Saturday, February 6, 2010

Azure like it

This handsome gentleman sat in with the band and a now a new favourite spot of mine- the Azure lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel at 225 Front Street (Front and Simcoe). Dan Bodanis trio entertains there every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 5:30 - 10:30 p.m. with the great Bernie Senensky on piano/keyboards and Steve Wallace on bass. Dan drives the band behind the drum kit and does the emceeing. Dan is very warm and welcoming, and has had the gig since April. I sat with bubbly Darlene Stimson - who got up and sang with the band the previous night. The aforementioned looker is one Gregg Arthur, Australian vocalist, who happens to be in town to perform at the Dragon Ball tonight. Apparently, on Thursday after he arrived he came down to the bar, heard the band, sent over a request and generous tip and things progressed from there... I'm not sure if he is sitting in tonight as he may be otherwise engaged but he is a wonderful vocalist - his silky tones were perfect for "Quiet Nights" and "Gingi" and a beautiful rendition of "My Funny Valentine". He is a charmer - would be nice for someone to give him a concert here so that even more people could enjoy his talent. Sources say he has been here a few times - flown in at the request of Toronto's Asian community for events. I do believe they are onto something... Check out his website http://www.greggarthur.com/ The band sounded wonderful, they were having particular fun with Monk's "Off Minor" and to my delight had guests sitting in with them...that's what music is all about fresh and fun and a communal experience. Singer Jen Sagar did "There Will Never be Another You" and Carlo Schwarzenegger (not his real name just what Dan jokingly referred to everyone as.....) Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me". Not to be outdone - 13 year old drummer Daniel Guerrette and his dad George on trombone (apologies if I'm not spelling that correctly). Daniel was stellar and completely at ease behind the drum kit (much joking around about Dan snatching the drumsticks back from "the kid") George also did a lovely solo on "My Funny Valentine".... Visit Dan on Facebook and see who might be dropping in - last week it was the guys from K.C. and the Sunshine Band - sorry to have missed that since I was a huge fan in my teens....you never know, but even if it's just the band it's a lovely way to spend some time (and be out of the cold).
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