Monday, March 30, 2009

The glorious Irene Kral

While making a vegan meatloaf (yes an oxymoron) this afternoon I rediscovered a great album : Irene Kral's "Where is Love"...beautiful from start to finish. Only her very precise rich vocals and Alan Broadbent's sensitive and spare accompaniment on piano...I remembered how great this album is...particularly the gorgeous "When I Look in Your Eyes" an overlooked love song and Bob Dorough's "Love Came on Stealthy Fingers"...not a drop of music is wasted. She sadly passed away in 1978 at the age of 46 from breast cancer. This recording is proof you can wring emotion from every note without over the top vocalising a la Celine Dion.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Major Award

At least to me..this is the introductory skincare set from Jurlique I won as a door prize at Lush and Lavish salon...woo hoo...
Haven't decided if I am keeping it or giving it away yet....
It's worth about $50...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inspiration at the Station

Hopefully this will be a young visitor to the station in a few years...minus the drama and tragic early death.
A young lady named Kaya came into Jazz FM this afternoon. She and her mom were in the area and as they drove by, Kaya spotted the Jazz FM sign and she had to come in! She is a big jazz fan and could even identify a photo (like this) of Billie, and one of the many of jazz icons hanging in the station.
Apparently she doesn't like people changing the station in the car...she got to visit with Larry Green who graciously showed her what he does on the afternoon drive show and also got to record a promo shot for Danny Marks' Bluz FM - she is quite the little professional! We were also treated to Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" which she apparently recently sang for Mayor David Miller. I think we are going to hear from this budding pianist/singer in the future - she is an "old soul" as her mom said.
Julie Michels dropped by to visit Jaymz Bee and gave me encouraging words about taking up jazz singing. "All God's children can sing"...and offered to help me I just have to set my intention and get serious..
She is a powerful singer and great entertainer check out :
Photo from Flickr.

A brief update...

I'm getting ready to go to Jazz FM so here is what I have been up to jazzwise the past 2 days: On Sunday I went to hear the Adrian Gross trio at TODO - lovely. Adrian is a guitarist, Humber student and "Jazzology" guest. Particularly liked the tune "Ste. Agathe". There was a good crowd out too and a sweet Japanese bartender. Last night - the U of T Graduate ensembles at the Rex - fun and outside or "creative" take as Alex Dean said and then more mainstream the second set - led by the very funny Patrick Boyle on trumpet/flugelhorn...there were many former "Jazzology" guests onstage. Chase was there to check things out too. I loved the expressions on potential patrons faces when they ventured in to see what the music was - in the first set - then quickly beat a hasty retreat..not everyone's cup of tea . :) This evening I'm going to a free facial event at Lush and Lavish on Ossington (where I had a lovely mani/pedi with Carla on Sunday) - they will even show chick flicks in the pedicure area. They are a full service salon - including hairstyling and all esthetic services - facials, waxing etc. Ahhhh....

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Juice for the Cure

Here is an advocacy group I can get behind or in front of...since it's all about treating cancer with nutrition and health awareness, specifically juicing and not about a "cure" through pharmaceutical and often animal testing means.
Although I know many people, family members included who have gone through the cancer fight, I am very reluctant to donate funds to research instead of prevention and awareness.
"Let food be your medicine" paraphrase Hippocrates...
I have taken to starting out my day with a green smoothie like the one pictured - a couple of cups of greens, a banana, whatever fruit I have around like berries, sometimes pears or apples, soaked nuts or nut butter, coconut oil or a vegan protein powder. I read through Victoria Boutenko's book "Green for Life" the ratio is 60/40 - fruits to veggies and the combinations are endless depending on what's in season. Whatever you put in it's delicious...and not always totally green...
Visit to find out more...
Photo by Marni Molina/Flickr-creative commons

Bubbles and Daffodils

This picture is called "Bubbles in Kensington Market" by Mute - from Flickr/Creative Common...
One of the stores in Kensington where all the vintage shops are has a bubble machine which was making everyone smile...
Another reason to smile seeing potted daffodils, hyacinths and tulips as well as cut flower tulips in all the corner shops..
Earlier I visited the "Spring Market" at Toronto Sprouts...all kinds of purveyors of alternative products including hemp, raw cereal by In the Raw (Cranberry Coconut) and tasty raw crackers by Two Girls called Sweetie's Zesty Carot and Fiery Mexican Beet Fiesta.
Rawlicious provided delicious lunch and snack items including a scrumptious pesto pizza, fresh lemonade and macaroons. TVA also had a booth and I bought a new raw "cookbook" - "Raw Food Made Easy" by Jennifer Cornbleet.
twogirlscooking@hotmailcom - if you are interested in the crackers
Then onto Panacea a great new store on Bloor just a couple of blocks west of Bathurst (north side) at 588 - all things vegan - great food selection, beauty items, vegan makeup brushes and clothes and books - check them's great to shop in a place where you don't have to check the ingredient list. There are even vegan marshmallows - which are yummy (when they can keep them in stock) and Shreese a very popular vegan cheese.
The owner is very active in animal rights, being a member of Ark II - so even more reason to support this business.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jaguar among the Jewelled Green Forest

