Thursday, February 26, 2009

A fun set at Trane...

Enjoyed the set at Trane last night - it was snowy and wet when I set out...almost like I got caught in the rain... Today Tom Van Seters was the "Jazzology" guest - he is working on his doctorate at U of T and plays piano. He sweetly brought me chocolate as I jokingly told him I liked good chocolate after I had to switch his taping date and find another student to take it...I was so touched. A man who listens! He did really well of course - and his an album which is played on Jazz FM. Relaxing and watching "Ugly Betty" right now - Adrian Gross is the guest tonight on "Jazzology".

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TODO again last night

After a filling supper of pancakes - hey, it was Mardi Gras it was venturing out into the cold again to see Tim and Andrew's band - last time, sadly at TODO. Their guests this week were Michael Herring on bass and Lina Allemano on trumpet...I haven't seen Lina in a while. Lina is an ex-Edmontonian and part of the Littlebirds Big Band - a group of high schools students from around Edmonton that practiced and played a few gigs - not to mention going to IAJE to show themselves off...:)
Tonight, I'm going to check out Karl Jannuska's Quintet - among the members are Reg Schwager on guitar and Kelly Jefferson on sax. Sienna Dahlen is guest vocalist and she is a former "Jazzology" guest...slightly before I assumed my duties. She has the honour of having provided vocals on an Oscar winning animated short film...
There will be pics...

Monday, February 23, 2009

No Oscar for Oscar show...or I guess that would be an Emmy...

This is Marisa Tomei in her gorgeous Versace number - photo courtesy of Paolo Fernando Dias De Olivera and Flickr. In spite of what everyone said at the time, every time I see "My Cousin Vinny" she totally deserved her Oscar for that! Supporting in every sense of the word. Did you know Joe Pesci is a great jazz singer? He has done work with the fabulous Joey DeFrancesco. Was it just me or did anyone else find the Oscar broadcast to be cringe-inducing..I didn't even watch most of it...I guess they were trying to change it up but the whole experience felt really forced..."look at what a great time we're having"... I give credit to Hugh Jackman for trying, though... The few high points were Steve Martin and Tina Fey presenting and the winner for screenplay for "Milk" who gave a very moving acceptance speech... I was thinking fondly of Billy Crystal and wondering what fun there would have been if he had done his great inserting himself into all the movies pastiche. Can you imagine "The Wrestler"? Plus the anticipation of his commentary on everything...priceless! Lots of very pale colours and most everyone looked pretty - Natalie Portman had on a lovely orchid coloured gown - which some sources called hot pink?!?- way to go for choosing colour and looking elegant - she was even wearing vegan shoes by Stella McCartney! Photo courtesy of USA Today/Flickr. The least pleasing outfits were on Freida Pinto - was that a shroud? I certainly wish she had chose to wear a beautiful sari instead...also Goldie Hawn, she is a lovely woman but she is starting to look scary and trying to hard, that means you Sophia Loren - take note of the elegant Eva Marie Saint and Meryl Streep please.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yes, Oscar night...

I probably won't be able to help myself from watching at least some of it...for the dresses. How I long for the days of Cher though, who wasn't afraid to express herself..everything is so managed these days... I may go see Nathan Hiltz and his trio at Joe Mama's before and go see my brother tomorrow night at the Rex with John McLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra. We had more snow here last night and I can hear the wind howling some today...a good day to be inside. I am enjoying "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" and a nice cup of tea. It looks like a busy week music wise - more later... I had a nice compliment the other day - my friend and massage therapist/facialist/spiritual adviser Andrea said when she answered the door and I was standing there in my Tinkerbell t-shirt and smiled I looked just like "Tink" that! (That's the shirt I'm wearing on my profile pic).

