Thursday, December 31, 2009

In Memoriam, Craig Magill

With the new year dawning and new beginnings, I am very sad to report an all too early ending.
Craig Magill - educator, jazz enthuasist, friend and host to numerous visiting and local musicians, tireless supporter, former president and volunteer of the EJS and Yardbird Suite - musician, bon vivant, fashion plate and world traveller, passed away in New York this week, after a fall onto an icy sidewalk outside a jazz venue. I had received an email before Christmas from Craig and Wendy (his wife) detailing their extensive travel itinerary for 2010 including a trip to Greece. Craig had bravely battled and won against the big C, coming through with flying colours...although I'm sure he would have used some hep cat, jazz speak to describe it....
There is a memorial service planned in January I understand at the Yardbird...he will be sorely missed, such an integral part of the history of Edmonton's jazz scene for some six decades.
I was thinking of them having dinner in my home, enjoying my vegan cooking immensely, Craig giving some newly discovered performance, then on another visit, going out to the Rex with Craig to hear Kirk MacDonald, who Craig raved about. That same trip he attended the memorial concert for the great Doug Riley.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Wendy and his family, friends and jazz fans. I feel comforted he will be welcomed and appreciated by all the jazz greats who gave gone before him to that big jazz club in the sky.
Thank you Craig for your passion and dedication to the "sound of surprise".

Monday, December 28, 2009

Writing and writing....

Back at the Archive today after feeling immense guilt about a "holiday"...i.e. Christmas and Boxing Day. A lovely get together with my family....got some nice fuzzy pajamas to go to work in...see first line of this paragraph....:)"Vegan Brunch" - which I am eager to try out...sort of a "Homer Simpson" gift, that from the potential experimentee...Tofu Benedict, Omelettes, pancakes, waffles....yummm....
I went to two new movies - the amazing "Avatar" which took me a little while to adjust to (in 3D - how retro is that?)...but you get enveloped in the world of Pandora....on a different take...."It's Complicated" - rom/com - Meryl Streep...is there anything that woman can't do? She looks great, is fab as is Alec Baldwin...who I have considered hot for ages...very much the Aries that man, or at least his character is.... So, successful film outings so far - I'm still thinking of seeing Mr. Clooney's "Up In the Air" and maybe Mr. Downey in "Sherlock Holmes" - I am so glad Robert has gotten his act together.
Tomorrow....jazz jam at the Rex with Quinsin Nachoff and hosted by Justin Gray? Nathan Dell Vandenberg at Tranzac..7:30...there may be cookies as enticement as I understand..... making Moroccan Chickpea Soup from Jae Steeles' wonderful "Get It Ripe" as I type.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle Bones report

Fearless leader, Colin Murray.....
Tens of tens of trombones...well, hundreds of thousands would be a slight exaggeration. They sounded great - trombone players are a gregarious and fun loving lot...can you imagine (sorry) this many trumpet players or saxophonists? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy...
I have completed Christmas shopping, am still working on the Archive - I am learning even more about musicians and more still about compressing their lives into a paragraph....challenging.
Tomorrow baking some Festive Bread for Christmas morning...music other than Jingle Bones or writing about it has been pretty quiet...Gary Morgan's incredible PanAmericana band plays Lula Lounge on Monday the 28th with shows at 8 and 9:30.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Time Flies

I realize I havent' written anything since Monday. By the way, the Vince Guaraldi tribute was a great time....very fun, Robert Scott is amazing - how can he remember so many movie and TV themes? The mind boggles. It was nice to see the incredible Brandi Disterheft on bass too. This Sunday I am helping out at Jazz FM for Heather Bambrick's annual "Kitchen Party" - now I guess you need to have either been down to the Martimes or from there, but basically it means everyone hangs out in the kitchen (the warm spot and natch where there is food) and brings their instruments and/or voices...some alcoholic beverages may be involved - or in Newfoundland - Heather's home province - "Screech".....I don't believe that to be the plan on Sunday....but there will be food, music and tons of witty banter. Monday is that most special annual event - "Jingle Bones" at the Rhino on Queen - a cornucopia, a a plethora, a tantalizing tangent of trombones for your listening pleasure plus a long, long list of beer selections....7:30 ish. Cash and or non perishable items for the Food Bank are most welcome.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cam Britton and Charlie Brown

Will this happen tonight at the Old Mill's "Sound of Toronto" concert - a tribute to Vince Guaraldi? One never knows.
The bassist looks nothing like the lovely Brandi Disterheft, as far as Schroeder/Robert Scott.....
Should be a blast...
Check out the new posting on the Jazz FM blog about Mr. Cameron Britton....
I am plugging away on the Archive but may feel a need to create some seitan and some fig and anise biscotti this week...ah, the annual Christmas baking procrastination!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Just in - Dora Keogh Pub has jazz

I got this listing from The Toronto Star today...apparently Roberto Occhipinti, bassist and producer extraordinaire (who mysteriously shows up at Jazz FM when I bring cookies...hmmm) is scheduling gigs at this pub on the Danforth on Saturdays from 4 - 7 p.m. This week it's Roberto with Hilario Duran and Mark Kelso...should be fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dave Young Live to Air