I loved this image from National Geographic and photographer Claus Meyer/Minden Pictures

Aren't they just beautiful? I found the image breathtaking and thanks to Nancy for linking me..I love these animals along with tigers...

Fabio Ragnelli Quartet and a New Photo of Me

Fabio Ragnelli on drums, Eli Bennett on Tenor, Devon Henderson (hidden) on bass, Darcy Myronuk on piano. Some serious bop happening at the Rex last night and I was able to be jazz ambassador to a new Torontonian - where to go, what to see..what's happening.
My fellow volunteer advised me today to take a photo of myself in my bright blue dress....because I looked great in this colour.
So this is for you Ron, and thank you..I blush!
Jon McCaslin's "Jazzology" is tonight - everything you wanted to know about drums....and I may head over to Trane to see Max Sennitt y Sus Amigos. I had the pleasure of being served by his lovely wife Maria the other night at Tinto in Roncesvalles...that was before my "Money is my Friend" new mantra and being positive...focusing on gratitude everyday.
One of my major areas of gratitude is meeting all the "Jazzology" students. Today it was bass player Jon Stemmler from Mohawk - his energy and enthusiasm were contagious...his show should air next Thursday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tribute to Art Tatum

It's always a treat to hear Robi Botos and he was in fine form in the first half of this concert at the Old Mill...I can't say the same for our table service, however.
Breaking out with "I've Got Rhythm"he was matched in energy on solos from Reg Schwager on guitar and Neil Swainson on bass. They completely won me over with "My One and Only Love" one of my favourite tunes and segued that into "Honeysuckle Rose" the "On the Sunny Side of the Street" a good adage for these tough times.
I love watching Robi's face as he plays and interacts with other musicians - he's always having the best time.
The second half featured solo piano from noted international pianist Adam Makowicz. He opened with "Begin the Beguine" and then in honour of St. Patrick's a lovely "Danny Boy". Highlights included the poignant "Willow Weep for Me" and "Someone to watch over me" and Tatum's signature "Tea for Two".
Although he is technically very proficient there is a certain lack of warmth in his playing.
I am debating about going back for the other concert on March 30th - although I love Hoagy Carmichael...due to the lack of service and it's often surly....
Now, I must be positive...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Flowers, some funds....

Well, the weather is finally warming up a bit and what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon, dreaming of spring. After living here in T.O. for a while I had never been to Allan Gardens, (that's it on the right) which is a lovely Victorian conservatory at Jarvis and Carlton, in the midst of a park. How refreshing to step into the temperate garden and see tulips, daffodils, primroses and anticipate spring...the scent of hyacinths was particularly heady and I was reminded of when I grew them in my own garden....the beauty attracted a wedding party as well. One of the other fun sections was the desert garden - I have always found cacti to be really cool, coming in so many interesting shapes and formations...a few were even blooming...but....I forgot camera...d'oh! This morning I got to realize my dreams of being a model...well okay a breast exam model....perhaps not as glamourous but certainly helpful to the 2nd year students at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. They were all very delightful and respectful and I learned some new things too...all is well...which is the best the cheque I will be receiving... Tonight is Sound of Toronto/Jazz FM's tribute to Art Tatum with Robi Botos and Adam Mackowicz (I probably got the spelling wrong) at the Old Mill. I was not able to meet Jonathan McCaslin U of T student this morning, but I understand the taping went very well...what?!! without moi? Sorry, minor goddess fit...:) Photo from Flickr -cmlburnett (Common Hyacinth)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Little Red Figure

This figure was given to me last night by a strange little Chinese man who was drawing pictures of Julie McGregor - the singer I went to hear, accompanied by the wonderful Norm Amadio on piano. I have a feeling it may be something to do with abundance - since there are no accidents..:) It was a "jazz meetup" group so good music and conversation. I had an interesting "intuitive reading" this morning with Linda Eales - she gave the BodyTalk session/lecture last week at All One Clinic's open house. Not surprisingly it focused on my head...(I think too much) and a block between my emotional and intellectual...interesting and accurate. Craniosacral would help and also coconut oil for my lymphatic/thymus and strangely enough I have been craving that! Also, be cautious of my ankles - which are connected as well as the neck area to my gallbladder meridian (I had that removed a few years ago) and deep breathing to open up my heart centre. It was also showing "bruising" - hence the guardedness/reserved vibe I give off to people. Fascinating...I would like to go for a longer session. The owl figure showed up too..a totem? Weird because I had a dream about owls the other night!! After all, I need to take care and realize my full goddess potential!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Jeffrey Dean Morgan - the perfect man?

