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...