Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota

What could be more delicious than good hearty food on a Sunday? How about a healthy side of bluegrass?
The resident trio the Lonesome Ace String Band provides a step above your ordinary weekend brunch. The trio are also part of the fabled "Foggy Hogtown Boys" a band I've had the pleasure of hearing many times but it had been far too long for me to hear one of my favourite art forms. Max Heineman on bass was a particular standout with his strong, plainitive vocals. Chris Coole on banjo and guitar and John Showman on fiddle also contribute great vocals and playing. Check them out in this or the Foggy Hogtown Boys combination.
In spite of the crowd the service is great and friendly and the food good and plentiful. It's also fun to watch the little sprouts dancing to the music..
Here is the first look at this year's garden.
Fortunately there has been a lot of rain this week so watering has been minimal.
Right now I smell of campfire smoke as there was old boards from defunct plots being is more like fall than spring.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Humber Community Music School

This is young drummer Matthew about him on the Jazz FM blog...
It's a beautiful day today after all the rain of the past 2 days. I forgot to take photos of the garden this morning...tomorrow for sure!
I'm planning on attending a Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota on Sunday...I've been before and it's a blast!
I can't believe that things are actually manifesting for me. I'm reading "Manifesting Your Destiny" by Wayne Dyer and have a vision board...needless to say I have strangely managed to acquire a Vita Mix - one of the things on my board!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Edmonton Folk Festival - a teaser

If you're thinking of heading out west for this amazing Folk Festival in August (like I am and for visiting and shopping of course) may be further tempted by an upcoming programming announcement on Monday....suffice to say the artist is female and there are vowels in her name...that's all you're getting right now... Watch this space.... For more info on the festival:

Jersey Boys

I ventured out of my neck of the woods (downtown) up to North York yesterday to take advantage of $20 rush seats for this Tony award winning show. I couldn't believe what a great seat I got for the price...row P. The box office person said it was likely because of the weather...
I wandered around indoors as much as possible, had lunch in a food court (Lebanese food) with eggplant, cauliflower, rice and lentils, hummous and tabouli. Initially I thought the server had put MEAT into my container so I opened it...causing concern. I was relieved it was just the eggplant. After a Green Tea Latte with Soy...a Grande Soy Green Tea Latte....I never get the order of the drink right...and reading my Wayne Dyer for inspiration it was showtime...
For a rainy day matinee it was still pretty crowded. Loved the show - I had forgotten how many hits the Four Seasons had to their credit. It's been a while since I've been to the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts - last time in the big theatre was "Ragtime"...which was a loooong time ago.
I really enjoyed the only complaint, as usual was the volume level - hence why I carry earplugs in all my purses/pockets.
Aaron MacKenzie made a wonderful Frankie Valli with great support from Grant Tilly as Tommy DeVito - the bad boy/wiseguy of the group. The cast was all quite good and of course, the music! "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man" and one of the best tunes ever (that almost didn't make it to a record) "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You".
The only sour note was a screechy version of "My Boyfriend's Back" by the ladies playing girl group The Angels...obviously they didn't listen to the laid back original...
A good way to spend a rainy afternoon, though. I hope to check out Terra Hazelton's CD release at the Rex on Saturday and even partake of the delectable (for mouth and ears) Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota on Sunday.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sweet Sunday

What a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon. The always delightful Ori Dagan voice/ bass and a fine refresher on the talents of Ross McIntyre on upright bass.
Ori is always a wonderful entertainer with great enthusiasm for the material and a sense of fun. Opening with the "Gate 403 blues" he scatted effortlessly on kind of a "rap without the profanity" as he cleverly phrased things...
I enjoyed stumping the band, however briefly by requesting "I Don't Know Enough about You"....Standards such as "Nature Boy" and "At Long Last Love" , "Twisted" were otherwise effortlessly delivered along with a bopping "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing" among others. I particularly enjoyed "Would you Like to Swing on a Star" - I think Ori has a future in voice overs if he chooses...his pescatory impersonation of a lugubrious "would you rather be a fish" was hilarious. Did I just use the word pescatory? And is that actually a word?
I understand the beautiful day drew people outdoors..that's too bad since the missed an opportunity to hear two finely attuned's hoping for a repeat sometime soon...
Ori's colourful shoes...
I should mention an added bonus, Tova Kardone's wonderful interpretation of Mingus' "Goodbye Porkpie Hat"...with her own evocative lyrics.
She is at Trane Studio next Sunday night with "The Thing Is"