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Viva La Vida

I have been listening to this Coldplay tune a lot...ever since I heard it on "Medium" this week and it has haunted me...pun intended. Anytime someone had a uncontrollable urge the opening cello phrase was played. I am rather a latecomer to this group...but think the lyrics on this are fabulous! I am checking out more of their stuff. I think I understand Chris Martin's attraction for Gwyenth...:)

Comments, please

I would love some feedback on my posts...if you are checking out my little blog...especially if it's positive!! :) I am having a "stuck" day..a little of the blues, perhaps it's winter...not sure where my life is going as it seems to be at a dead stop at the moment. "Tomorrow is another day..." as Scarlett O'Hara famously said. It would be really cool to hear from other countries/continents...I am eagerly awaiting visitors from Japan, as I hear they are big jazz fans...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lady of Shalott by Holman Hunt

Love what they've done to the AGO. It's the first time I've been in since the renovation...I started at the 5th floor and took the winding staircase down - I got a lovely view out the windows at the same time.
Some cool contemporary art on display - liked the reclaimed TVs with their screens repainted and plugged in...I'm usually a much bigger fan of modern art - even the conceptual stuff is fun - it makes you think.
The reason I went tonight, other than it was free (every Wednesday after 6) and thus a long line...but plenty of room for everyone was the Holman Hunt exhibit. He was a major artist of the pre-Raphaelite movement and I love their stuff so colour saturated and beautiful, almost mystical, ethereal. Someone should design a tarot deck along those lines... They were kind of the "hippies" of their day and seemed to idolize the Renaissance school, using biblical themes as well as Arthurian for their works.
"The Lady of Shalott" an ode to Tennyson of whom Holman Hunt was very fond.
The image is courtesy of twelvecats from Flickr.
"Lady of Shalott"is also a great tune by Loreena McKennitt the wonderful Canadian singer/harpist who resembles a pre-Raphaelite subject herself.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TODOlly awesome

Okay, bad pun...but great venue and music. 217 Ossington a very funky decor - takes me back to my parents house and friends places complete with 50's style tables and chairs, lamps and even a panther lamp!

These are the vessels for tea candles on each table! Cool...

Tim Posgate and Andrew Downing's Neighbourhood Good Times Band was a lot of fun, even though I was the only one in the audience for about 20 minutes...oh well. I am going to spread the word about this venue - which also has jazz on Fridays around town... It's great hearing banjo (Tim), cello (Andrew) soprano sax/clarinet; David French and tuba (Jay Burr ) in one band. Blurry photo is from my cell phone because, wonder of wonders - forgot camera again. Hopefully I do not have to resort to putting up Post-It Notes everywhere...sigh... Tomorrow I hope to go to the AGO and a pre-Raphaelite exhibit...

TODO list

I think that's the name of a space on Ossington where I'm going to hear Andrew Downing on bass and Tim Posgate on banjo as well as Patrick Boyle on trumpet...we shall see and I will report later. Watched 2 DVDs this "Family Day" weekend - "Man on Wire", which is a great documentary on Philippe Petit, the elfin-like French tightrope walker who dared to walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre and "The Visitor" and engaging drama with Richard Jenkins dealing with a widower coming out of his shell on encountering squatters in his NYC apartment and the resulting understanding of immigration snafus and a gift of music... Speaking of music there was an article in the Star this weekend about sad love songs/breakup songs and one of the people asked for their selection I believe misinterpreted the song they selected. The song in question is "I'm not in love" by 10cc an old 70's great! The interpretation they gave was that it was the ultimate disaffected tone - the person didn't care about love at all... I beg to differ..when you listen to the lyrics the song is really about being in denial of their feelings, not being open. For example "I keep your picture..upon the hides a nasty stain that's lying don't you ask me to give it back...I know you know it doesn't mean that much to me... Hmmmm..... That is my rant for today. On the agenda for tomorrow a lovely massage and going to the AGO (that's the Art Gallery of Ontario) for a pre-Raphaelite exhibit - I LOVE that period. I used to have this print of "Ophelia" I think it was - a little morbid - a woman floating downstream with a gorgeou palette of greens...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Current Obsession

I am currently obsessed with this movie - I have seen it twice now on TCM - perhaps I have a little "girl" crush on Kim Novak - she is now my idol...very sultry and sexy - what I aspire to be. The clothes are also great that she wears in the movie.
The idea of being a witch has been with me since I was little - my friends and I used to play at being Samantha from "Bewitched" - I think it's the idea of the ultimate power over men...and everything else..:)
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
Last night was fun at the Rex with Gary Smulyan's Nonet - Gary on baritone sax along with Nick Marccione won a Grammy this week for best Big Band Instrumental recording with their Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. They were playing the music of Frankie Laine - speaking of 50's stars...Most people know of him from pop/country tunes like "Rawhide" but he collaborated with such people as Billy learn something new every day! The place was packed and I barely got in. The local guys acquitted themselves very nicely - Alex Dean on sax, Brian Dickinson, piano; Terry Promane, trombone; Joel Haynes, drums; Darcy Heppner, sax; Pat Collins, bass...hmm that's eight I may be missing someone..
Happy V Day to all - all my love to any followers I may have...more jazz to come...

