pie with a Black Olive Crust

Another fab recipe from "Veganomicon" you can see, but unfortunately not taste....
Hmmm...this seems to be maybe just tilt your head a little....

Feeling like Meryl Streep

The loot from yesterday.....I'm still revelling in it....there was a cookbook, a gift certificate for Vegan Essential, subscription to Veg News (twice), cookies, bags, pins and lovely ribbons...which I wore on my shirt last night - very proudly!
I won!! Not once but twice yesterday at the 2nd annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake Off - for my "Nutville Cookies".
Fantastic Cookie and Amazing Presentation were my "major awards"
This is the presentation for the judges - I put the Nutville sheet music on a CD and wrote out the ingredients like song lyrics....
This is for the general (hungry) public and there were some 300 people there at Harbourfront Community Centre.
I fashioned little tinfoil instruments - a sax and here a trumpet, when I couldn't find any to purchase...
I got a special mention about the clever presentation from Eden who operates "New Moon Kitchen" cookies...I was in line for a delicious Lime Coconut Cake at the of my was the savoury Potluck Pesto Bread, a nice treat after so much sugar!
I would like to thank the academy.....
Thanks really to judges Jae Steele who authored one of my favourite cookbooks, "Get it Ripe" she's in the middle, Eden
Herzog of "New Moon Kitchen" cookie fame (on the left) and chef Doug McNish of Live Cuisine .
Lisa Pittman is a force of nature in a delightful way - her incredible dedication and enthusiasm to organizing and promoting this event is much appreciated along with the wonderful volunteers who helped out yesterday.
Did a bit of Nuit Blanche last night and tonight it's Cory Weeds at Chalkers...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tofu Florentine

This is Cory Weeds not to be confused with Tofu Florentine...although if I had put a photo of Denzal Sinclaire in here he does have a tune called "Tofu and Greens"....
I tried out this recipe from "Veganomicon" tonight and it's delish! It is a brunch item but so what? When I want brunch it doesn't matter if it's 6 p.m.
I am going to check out the Yorkville Art Walk tonight and I am frantically trying to come up with creative presentation ideas for my deadly nut butter cookies for the Vegan Bake Off on Saturday.
Yesterday, I submitted my passport application - in a DOWNTOWN office, if you can believe it and it only took HALF AN HOUR! Plus, the clerk/agent was pleasant...I am certainly pleased to have had such a smooth experience. True to form, though the office did still have the soul sucking flourescent lighting...oh, well. I expect it to arrive in about 3 weeks....just being prepared for eventual exciting and glamourous international travel.
Jazzwise - tomorrow night Sophia Perlman, Adrean Ferrugia and Pat Collins are at the Home Smith Bar. Cory Weeds, saxman and head honcho of "The Cellar" in Vancouver is in town for 2 nights at Chalkers starting Saturday. Nick "Brownman" Ali starts his highly anticipated annual tribute to Miles Davis over 5 Fridays at Trane Studio.
Margot Roi is at Statlers tomorrow.....and that's just for starters...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Koerner Hall tonight!

Very exciting...I am going to blog about the Chick Corea concert for Jazz FM. I have a lovely teal dress - very flapperesque I bought in Edmonton and haven't had the opportunity to wear yet. Maybe I will take a photo, although you should know I don't like having my picture taken... Julie McGregor has let me know there is a meetup scheduled for Lula tomorrow night - Tommy Ambrose is performing. Coming up on Monday night the monthly John McLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra at 9:30 and this weekend is the Port Hope Jazz Festival with my boss, the wonderful Larry Green doing the emcee thing. Saw Harry Connick on "Oprah" this week - been there, done that....:) I think Ross did a much more interesting interview, frankly. Love the "O" anyway. Not to mention the Dr. "O" as in Oz... "Nuit Blanche" is coming up next Saturday and I was reading in the Star that there is an opportunity to be part of a volunteer choir - what the heck, maybe I will check that out.... P.S. Sorry if I have not responded to any comments...for some reason I thought I would get notification if comments were left...hopefully this has now been rectified... And I would love feedback!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jazz around Town

