Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars 2011

The ladies were sparkly  last night at the Oscars - at least the dresses were - the proceedings not so much...I like Anne Hathaway but she grew more and more grating as the evening went on - like a hyper cheerleaders as someone pointed of the funniest tweets I read was someone suggesting perhaps they should have had a "In Case of Emergency Break Glass" moment - with Ricky Gervais inside...

Hailee Steinfeld looked like a princess, and loved Michele Williams simple but luminous appearance - very gamine.

No wonder people were excited when Billy Crystal came out and said "So...where was I"? The movie montage fell someone flat at the beginning - Mr. Crystal really owns that, sorry. Best moment was screenwriter David Seidler's speech - "My father always said I would be a late bloomer" - kudos to the 73 year old Oscar winner.

All in all it felt really awkward - although I must say I was impressed by an abnormally subdued Celine Dion performing "Smile". And even though I admire Lena Horne - that seemed like a bizarre afterthought tribute by Halle Berry.

Vegan poster girl, mom-to-be and Oscar winner Natalie Portman looks from Us Magazine's website. She does seem to like purple and always looks elegant.

Tonight is an excursion to the Old Mill - tribute to Bill Evans with Robi Botos and Brian Browne...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pizzicato Pussycat and purrfect curls

Thanks to Whitney Ross Barris and Lee Wallace for posting this on Facebook  - the moral of the story is peace is restored and happiness when jazz takes over the house...:)

I love those Warner Brothers cartoons - I also suggest checking out the "Three Little Bops".

I got an education in treating my curly hair yesterday at Curl Ambassadors on Harbord - it has only taken me 48 years...but here are the results:

IMG_1189.jpgThanks to Sharlea and some Deva products - the "Lo Poo" - only to be used a couple of times a week, conditioner and a styling gel...I am embracing my curls again....can't wait to get a cut and highlights - yesterday was only styling - it's a cozy little place and very welcoming - and BUSY - all those curly creatures dying to have some loving and knowledgeable treatment of their locks

Speaking of curly girls - Julie Michels and George Koller are releasing a CD tonight - with concert at Glenn Gould. studio at 8 - those two are a dynamic duo - voice and bass - always a great combo. Plus, you know there are going to be interesting musical choices as well...visit for more deets.

Coming up on Saturday at Trane - the multi talented Era Chorna with Bill King...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sweet new music, Sweetgrass Spa and Cruda Cafe

Robin Jessome's Quintet has a new recording out and features original music by Robin himself - featured in the band are Robin on trombone, Gordon Hyland - saxophone, Mark Segger - drums, Tom Van Seters - piano and Mark Godfrey on bass. I am told there is to be some Blunt Object experiences in the future as well.

Visit for more info and the sample "Powderkeg".

Thanks to a coupon deal - from Groupon - I got a 75 minute facial with lots of lovely massage for a steal - incredibly relaxing and the spa is huge - they have a steam room, pool, jacuzzi and even a florists. It seems to go on forever - lots of spaces to relax , My skin feels like buttah - thanks to my esthetician Asmeret who used some great Dermalogica products on me.

Before that I used another coupon deal at Cruda Cafe in the St. Lawrence Market. Amazing raw food concoctions - I first had one of their wraps at the Whole Health Expo. I got a St. Lawrence Greens Salad - filled with greens, avocado, shredded beet and carrot, fig, walnuts and goji berries, a Mexican wrap, a "Cleanse Me" juice and a couple of coconut date balls...yumm....the girls who work there are a great advertisement - they positively radiate good health and great skin.