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Wrestler

This film is intense - in fact several people in the theatre, including myself had to look away at certain points i.e. the wrestling matches. There is a particular wince inducing one involving barbed wire and a staple gun...enough said. Mickey does give a great performance though ably assisted by Marisa Tomei. Gritty and poignant. Courtney Quebec Desloges was at the station for a taping yesterday. She is a pianist/vocalist student at York U. Her taping will be aired next Thursday. She is a delightful and lovely young woman with porcelain skin and titian pre-Raphaelite locks...puts me in mind of Lauren Ambrose, formerly of "Six Feet Under". Her influences include Joanne Brackeen and Shirley Horn, so she obviously has great taste. Possible excursion to the Rex tonight and to Ten Feet Tall on Sunday to hear Sophia Perlman, Circles Quartet on Monday at the Rex - featuring a former "Jazzology" guest, Hayoun Lee. I have been following the koala rescue "love" story of Sam and Bob in Australia - victims of the terrible bushfires along with so many others. Touching!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Eloquent Obama

All I can say is "Wow"! I think that is the first time I have ever been riveted to a presidential news conference. I was thinking "who is this guy?" :) Yes, it keeps being reinforced why he got elected. His answers were passionate, thoughtful and intelligent. He is showing himself to be continually caring and fair to all concerned - even if they are from the opposite political spectrum. His winning smile even showed up at a couple of points. What a refreshing change. Too bad he has such a short visit to Ottawa!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Farewell Sweet Blossom...

It was with great sadness that I learned one of my favourite vocalists, Blossom Dearie passed away. She was 82.
By mere chance I got the opportunity to hear her and her trio in the back of a restaurant called Danny's Seafood House. This was about 4 years ago and while perusing the jazz listings in the hotel room I wondered if Blossom was still alive then....lo and behold...there was her gig! I absolutely HAD to addition to seeing David Strathairn in a play and hearing Kurt Elling at Birdland this was the cherry on top of my trip.
The tiny space was jam packed with fans and Ms. Dearie did not disappoint - I even got a photo with her and her to sign my CD. I can't find said photo...must scan it...
For me she did the defintive version of many songs including "Peel Me a Grape" (Dave Frishberg's sly little tune) and "I'm Hip" - Dave again, and you certainly were. They alwasy make me smile.
She also shared my dislike of the overrated Andrew Lloyd Weber...:)
Her sweet whispery voice and unique interpretations will be sorely missed. It was a wonderful serendipity that I got the chance to hear her live as she stopped performing in 2006.
In the words of one of her songs" I Like You, You're Nice"...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Since someone asked...

Where did the word "gig" come from...on checking around the old worldwide web it came to be used around the 1920's by surprise, surprise - jazz musicians to mean paid work. Some origins suggest it's from the French "gigue" meaning dance or ball. Of course, whose services would be required at such an event? There is a whole "jazz" language that came about through musicians which seemed to reach its pinnacle of slang around the Be Bop period. Craig Magill who has been very active in the jazz scene in Edmonton for ages - including president of the Edmonton Jazz Society once did a hilarious article about "jazzspeak"...including words like "crib" - meaning house and "threads" - clothing, "cats" - guys, "squares" get the picture... As usual, the "hippest" individuals - which I think is another jazz slang word along with "cool" have the most up to date slang.