How has this man escaped my radar...especially since he looks so much like two of my favourite men - Javier Bardem and Robert Downey Jr.? Perhaps there's a movie there - 3 brothers??
He was on the delightful "Bonnie Hunt" show yesterday and the sparks were flying!! Apparently he told the producer of the show he had "thing" for Ms. Hunt. Added to this fact is that he is an artist and brought his dog on this show...whom he had rescued?
I'm sure women all over North America were fact the message board on Bonnie's show had several zillion comments that they should go out on a date!!
I love living vicariously through daytime TV
Photo from flickr - jj47555

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chris Potter at Humber

The "amazing" Chris Potter as Denny Christianson referred to him last night.

It was a packed house at Humber for the showcase concert of this years' visiting guest artist.

Hosted by none other than Pat LaBarbera - no slouch on sax himself - it was a high energy evening...

The first half featured the "Bruce Cassidy Jazz Orchestra" under the direction of...Bruce Cassidy. The selections were all Mr. Potter's compositions - my favourite being "All by A" a lovely reflective piece he said he wrote when he was 14...hey, if it ain't broke...Arrangments were more orchestral with the additions of cello and violins.

Part 2 - The Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble conducted by Denny Christianson. There were a few past and future "Jazzology" guests in this ensemble. More of Chris' compositions and a couple of Dave Holland's (whom he has worked with, of course) ...a lively version of Monk's "Friday the Thirteenth"...timely, as Denny pointed out...and the wonderfully titled "Dance you Monster to my Soft Song" by Maria Schneider (who is guest artist at U of T shortly....)

Featured soloists included a tasty Eli Bennett - who shows more and more panache every time out (on tenor), Jon Challoner's beautiful trumpet forays, Jake Koffman on alto and Santino De Villa, laying out the rhythm on drums.

Chantal Emand delivered a lovely laid back "Comes Love" arr. by John McLeod. I loved her relaxed take and hope to see more of her soon.

Needless to say the crowd ate it up and demanded an encore. Mr Potter obliged with some more Monk..."Straight, No Chaser".

Of Note: Andrew Bown, guitarist from York U is tonight's "Jazzology" guest. I may be going over the Tequila Bookworm to catch Eli Bennett again tonight. Tomorrow - Julie McGregor/Norm Amadio at Commensal - where I don't have to worry about what to's veg!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Marvelous Midnight Mermaid

This gorgeous creation is called "Midnight Mermaid" by my new friend Dallas. It is hand crafted out of wood in what sounds like a very labour of love intensive process. She has a number of sisters as I understand it and is going to be even more beautiful with an addition of crystals. Let me know if you are interested in commissioning/ purchasing one of these lovelies and I will connect you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Full Moon

Which may explain my moodiness...I have a moon in Cancer, this moon is in Virgo..either way it seems to set me off. I have had a lot of blessings lately with people sending work/potential work my thank you angels, spirit for these blessings. I am grateful. I also got to listen to the lovely and talented Emilie Claire Barlow rehearse for the live to air broadcast tonight on Jazz FM...going on as I write. Kelly Jefferson on sax, Reg Schwager on guitar and Ross Taggart on bass made for a wonderful soundtrack to my afternoon at the station. Ms. Barlow has a new album out....they were rehearsing a few tunes "You Make me Feel So Young" (one of my faves) and another of my faves "I'm Glad There is You". The album is called "Haven't We Met" and should be! Check out her website - she also writes a blog! Photo credit: Snow/Hunger Moon Rising - fifer1812/flickr