Tonight off to a lecture with Alexandra Cousteau - Jacques' granddaughter at the ROM.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Volunteer party at Jazz FM

IMG_7400.jpgHow delightful to find I knew one of the entertainers at the party yesterday - on piano - a recent "Jazzology" guest from Humber, Paul Morrison. Paul kindly brought me some coconut macaroons from "Rawlicious" - where he works and one of my favourite places...the trio sounded amazing - particularly Paul - I heard lots of praise for his musicianship.
How delightful to find I knew one of the entertainers at the party yesterday - on piano - a recent "Jazzology" guest from Humber, Paul Morrison. Paul kindly brought me some coconut macaroons from "Rawlicious" - where he works and one of my favourite places...the trio sounded amazing - particularly Paul - I heard lots of praise for his musicianship.

I also won a prize which was cool - tix to the ROM, $50 gift certificate to Petroff Gallery - I think I hear some earrings calling my name and a gift certificate for transferring home movies to digitial...hmmm...may have to bestow that on someone else...since I don't have any...if you want it, let me know - it's worth $100. The Petroff Gallery is home to some gorgeous art and craftworks including a great selection of kaleidoscopes...visit

 The volunteers also got JAZZ FM travel cups, food and drink and a wonderful speech from Ross Porter - it's our 10th anniversary this year and we have come a long way, so much so that another major jazz station in L.A. wants to know how we do it...I'm thinking it must be the very fine KJAZ which I listened to while in California.

This means my little blog writings are being read all over on the website...thrilling...hello to all the readers/listeners in South Korea, Japan and throughout Asia.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Finally photos....sent to MMS

IMG_7986.jpgFor some reason my iphone doesn't think I have the right password for gmail...hmmm...anyhoo here is Byung Gul Jung's band at Gate 403 on Tuesday night....and here he is below at the keys....


Thursday, February 17, 2011

True Confessions

Sounds a little pulp/noirish doesn't it ? The subject matter is very squeaky clean though...after watching the Bieber tribute on "Glee" I finally decided to check out Stratford's teen sensation on You Tube as have a gazillion other people..and you know's fun, upbeat and catchy - "Baby" and "Somebody to Love" - it makes people happy ....well tons of girls anyway and doesn't hurt live with it people. What's wrong with being entertaining and uplifting and not trash talking women using the b and "h" words?

Yes, it's "bubblegum"....gosh remember that term? Flashback to Donnie Osmond and David Cassidy pour moi...and hey, in the case the teen idol is CANADIAN!

Speaking of "noir" another enlightening lecture and film at the Revue - I caught "The Wrong Man" with Henry Fonda - playing a bassist at the stork club - so there is your jazz content. I love discovering films I have never heard about as well - "The Woman in the Window" with Edward G. Robinson for one. Next up on lecture 3 - "Femme Fatale" and screenings that week (March 22nd) of "The Grifters" - one of my faves...particularly because it has the dreamy John Cusack in it and a deadly Angelica Houston...

Musically - Sophia Perlman is at the Home Smith Bar tomorrow night and the CJQ is having a CD release at Quotes - they are doing a Live to Air on Jazz FM this evening. If you're in the mood for tasty brunch and tasty vocals - check out Ori Dagan from noon - 3 at Gate 403 and later in the day...Max Sennitt y Sus Amigos at 9 p.m. on Saturday...I will likely be enjoying something cool at Azure around 5:30 tomorrow...

Volunteer party at the station on Sunday afternoon - Pat Murray and her trio are at Ten Feet Tall on the Danforth from 3:30 on. The Humber "kids" are at the Rex Sunday night - some of this year's "Jazzology" victims will be on the bandstand as the "Dave Holland Project"  - Eli Bennett, Derek Gray, Julian Nalli among the talented musicians. The following night - the 9:30 show is Kelsey Grant's Trombone Extravaganza.

I caught Byung Gul Jung's band at Gate 403 before the lecture at the Revue on Tuesday - took some photos with my iphone but not able to send for some to follow....

Saturday, February 12, 2011


To change up the routine last night, and on the recommendation of volunteer receptionist extraordinaire of Jazz FM 91, Ron I decided to check out this venue in Kensington market - one of my regular haunts/supermarket.