A few events happening, some of which I may actually make it to.... Margot Roi sings up a storm at the Gladstone's Melody Bar tonight starting at 7 p.m. with Mark Kieswetter and Jordan O'Connor. Russ Little, Pat Collins and Lorne Lofsky at the Old Mill's Homesmith Bar at 7:30. Alex Goodman Quintet at Tequila Bookworm around 9 ish. And for the next 2 nights at the Rex, the annual Coltrane tribute with Pat LaBarbera and Kirk McDonald sharing the sax duties. Right now I am having trouble with my gmail...grrr...Microsoft. Every time I see those Mac versus PC commercials and having had the use of my friend Richard's Mac briefly I am sorely tempted to switch.... We are busy preparing for the taping season of "Jazzology" and already have a few students scheduled. It should be another exciting year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Koerner Hall concert

My new calling card - received yesterday from VistaPrint. Very inexpensive -250 cards and a nice slim, silver case. Yes, I am excited to be going to the Chick Corea concert at the brand spanking new Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory - I'll post all about it on the Jazz FM Blog, bien sur. From what I've seen the new hall looks gorgeous - can't wait. Your goddess is feeling a little off today - perhaps it's the humidity/rain or the Saturn/Uranus opposition. Rather like one of those cute little hamsters on a wheel but not going anywhere. Too pity party? Enjoyed Oprah's "Mad Men" tribute - finally! Even if I can't see it - I have to be content with "Glee" and "Being Erica" - love Erin Karpluk! I think Michael Riley is hot - will there be some romantic tension there? I trust that being my resilient self I will be feeling better tomorrow and eager to hear Russ Little, Lorne Lofsky and Pat Collins at the Old Mill at 7:30 - Home Smith Bar. This trio is fab. I must say hello to Pat as I have been harassing him with emails about Mohawk's "Jazzology" contributions - i.e. students. Kudos to Dr. Oz for promoting a vegan diet on yesterday's show. He is having a "cowboy" go vegan for 28 days to turn his health around - diabetes and heart issues. You go Dr. Oz! (his wife is a vegetarian - thank you Mrs. Oz). Not only is he handsome and smart - he is also sensitive and topical.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Queen West Art Crawl

I knew things were off to a good start this morning when I heard Ross Porter's voice as I entered Gallery 533 on Portland at Richmond - he was on the radio not in the gallery. I heard a disembodied voice from upstairs - it was perhaps the gallery owner who came down to wish me "Good Morning" - bad journalist - should have gotten his name. He loves listening to the station he said.
In one of my strange non sequiturs, Ross Porter was in my dream last night too - I was preparing to go on a cruise with him and his lovely wife Denise...interesting.
Back to art - some very cool works in this gallery by artist James Fowler and the show is called Plain View. Two of my favourite works were featured on their postcard (at the top of the page) - apparently derived from Google Maps of San Francisco and New York with their respective bridges - and dissected into multicoloured cubes and shapes - you will have to see for yourself - . There were also several lovely Japanese prints in binders upstairs.
Over to Trinity Bellwoods Park and oodles of artists and artisans - bought some earrings...hello? You expected me to resist the siren call of sparkly jewellery, when you know I am part magpie? It was a perfect fall afternoon, sunny, cooler and smog free. I resisted the pull of Nadege's macaroons...I was really tempted, though. creates breathtaking glass works...should I call them windows or panels...out of salvaged glass and other objects.
Back onto Queen with half of my daily "allowance" gone and in to check out Nicholas Aoki's solo exhibition at Narwhal Art Projects and entitled " Goodnight Sweet, Hearts" - it's eerie and fairytale like...that's all I can say and it's worth checking out.
Galeria Lausberg and Harald Schmitz-Schmelzer's - "3D Colour" will blow you away. The artist uses resins which he mixes different colours and sometimes textures into, waits for each one to set and adds the next layer, as I understood it - I'm sure it's much more complicated than that - so you have these horizontal and sometimes vertical striped "blocks" which you can view from many angles. In one of his works - there is even an insect on the top. Check it out!
To top off the day, the very long and angst filled suburban drama - "Revolutionary Road". Great acting from Kate and Leo.
Photos from Canadian Art - their directory.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bergstrom Originals Fashion Show

