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...