I felt confident as I trust Ron's advice - and he was right - the food was good, healthy portions (enough for leftovers) and a number of veg options including a Kashmiri rice studded with dried fruit and cashews, an okra and potato curry and nummy channa masala. There were also a number of local brews on offer - I opted for the Mill Street Stout - a sound winter beer for a chilly night.

The entertainment was fulfilling as well - the Jim Heinman trio - standards such as "Round Midnight", "St. Thomas" , "All Blues"  and forays into R and B with some Ray Charles and Bill Withers.


I'm listening to Haile Loren again - right now a lively take on "Blue Skies" - it's from her album - They Oughta Write a Song - the title track is great - especially apropos for this heart themed holiday time. Check out her delicious rendition of Peggy Lee's "Fever" and "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" - that's one I had my eye on for vocal workshop.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My Funny, poignant Valentine

It's that time of year beloved by chocolatiers, florists, greeting card companies, restaurants and lingerie purveyors here is a little musical interlude courtesy of a talented young trumpet player and vocalist...

I consider Chet Baker the definitive interpreter of this classic tune. He has that heart wrenching, wistful yearning quality that makes the song so sweet but sad. Especially when you get to know his history - see the handsome young man here with his matinee idol looks and a very bright future before him. Part of the "Cool Jazz" scene of the West Coast in the 1950's it wouldn't be long before his heroin addiction took it's toll - not only on his good looks but his playing ability - losing his front teeth in a fight in the 1960s.

Deep in a Dream: The Long Night of Chet BakerI got an opportunity to hear Chet not long before his tragically short life in the 1980s in Edmonton. In one of Marc Vasey's brilliant moves he was booked into a brunch - I believe in a restaurant in the Citadel theatre with local players including Bob Stroup, a local trombone legend. Chet needed the use of a methadone clinic - but I remember being mesmerized by his performance and not realizing the importance of his slight, gaunt figure...incredible.

I suggest checking out the Bruce Weber documentary "Let's Get Lost" or a bio I read recently - James Gavin's "Deep in a Dream" .

I am working on a song that I think he did a lovely version of as well "I Get Along Without You Very Well" - by the great Hoagy Carmichael - it once again proves you don't need the screechy pyrotechnics to deliver the emotions of a song.

Before I leave you with this - I might mention another talented young male vocalist named Ori Dagan has a gig at Gate 403 tomorrow from noon - 3 p.m. and is performing at a special vocal extravaganza - GNO All Star Vocal Showcase III  - from 6 - 9 at Chalkers Pub - featuring the likes of Bonnie Brett, Sophia Perlman, Jen Sagar, Beverly Taft, Fern Lindzon - did I mention it was also a fundraiser? Now that's true love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Yes, I have finally succumbed to the siren call of Apple - upgraded to an iphone as my cell - have to restrain myself from downloading apps and far I have add Jazz FM of course..:) I have tried out the camera function too - which will be convenient for snapping photos when I'm out on the town.

I am listening to Halie Loren's cd "After Dark" - which I would highly recommend for Valentine's Day - some soft candlelight, a nice wine, great veg meal and beautiful blossoms - oh and great quality chocolate - magnifique. She covers such tunes as "Ode to Billy Joe" - read as a blues and "Give Me One Reason" - Tracy Chapman as well as some lovely Jobim on

Musically - Lee Konitz is in town at the Glenn Gould on Friday - maybe he will show up at Azure to sit in with Dan and the guys (plug alert), over at Humber it's the rescheduled Latin Jazz Night - always fun, the Heavyweights are the Painted Lady on Ossington tonight.
If you're out Guelph way - my friend Brenda Lewis will be warbling at the Red Papaya.