What a great treat on a chilly winter night. Dave and the band sounded great - Robi Botos, Frank Botos and Kevin Turcotte. There was an enthusiastic audience and a genial "cheerleader" host..my boss Larry Green.
"Mean What You Say" - a great motto in life and one I try to abide by - the name of the CD. Norbert Botos - the up and coming young drummer phenom (and son of Frank) was rapidly selling the new release after the taping.
"Everytime We Say Goodbye"....one of my favourite tunes. I listened to the album tonight - gorgeous...especially Robi's contributions.
I have now commenced work on updating the archive...so I am getting a bit of jazz bio brain. Took a break at "Shanghai Cowgirl" and bought some red gloss - GOSH at Shoppers. I'm not really a red lipstick girl - but am inspired by "Mad Men"'s Joan to bring out my inner vixen. I just haven't found the perfect shade yet.
Tomorrow in my time honoured tradition of procrastinating I will be baking some Rugelach....

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Un Poco di Paquito

Wow...great show last night at Koerner -posting up soon on Jazz FM...lovely to hear Luis Mario Ochoa again this week and Hilario Duran. I also got to see Cam Britton who is working at Koerner....Cam, I will do a blog posting on the Jazz FM website - promise! Today is chili and it is chilly - and I need to get going on the Archive...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Jingle Bones and Barbados and Biscotti

Hee, hee or is that ho, ho, ho...that's my brother Colin's cat - looking very, very annoyed in his Santa finery to promote the 6th annual "Jingle Bones" trombone extravaganza with "Christmas-like" music on December 21st at the Rhino on Queen....great beer selection - bring your trombones all you trombonists and your undying appreciation listeners - plus money or non perishable food contributions for the food bank. The excitement starts at 7:30 ish. Baking chocolate biscotti today - pictures to follow. I'm off to hear Paquito D'Rivera tonight at Koerner Hall which I'm looking forward to and will blog about for Jazz FM. I was thrilled with Sophia Perlman's gig at the Rex on Thursday - where I crashed the Toronto Music Lover's Meetup. Ori Dagan - newly minted on CD singer was there. Band members were Alex Dean, Pat Collins, Dave Restivo and Terry Clarke - how can you go wrong. Check out the rest of her Thursday night run this month at 6:30. I understand Mr. Clarke has a new CD coming out. Live to air broadcast on Monday night for Dave Young - I have it on good authority - Mr. Ross Porter - the new album is great - in fact, possibly Ross' favourite this year. Booked for Barbados in January - my first Caribbean vacation...don't know if there will be jazz...I think I am arriving AFTER the jazz festival - the airline deals don't take jazz festivals into account.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Follow up

I got a lovely comment from Luis Mario Ochoa on Facebook! Muchas gracias! I neglected to mention what an engaging person he is - very warm, funny and charming. And that voice - gives you chills - Canto Siboney - the heartache was palpable. There was a fun little singalong towards the end of the program "Cemento, Ladrillo y Arena" (cement, brick and sand) about building a house...I am still singing it in my head as I write... I recommend you go out and hear him when possible...he's often at Lula Lounge.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cuban Interlude

Although we have been having an unseasonably mild "winter" so far it's still nice to get some Cuban sunshine - Luis Mario Ochoa's group gave a wonderful concert tonight at the Richard Bradshaw amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre - among the musicians - Hilario Duran and Mark Kelso. Particularly effective : "Longina" - which featured Luis and Hilario alone - on a very poignant song of longing.
I also moseyed over to see Ali Berkok and his band Arkana Music at Trane - as usual - more bodies would be nice in the house. Still I enjoyed the set - thank you very much. Happy Birthday to Ali tomorrow - I look forward to hearing the band again soon. Ali is also playing on Friday night - different band.
Tomorrow - "Jazzology" taping - Justin Sauson, Mohawk, bass and Sophia Perlman is at the Rex every Thursday for the 6:30 show this month.
I made some shortbread cookies today...some with lavender...since I'm on an all things flowery kick - I bought some violet mints today - strangely I am attracted to purple, violets and lavender these days. I was reading purple is a very spiritual colour, intuitive and creative...hmmmm....Children are also very attracted to it - maybe I am having the second childhood....
The lovely photo is from flickr/creative commons and was taken by Eliza1946.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Full force jazz - no trauma

Isn't this a great image? I went to hear Blunt Object again last night - unfortunately I was one of the few....people, people, what do I have to do to get you out to hear this great big band - doing the charts of Carla Bley and some of Robin Jessome...possibly in future charts of the wacky and wonderful (and sadly disbanded) Orange then Blue?
On the bandstand: Heather Segger - trombone; Mark Segger - drums/percussion; Tom Van Seters - keyboards; Robin on trombone and conducting; the always scintillating Ben Dietschi...former "Jazzology" guest all....I am hoping for a venue like the Rex and more audience members..it put me in mind of some of the bad old days of the Yardbird in the 80's where the band members and volunteer staff outnumbered the audience - for out of town BIG NAME acts...shame , shame.
Am I going to have to promise baked goods?