Sunday afternoon

I'm heading over to Gate 403 to see "Bass and Bass" - Ori Dagan and Ross McIntyre...this is a time honoured and great combination - bass and voice. I have heard Sheila Jordan, Karen Young and countless others to great effect. I might later go over to the Rex to see Julia Cleveland's group - as usual funds permitting. Tomorrow night is the the always spendid John McLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra - where I also get to see my brother on bass trombone. The garden is going well so far, I will take a photo next time I'm over so I can show its' infancy. There appears to be some activity on the seed front up already - one of the greens I believe. I guess I should have drawn a map as to what was where but it's a small plot. Also on the agenda this week - getting cheap rush tickets for "Jersey Boys" which I've heard great things about and I haven't been to theatre in a looong time.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Diana Krall - Live in Rio

New posting will be up on Jazz FM...check it out...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Magical Monsoon

I wanted to sing "In the Wee Small Hours" when my friend Michele and I went for a martini at this lovely below ground thai restaurant and bar at 100 Simcoe Street, We were the only people in the place... Russell our wonderful and accomdating bartender/host assured us the kitchen could rustle...(okay bad pun) something up for us...a nice Pad Thai, some spring rolls even though they were technically closed as there were no more reservations that was after 9. How often is it that you get to feel like celebrities? Our handsome chef produced the delectable selections for us and we enjoyed the signature martinis...I plan to return of course. Now that's what I call service fit for goddesses....

Heeere's Ron!

You will see Ron's smiling face if you happen to come down to the station most weekday mornings...I wrote a little blog post on him a couple of days ago but didn't have a photo..I remedied that today... Speaking of which I still need to figure out the functions on the Canon Power night shots in clubs and close ups.... Patrick Boyle, that talented denizen of Newfoundland had the second of his DMA recitals at Walter Hall, U of T tonight...I thought about calling it "Music from The Rock"..but maybe people would assume I was talking about the former wrestler, turned movie star. "The Rock" being of course, Newfoundland... Patrick even presented a composition in honour of that province's 60th anniversary of joining Canada called "Well Enough Alone"...the sometimes ambivalent union with our country...The opening tune was an interesting choice...a little Dylan "The Times they are A Changing" a duet with Tom Van Seters (also a "Jazzology" guest) on piano. Brendan Cassidy on sax and clarinet, Mike Downes and Jon McCaslin (another J guest) added their talents to the evening. Switching continents, "Raga Puriya Kalyani" was completely hypnotic with Ed Hanley of Autorickshaw on tabla. Patrick explained he had the opportunity of studying Indian Music in New York recently with Zakir Hussain (the composer of this piece ) among others . Of course, most amusing and pleasing for me was seeing everyone in suits and ties. Patrick was the first student in the history of "Jazzology" who wore a suit and tie!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bedding Plants and Bop

These green beauties are awaiting their new home in the community garden plot. It seems the weather will cooperate tomorrow. There is a lovely lemon basil and several varieties of heirloom tomatoes, purchased yesterday at Urban Harvest. Can't wait... Checked out Kollage at the Pilot yesterday afternoon and it first it seemed like Bikram jazz...a little overheated in there...the musicians were certainly getting a workout.. Archie is always a gentleman and a delight - he's such a treasure - loving the music, holding his own and more on the drum kit and going strong. Brian O'Kane on trumpet and Kelsey Grant on trombone were welcome additions yesterday. Of course, Mr. Botos his usual stellar self...does the man ever have an off day? Last night I watched "Yes Man" with Jim Carey...a good message to say "yes" to life and funny. Off to Whitby for a birthday Lily Frost post is up on Jazz FM and this week it's Gate 403, The Rex and a couple of U of T recitals...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Gardening in the mud