Sunday, March 8, 2009

International Women's Day

A Rose from a Rose (Arny Johans - flickr) A lovely rose to all the amazing women I know, have known and will know in my life. I went to a wonderful inspiring "meetup" and screening today. The meetup group is called "Positive Fabulous Women" I am aspiring to be...the positive part, I'm already fabulous..:) This group, started by the effervescent and tireless Katia already has 1,000 members signed up since last year and more to come..she has had inquiries from such places as Singapore and the Barbados. The women are there for support, networking and having fun; professional and personal reasons. The film was part of the "Quest" series that Lili Fournier, the producer/director has done for PBS. The event today was called "The Power Within" part of the Women of Wisdom and Power series. She is ready to release a whole other series on manifesting. She features such people as Deepak Chopra, Shirley Maclaine, Gloria Steinem, Marianne Williamson....on and on... I can't begin to do justice to what the film is about...but basically it's about nurturing ourselves and putting ourselves first and our fellow sisters. Dreaming big dreams and finding our voice... Her next big project is to have a big international media event for International Women's Day in 2010...sort of a "WomenAid Festival"...conducted from various points around the globe...she is rumoured to be seeking out some help from Oprah...hmmmm... Then I went to an open house for an alternative healing practice in my friend Christina's neighbourhood (Roncesvalles) and heard about intuitive bodywork, got a facial accupressure session and thai massage. To conclude a shamanic healer conducted a "Moon Circle" ceremony where we expressed our individual wishes/collective wishes and burned sage. What a powerful, healing and hopeful day.. Please check out Lili's projects on:

Hey, there is a "goddess" in jazz goddess...a goddess every day.

Friday, March 6, 2009

New profile photo...

Just changing things up a bit...showing off my curls...

I am a Rectangle

This is my figure or body type shape as I learned from my "Science of Style" workshop conducted by Wendy Woods last night at Shopgirls Boutique...
At least I'm not a "square"...ha, ha.
So it turns out my obsession with "Mad Men" and especially its' fashions was suitable for my body type...
I got compliments on my sense of style and creative elements...mixing my polka dot tights with my black and white plaid flats...I was also wearing a rectangular on my sweater...subconsciously...
It was a lot of fun..I have been described as being "classic with a twist" I just need funds to put this into practice...
Photo is by JewelRee, courtesy of flickr.
Tonight's musical possibility: Pat Collins Quartet at the Rex and a chance to hear Mike Murley.
Our guest on "Jazzology" yesterday was a sweet young man named Andrew Bown, a guitarist from York, originally from'll get to hear his interview next Thursday...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

U of T Grad Ensembles at Arbor Room

A great evening of jazz last night at the Arbor Room - this is Tim Ries' ensemble (under his direction).
That's Steve Ward (trombone), Heather Segger (trombone), Anthony McKnight (bass), Alex Dean (on various saxes) and Mark Segger (drums). Hayoun Lee is not visible on keyboard.
They played a number of original and challenging compositions.
I was realizing this year I have been out to more U of T gigs than Humber, when the reverse was true in previous years....
Here are some serious looking individuals...:)
(Chase Sanborn's group) discussing the set list...Patrick Boyle (trumpet) Jon McCaslin (drums) Rob Fekete (keys) - "Jazzology" guests all...
Nathan Hiltz, a wonderful guitarist chatted with me and kept me company...

This is the second group: Nathan Hiltz (guitar), Ben Dietschi (sax), Patrick Boyle (trumpet), Robin Jessome (trombone) , Rob Fekete (hiding...on keys)...the alto sax player was great...but his name escapes me.

Freddie Hubbard and standards meant for a more "mainstream" experience. Patrick provided fun patter, even introducing the musicians in the style of Bob Parlocha.

Paul Read was there as well, taking many photos. Paul is a wonderful musician/composer/arranger/educator - on staff at the U of T and has headed up the jazz studies program.

Deciding if I have energy to go the Rex tonight for Fabio Ragnelli...if not, he is there all this month on Wednesdays.

Pat Collins' Quartet is also at the Rex on Friday at 9:45...chance to say hello to our Mohawk contact and to hear Mike Murley (the York contact)...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I finally saw this much lauded film....Best Picture Oscar, after all and loved it. I was riveted the whole time, on the edge of my seat as they say. I found it really Dickensian...substitute Mombai for 19th century London and you get my drift.. The kids were especially good I found...really natural and believeable. Watched "Must Love Dogs" last night as I am a sucker for John Cusack...he is on "Inside the Actor's Studio" today so I'm DEFINITELY watching that...he is the thinking woman's heartthrob..."Say Anything" is one of my favourite films as is "The Grifters". Oh, and how could I forget the double whammy of John Cusack AND David Strathairn in "Eight Men Out" - directed by...John Sayles...I guess that is triple... Later, possibly up to Chalkers to see Mike Murley...a busy agenda this week - U of T students at Arbor Room on Tuesday at 6:30, Fabio Ragnelli has a trio at the Rex every Wednesday this month (he's a drummer, Humber alum)...and more...Don Thompson's Nonet also at Chalkers tomorrow night... It's freezing again here today...but at least sunny...when will it end???