Saw "The Secret Garden" this week which was enchanting and one of my favourite books as a child. The lead actress playing Mary Lennox, Sophie Kavanaugh is outstanding with a talented supporting cast.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In defense of "Glee"

It seems there is a major hate-on going around these days in the media for "Glee"..the old oh, used to be good and fresh but now is cheesy vein, jumped the shark, long in the fill in the stock phrase. Call me crazy but it seems to stem a lot from male writers.....coincidence? I think not. Why is it always okay to like something but when everyone else does, well then it's selling out!?

Well people it does involve bursting out into song at every opportunity - so duh, not naturalistic or realistic if you want to go there...but so what? I keep watching - because the cast is talented and works very, very hard to make it all seem seamless and effortless. I always find myself cheered, uplifted and singing along at points. Plus, looking up tunes I'm not familiar with...hey, they even slipped in "My Funny Valentine" this week.

It deals with themes like homophobia, bullying, racism, disability, love and relationships and the general hell that is the high school clique.

So if I am a hopeless loser "gleek" - just as I am a left wing artsy bike riding pinko - that is your problem and not mine. It makes me happy and that's all she wrote.

Photo courtesy of Fox.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Juno Jazz nominees

Yeah, yeah, Justin Bieber...blah blah....but what's exciting to me is the list of Juno nominees - people I have actually seen and heard up close and personal and whose change in hairstyle or dating habits are not breathlessly covered by world media. But, hey maybe I could start something.....

Included on the list are Emilie Claire Barlow and the wonderful Kellylee Evans for her Nina Simone tribute - soooo looking forward to her S of T concert, and the dear departed Jeff Healey.

In the instrumental realm - Adrean Farrugia, Kelly Jefferson and woo hoo! John McLeod's Rex Hotel Orchestra's debut - "Our First Set" and in a surprise - Owen Howard's - "Drum Lore" - Owen is a former Edmontonian, now Brooklyn resident
 who I had the privilege of hearing when he was a teenager!

Congratulations to all!

Snow is wreaking a bit of havoc with events here - the Humber Latin Jazz night is rescheduled to February 11th - that's a Friday, no GNO - yes no GNO at Chalkers. I'm still toying with going out to hear Madeline Forster at the Rex - 9:30 show.

Upcoming - the 5th  annual Brenda Carol Renaissance Jazz Fair - this Saturday at Remarks Bar and Grill - 1026 Coxwell Avenue - featuring the talents of Brenda herself as vocalist, Rob Christian, Larra Skye, Pat Murray and a cast of dozens. It's family friendly of course - doors at 7:30 and action starts around 8 p.m.
$20.00 in advance.

For more info: or or call 416 467 7959.

Friday night at Dominion on Queen - are you pining for a warm vacation, or are you just wanting some comic relief and great music to forget the winter? Check out vocalist Ilana Waldston's "Let's Get Away from It All" - and her "Jazz and Laughs" band - love the photo! Sorry, stole this from Facebook. The cabaret portion of the evening starts at 8 sharp with jazz sets to follow to around 11 p.m. Looking forward to it - she is always delightful.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Un A bashed

Thanks to eagle eye reader David A for correcting my profile - all this time it read that I am an "unbashed" worshipper - what does that mean I wonder? Not broken? Usually I am a stickler myself for  such errors....but now I wonder how closely were all the rest of you reading that you didn't notice? Hee hee.

Today a big snowstorm is predicted - we shall the meantime I made some orange, chocolate chip and coconut muffins with a smattering of chopped hazelnuts. I am also still waffling - to use a lame cooking reference on getting an iphone as my next cell - I could check my email and listen to music...hmmm...

While hunkered down indoors during these grey winter days I have been devouring a series of mysteries, set in the 1940's - featuring an actress named Rosie Winter, by Kathryn Miller Haines. Consequently, I am looking for ways to use "swell" and "jake" - meaning okay, as in "I'm feeling jake"...maybe we should go for a cup of joe or I need to rest my "pins" after wearing these new shoes - my "dogs" are barking...

I love that period - particularly the fashions. They are great reads for immersing yourself in that era.