At least that's what I'm anticipating as it's raining on and off here today...however, need to work the newly delivered compost into the plot and get some seeds/plants. I likely won't be jazzing until Monday when I go to Gate 403 to hear Courtney Quebec Desloges - York student, pianist/vocalist with lovely strawberrry blond, pre-Raphaelite curls along with Andrew Pacheco on bass...former "Jazzology" guests. More on the Jazz FM blog. Tuesday is Patrick Boyle's recital at Walter Hall U of T at 7:30. I have already blogged about this charming trumpet player from Newfoundland - should be a great concert and it's FREE, people! Then onto the Rex for the Jazz Jam...hosted by Justin Gray...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thank you so much Ron!

I should have taken his photo too time... Ron is an important person at Jazz FM - holding down the reception desk several mornings a week. He also has excellent taste in selecting gifts for his wife...I think he should conduct seminars for men. When Ron is not at the station he is golfing, renovating or travelling - having been to France, Hawaii and Arizona to name a few. I am so jealous! Ron is also a wonderful cheerleader for my blog! For all you do, thank you so much Ron!

Jazz Royalty and Motion Sickness

Here is a candid of Jake Koffman and Larry Green at the station this morning.
Jake was taping the last "Jazzology" of the season and reminiscing about his famous grandfather, Moe...( who taught Larry briefly).
Jake is a charming and talented young man I'm sure will go far.
Tonight I am going to hear Lily Frost, live to air - blogging on Jazz FM.
Would love feedback on my blog from my visitors...good, bad or indifferent...apparently the name of the blog causes nausea??!! I say, why not feel good about yourself and feel like a goddess whatever you do!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sophie Millman Live to Air

Just a quick note - tune into Jazz FM tonight at 7 on Brad Barker's "Dinner Jazz" to hear a live to air session with lovely chanteuse Sophie Millman.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Fingers and toes...

I indulged and had a mani/pedi this afternoon at the local nail's a little like Angelah Johnson's "Nail Salon" comedy routine...except the sweet ladies there don't comment on my personal life and choices...:)
The mani is in Essie's "Gorgeous Glow" - I think that's the name a lovely opalescent sheer and pedi is in Essie's "Whisper. I like being a girl..
Speaking of which, I have just finished reading Norah Vincent's "Self Made Man" which provides great insight into the whole concept of gender issues. Norah "becomes" a man and infiltrates such male centred places as a monastery, a strip club, a bowling team and an "Iron Man" therapy group. It's a great read with a lot of revelations for herself and women in general, especially when she takes on the dating scene and its' expectations and assumptions. I have also read her latest book where she admits herself to a series of mental hospitals, "Voluntary Madness" - a poignant look into how the mentally ill are treated and or/mistreated.
Monday is usually big band night at the Rex - tonight it's Bobby Rice's Latin Jazz Big Band with many of our scene's finest including Max Sennitt on drums.
Tomorrow is Jazz Jam night hosted by another Humber alum, Justin Gray...I hope to take in both...I'll let you know if funds permit, after I have glammed myself up...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I Worship Wayne Dyer