I felt like Anna Wintour or at least Patsy and Edina of Ab Fab - with only a glass and a half of red wine, sweeties not the champers...
The fall fashion show was held in the Rouge Concept gallery a few doors away from Christina Bergstrom's shop at 750 Queen Street East (just east of Broadview). As usual, lots of gorgeous things in wonderful colours - bronzes, purples, greys, red - shimmery fabrics, dresses that can be worn as coats, shoulder shrugs..
There was also lots of interesting art including some very interesting ceramic works created with a number of animal figurines in various hues. Also the music was very funky/jazzy - so there's my jazz content. Did I mention there were delicious nibbles from LPK Culinary Groove - including vegan cupcakes and scrumptious chocolates from 'Ambiance Chocolat- all in the neighbourhood, sweetie darlings.
I have a few of Christina's pieces in my wardrobe which always get compliments - she is not afraid of colour and her shapes are wonderful and inventive. Time to save up and buy some more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Since it is that time of year here in Toronto where celebrities invade I decided to check out a couple of the offerings... Yesterday it was "Precious" - rush line of course - for the Winter Garden theatre. Part of the joy of filmfest is of course chatting with people in line and discovering what they have seen and of course recommend. The line was at the corner of Queen and Yonge and fortunately in the shade....if I had been paying attention there were a couple of individuals who came up and offered to sell their tickets, or in one case give away (which is always what one hopes). Even though when we finally got in seating was fairly high up, the view was still good. The filmmaker Lee Daniels was on hand and was obviously overwhelmed by the support of audiences...especially those of us "lily white faces"....:) That's why I love Toronto and I'm sure the industry does too - doesn't matter if you're green, pink or blue....good storytelling reaches everyone. And what a story! By the time the credits rolled I think everyone had been put through the wringer. Pregnant (again) teen Clarisse "Precious" Jones lives with her nightmare of a mother, in a bleak, dark apartment in Harlem - subjected to daily physical, emotional and sexual abuse - will she grab the brass ring of alternative schooling at Each One, Teach One, and get to live out the fantasies she has in her active imagination? Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is a revelation - with no prior acting experience except a junior high play. MO'nique, known for her comedy, is a knockout here as her monster mom - they're already talking Oscar....Great supporting cast including Lenny Kravitz and yes, Mariah Carey -deglammed and believable as a caring social worker. Chyna Lane, her Jamaican classmate was a hoot and had many of Jamaican background in the audience in stitches. Paula Patton is wonderful as her teacher Ms. Rain. Today was France's "Les Herbes Folles" which I believe translates into The Wild Grasses. It starts out really well as a mystery - a wallet is stolen, found and turned in - the knight in shining armour has more than a casual interest in the wallet's owner and complications ensue. I wish the teasing and tantalizing had been kept out somewhat longer because once the potential amours connect, things start to falter. Good performances and the ending is just bizarre. C'est la vie.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A moment of bliss

On my way home from the Food Fair today I took the usual stroll along the lake at Queen's Quay...the sun was setting with whispery thin clouds and a pink horizon. I stopped briefly to enjoy the end of a gorgeous weekend and parked myself on one of the new benches on the wave platform at the base of Spadina.
No this is not it...I just liked the photo...artistic license.
How tranquil to watch the ducks come in and circle, ever hopeful of free food, they made gentle vee wakes and paddled away with their orange feet. I find ducks and any bird really, described as drab, to be anything but...they have subtle gradations in the brown, intricate markings and even a hint of blue at the tip of their wings. Further out the Canada geese were patrolling and a huge flock of starlings kept landing and circling - a dense chirping crowd - settling briefly on the masts of a modern day sailing ship replica.
At the Fair, I ate too much, of course - so many food vendors and snacks - dangerous. I had a slice of vegan spinach pizza from Magic Oven - my favourite pizza place...a great (and spicy) combo place from Uddupi Palace, a cookie from Sweets from the add to the cookie from Terry Lynn Romero's cooking demo - she is a lot of fun...can't wait for her new cookbook on cookies coming out in November.
As promised I made my way to Sage West last night to hear Ailsa and Peter...lovely..I especially liked her "Born to be Blue" and "September in the Rain"...but really it's all great! I'll let you know when and where she performs next. Fellow vocalists Ilana Waldston, Julie McGregor and Whitney Barris Ross were on hand for support and encouragement.
I would like to mention Julie has a gig at Annex Live on Thursday with Norm Amadio - beautiful venue and good food and the lovely Julie. . Julie is also an artist so enjoy the artwork while you're there....
Ilana says she's planning another Dave Frishberg tribute in November - this time without the tornado warning and loss of electricity. I will let you know about that....and it will be all powerful, full wattage, cooking with gas....
Another shameless plug:
Jazz organizer extraordinaire Keita Hopkins has an event coming up at the Reservoir....with a blues orientation...check it out here...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Celebrity Brunch