Diana Panton's Juno nomination

Congratulations to one of my favourite vocalists, Hamilton's own Diana Panton - she was nominated this week for a Juno award for best jazz vocal album - her second release "If the Moon Turns Green" with Don Thompson and Reg go, girl! Photo courtesy of Michael Chambers from Ms Panton's website I have also been getting interesting dispatches from India from some of the Monsoon "kids" - including drama i.e. battling germs....keep the stories coming and the nasty bugs away. I'm thinking of you guys and wishing you all good health and great experiences...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blunt Object at Arbor Room

Which is what one feels like they have been hit with ...but in a really good jazz way. This great ensemble of U of T students plays a lot of Carla Bley charts and is very polished and tasty! Under the leadership of Robin Jessome (trombone) they entertained a fair size crowd in the room...Robin is a former "Jazzology" guest as is fellow trombonist Heather Segger, her husband drummer Mark Segger and Ben Dietschi, saxophone. Ben did a lovely solo on a ballad " Utviklingssang"...whatever that means... Tom Van Seters (piano) remembered that I requested good chocolate for switching his taping dates...he is coming on the 26th... Turns out there was some kind of anniversary of the cafe/catering service in the room...thus, why there was a large buffet spread and even cake! Unfortunately or fortunately I had Ethiopian food before...which is very yummy and very filling due to the injera... A young man seated next to me was chatting with another foreign could I tell other than their very proper English? Dressed very neatly and the young man in question ate 2 bites of his cake - then went up and got a plate of veggies and dip....How many North Americans would do THAT? Saw "The Reader" today...mesmerizing Kate Winslet! A very complex issue, I love those movies that make you think...what would I do/have done in such a many shades of grey and Kate gives a wonderfully nuanced performance. Also with the delicious Ralph Fiennes..:) Photo courtesy of Alessandra Odega on flickr.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Yesterday's guest Patrick Boyle

This was a first - I should have brought my camera! Patrick Boyle who is a trumpet/flugelhorn player at U of T in the doctoral program - actually wore a suit and tie...I was so impressed! Perhaps it's because he is from Newfoundland and those maritimers have a sense of what's proper/rising to the occasion. I couldn't wait to see Larry Green's reaction - he has expressed before that performers should treat gigs a little more seriously and sartoriarly (I think I just made up that word). Needless to say he was pleased with Mr. Boyle and the whole interview - he could talk with him for hours. I can't wait to hear the "Jazzology" - which should be airing next Thursday night at 9 p.m. It turns out Patrick knows another Newfoundlander at Jazz FM - the ebullient Heather Bambrick. Patrick started out playing guitar, then french horn in high school and now brass - although he says it doesn't seem attractive to women...we shall seems to have worked fine for Miles Davis, Roy Hargrove and Chet Baker. Going over to U of T Arbor Room at Hart House tonight to hear "Blunt Object" - some U of T students playing the music of Carla Bley - I 've heard them before and I can tell you it's great! Tomorrow afternoon perhaps a little trad jazz at Grossman's Tavern and visiting Harlem to see Jen Sagar....funds permitting...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I can see clearly now...

Well, more clearly...already the drops and healing have begun! Yay! It could also be my resumption of the raw diet...although I did make cookies to bring in to the station...peanut butter and chocolate chip if you must might be cruel to show a photo..:) One of our favourite "Jazzology" guests, Ben McConchie sent Larry Green a lovely email (which he shared with me) saying his little daughter Marika loves Larry's drive home show and danced for the first time to Frank Sinatra...that girl has great taste on all counts. Also, Ben has gotten lots of business for his "Pots and Pans" program - introducing music to little ones. Ben did a great on air interview and is an all round sweetheart of a guy! As for me, I am wondering what happened to Law of Attraction since I am putting out all this gratitude and positive vibes...I should be attracting money and or work...something that needs to be tweaked? Trying too hard? I will take any advice on this matter...

Monday, February 2, 2009

A bit of blur...

I went to the optometrist this seems that cold I had a while back is still affecting my I need to go back in a couple of weeks to have my eyes properly tested...when I can focus. Apparently the surface of the eye is covered in little dry spots which irritate...kind of like having chapped lips..except it's chapped eyes... Unfortunately the only remedy is rest and time...the horrible in between of seeing better with my contacts...which also slows down the healing process...D'oh! (as Homer would say)... Oh well, it's a relief to know what's going on...apparently there's a lot of this kind of thing with our unusually cold and dry winter and many nasty viruses.. It will be high time to get my glasses replaced as well... This week's "Jazzology" is with Andrew Pacheco from York (back in school finally!), bass player and very handsome young man...I can appreciate cuteness, even if I prefer older men... Not sure what's on the jazz schedule...funds permitting... My brother Colin introduced me to people at his birthday party as "knowing every jazz musician in Toronto" (which I am proud of). He says musicians are always coming up to him and saying "I met your sister....."