There, I have said it and I am not the least bit ashamed. Although, he likely wouldn't condone worshipping him...:) The reason for this is watching the film "Ambition to Meaning" - Finding your Life's Purpose" which was screened at yet another amazing, Positive Fabulous Women event - now you will get another notice, Katia...:) A drama, starring Dr. Dyer and Portia de Rossi among others provides yet more inspiration to me to go back and read all my Wayne Dyer books and get out of my ego, go with the flow and "let go and let God"...The characters all experience their own "shifts" - from a driven movie director obsessed with success, a mother of two who has put aside her artistic inclinations and a status obsessed, disintegrating couple. I really enjoyed the musician character, played by Ethan Lipton who had found through being dismissed from his job an opportunity to pursue what he really loved. The tunes at the wedding were delightful. They were jazzy - so there's my jazz content! Louise Hay even makes a brief appearance officiating at the wedding... What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Posting number 2 on Jazz FM website

Wowee...I am so it's a beautiful day and I got some Louisa LaBarbera's sale plus some great java, snacks and girl talk...
Check out - a great little blog about going raw with yummy recipes, help and links, presided over by fabulous New Yorker Gena.

Marathon of Music

Yes, 3 plus hours of jazz last night at "Jazz Lives"...which hopefully you can read about on the Jazz FM website... I am going to Louisa LaBarbera's jewellry sale shortly and off to celebrate my friend Lorraine's birthday - we are winging it. Perhaps we will wander over to the Rex or even as far as Gate 403 where talented drummer Max Sennitt is presiding at 9 with his "Amigos".

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Keita and Carob

This handsome gentleman is Keita Hopkinson who runs - he is a mild mannered library employee by day, jazz promoter by night.
Last night he produced a great crowd at Chalkers for Neal Caine/Jason Marsalis. I hope to see many more exciting events from this hardworking and charming guy.
Unfortunately I didn't get a great shot of the band...oh well...
And now onto food....
These raw carob walnut raisin cookies are from Ani Phyo's latest " Ani's Raw Food Desserts". I am a big fan of hers since "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" - her Mediterannean Dolmas have become a staple. She is so vibrant and alive she is a great representative for the raw food lifestyle.
These are really yummy!
Tonight is "Jazz Lives" which I will blog about on the Jazz FM website, speaking of very first blog is up today, about Michael Kaeshammer...I am very excited!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Revisiting the 70's

Maybe it's spring fever but I've been watching a lot of 70's era videos on YouTube like Player's "Baby Come Back", Ace's "How Long" and Little River Band's "Reminiscing"...I think it was listening to Alan Maitland on CBC on Sunday morning saying he hadn't paid any attention to music during that decade. His guest, a fan of 70's music, was saying the era was significant, not fluff like many have said, particularly about disco. The clubs were places for the disenfranchised - women, African-Americans and gays and was a place for those disenchanted with all the progressive rock - which also alienated the punk rockers. I listened to both punk and disco... I was singing along to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" and dancing around to KC and the Sunshine Band's "Get Down Tonight"
Photo by Yozza - from flickr/creative commons. Went to see the Humber Community Music School recitals at the Rex on Sunday..good stuff - hope to flesh out my visit more on the Jazz FM blog...I am anxiously awaiting it's debut! I am thinking of venturing out of the 'hood up to Chalkers for the Neal Caine/Jason Marsalis event tomorrow...funds permitting. It should be a great gig - they're being interview at 3 on Larry Green's show. Have a successful show either way Keita!! Thursday is "Jazz Lives" which I will also blog about for the station...I am anticipating a marathon of music. Friday - there will be shopping at Louisa LaBarbera's place - jewellry maker to jazz fans and "divas" alike - plus and shopping, plus it's jazz related (her dad is saxophone great Pat LaBarbera).

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Coffee and Origami

A fun and creative afternoon at Mercants of Green coffee - and great coffee too.
It was a "Positive, Fabulous Women" meetup organized by the energetic left is my tulip - my best creation of the afternoon - who knows could be a new hobby...
We also made place holders, note cards, and lips which I used black paper for, not realizing what we were making...oh well..Marilyn Manson origami...
How cool is it that a $9500 horse - Mine that Bird won the Kentucky Derby?!!
I just watched the race - the jockey was in seventh heaven and the trainer drove up with a broken leg to the race...
Hollywood couldn't have scripted it better...