Well, at least in veg circles - I was part of a group who met for brunch at Get Real on Ossington this a.m. Authors Brenda Davis - a guru of vegetarian/vegan nutrition, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (author of The Joy of Vegan Baking - which is on my kitchen counter) and Caroline Trapp - from!
The photos are a couple of our volunteer costume wearers getting into the spirit...
Today I am helping out at the cooking demo for Terry Hope Romero - co-author of "Veganomicon" among others and earlier I would like to catch Jae Steele whose cookbook "Get It Ripe" gets a lot of use, especially for cookies...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Posting is up on Harry....

Yes, I called it "Wild about Harry"..I couldn't resist - he even did that tune with the great Eubie Blake.
This is not Harry but rather my cat Ivy, Miss Whiskers, the foo foo kitty, know all the goofy names you give your cat. I took this photo because in a certain light two front white whiskers looked like tusks...I am the Walrus....
Now that I look at the photo she may appear more trendy!
With that little segue (I Am the Walrus) I have certainly been hearing a lot of Beatles tunes everywhere I go what with the new releases of their recordings in Mono and Stereo - I would prefer Mono myself since that is generally how I hear the world.
I'm baking cashew, macadamia and peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate chunks this afternoon on a whim...
I am also happy Bonnie Hunt is back with new shows - she had Elisabeth Moss on from "Mad Men"...she seemed really delightful and glowing.
I finished a great book recently called "Dante's War" - set in Italy during the Second World War with Dante and Angelina the lead characters - he goes off to War - near Malta and then Africa, she stays in her little village, holding her own - fascinating.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Harry Connick Jr.

Yes ladies he is charming and handsome..did I mention talented and funny? I'll let you know when my blog posting goes up on the Jazz FM website....

Ailsa McCreary at Sage West

It's been too long since I have heard my dear friend Ailsa sing. I have missed her dulcet tones.

Be sure to catch her at 9 p.m. this Saturday September 12th at this charming neighbourhood restaurant at College and Dovercourt.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

B3 Believer!

Can I get an "Amen"? At times it felt like a revival meeting at the Rex last night - sheerly from the energy level of the band.Playing to a small, but enthusiastic end of summer Labour Day audience, the Gale/Rodrigues Quartet was certainly a people pleaser. Ellington's "Play the Blues and Go" gave things a jumpstart.
Holding her own, a petite and barefoot Vanessa Rodrigues rocked the B3 - I can tell she was (briefly) a student of the great Dr. Lonnie Smith. Her "One Eyed Monster" was rollicking in the tradition of Horace Silver. She has a sure and soulful hand on those keys and pedals alternating between intense facial expressions and flat out delighted smiles exchanged with her band mates.
Everyone on stage was having a great time - it's been a long time since I've seen Edmonton's own Mike Rudd - way back to the Little Birds in fact and he brought his stellar guitar skills to the party. I noted on her website Ms. Rodrigues is also Edmonton born and raised, a multi-instrumentalist and dynamo.
The ever versatile Chris Gale was on hand with tenor and baritone saxes and a particularly meaty solo on his tune "Statement". Rounding out the band was Davide DiRenzo testifying on his drum kit - with sticks and vocally...:)All together a solid but not stolid unit.
Be sure to catch this very fun group tonight at the Rex and stick around for the jazz jam afterwards.By the way...I seem to be having trouble posting photos/images - no icon which hopefully will be resolved shortly....sorry. Mercury Retrograde?