Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blink and you may have missed it...

I got the opportunity for a few minutes of fame last night while volunteering at the Jazz FM booth at the Jazz Festival - Ross encouraged me to talk about my blog and myself with Brad during his show. It's a good thing it was impromptu - it meant I just went with the flow and didn't have time to analyze. I chatted about my Rochester visit and what i was seeing at the Toronto Fest and why I'm a part of Jazz FM - easy, I love the music, the people, the's family.

I think it went pretty well, actually - managing to sound articulate and not being dead air...hope to do it again sometime - thanks guys!

Did stick it out for Aretha but heard she was great - tonight may try and catch the Average White Band and at the Distillery - a free show from Les Doigts de L'Homme - whom I missed in Rochester..tomorrow Murley's group is on at the "Afterwork" stage at 5:30 and Bernie Senensky's Moe Koffman tribute at noon in the David Pecaut Square - I'm really liking that venue.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tree of Life

Prepare yourself for an incredible visual experience - one of the most stunning movies I've ever seen - each frame is a work of art - even those without Brad Pitt....ha ha. Don't try to work it out or analyze - let it wash over you - it's really about the connectedness of existence if that isn't too grandiose for you - from flashes of the creation of the earth with volcanic activity and emergence of sea life to an exploration of the there is the story of a family in 1950s Texas with Brad as the patriarch..there isn't a lot of dialogue -but you won't miss it - very visceral performances from all the cast - the young boys are a revelation - one of the kids exactly like a young Brad.

I haven't seen Jessica Chastain before - but her ethereal, sensitive presence as the nurturing and protective mom  is astounding, Brad gets the role of the disciplinarian dad - somewhat bitter about dashed dreams.

I think Terence Malick may be an INFP or Type 2 - that's the feeling I get from this very lush, flowing and introspective work. Go see it! I think it's Oscar material for sure.

Getting ready for Jazz Festival

IMG_5709.jpgThis is a photo of Mirko Guerrini's great band at Dora Keogh's on the Danforth last Sunday - small but enthusiastic crowd - they came all the way from Italy! That's Robert Occhipinti on bass of course - I think somewhat responsible for their presence in Toronto - they also had a gig at the Rex on Saturday night - but this venue was much more intimate.

I will be at the Jazz FM booth volunteering tomorrow from 4 - 8 and will see if I can hang in for will be pandemonium.

On Monday I will take in Dee Dee Bridgewater at Koerner and then on Wednesday return for Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo...will fill you in on all the other jazz I will partake in...

In the meantime - adjusting to my shorter hair....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dave McMurdo

So sorry to hear of Dave's passing on Monday June 13th at the age of 67- it's a great loss to the jazz community of an incredible arranger, bandleader, educator and trombonist. The first time I met Dave at Jazz FM,  he couldn't resist the urge to flirt - Larry Green mentioned I was Colin's sister and Dave said - "you're much better looking than he is"...I last saw him at the tribute to Paul Read at  U of T.

One more for that big band in the sky.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back from Rochester

 Yeat another fabulous time in Rochester - the highlights for me were a blistering show from Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, Davell Crawford and Curtis Stigers...I also enjoyed as per usual the Nordic Series - Ensemble Denada for one and John Nugent with Strings - gorgeous...

Also fit in a side trip or two - group road trip to Keuka Lake wineries - particularly enjoyed Dr. Konstantin Frank's and McGregor - my favourite spot vibe and view wise was Barrington Cellars - picked up a peach wine there...also got some chocolate at Hedonist in the Wedge District in Rochester, ate at the lovely and welcoming Oasis Cafe - delish and at Sinbad on Park Avenue. Picked up 3 pairs of earrings - one in Corning, one down at the craft shop at the High Falls and ..yes, more earrings. There may be photos coming up there....also hit a mall and bought 2 dresses at J.C. Penney - must. stop. shopping....

Check out more deets on the Jazz FM I need to get geared up for our own fest. Cool concert on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. for Luminato - Minor Empire and Natacha Atlas our houseguests have a connection there to Minor Empire - love Middle Eastern Music. I may be brave to enough to see if I can squeeze into the David Pecaut Square for k.d. tomorrow - that will be ridiculously crowded as it's free.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Just In - some music, a little compassion

A couple of musical happenings this week - tomorrow many of my favourite people at Tranzac - Dan Jamieson is in town and is joining forces with Ben Dietschi on saxophone, Mark Segger on drums, Todd Pentney on piano, Justin Gray on bass - great band!

Also on Wednesday night Rochester's own, vocalist Madeleine Forster is in town at the Rex for the 9:30 show - I'll be there...

Had a jazzy weekend  starting on Thursday by dropping in to hear Dan, Bernie and Pat at Azure with our friends from the west - Monique and her sister Colette - Monique is coming to Rochester for the festival too!  Checked out the Jive Bombers at the Rex in the early evening Friday - Bob Brough, Alex Dean, Del Dako, Gord Sheard..etc. etc and Chuck Jackson on guest vocals. Then hung out at C'est What on Front for Del Dako's group on Saturday afternoon - after that crazy rainstorm in the morning.

Getting ready for Rochester.

Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't remind you this is Compassion Week as brought to you by the Toronto Vegetarian Assocation - a hang on Thursday with music and art at the Compassion Cafe at T.A.N. cafe on Baldwin with the wonderful Larra Skye  and an opportunity to meet cookbook author and inspiration Colette Patrick Goudreau on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at the Wychwood Barns - that's the Compassion Marketplace - lots of things to eat, purchase, learn about and get

I still need to check out the Hot Beans place in Kensington - they have donuts - mmmmm do-nuts..that's my channelling Homer Simpson....also apparently Sadie's is opening up a satellite location in my favourite shopping area - serving juices and stuff - not the full service, but still!! Kensington is certainly veg central or as I sometimes refer to it the "veg ghetto". :)

I like the artwork a lot for all of TVA's promos these days...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Left Coast

Back from the lovely West Coast - I do think I feel a special affinity for the Pacific - especially since out there it isn't unusual to be able to eat veg - many regular grocery stores even have a good selection of veg and organic products. Something I found to be sadly lacking on the East Coast.

It's so fresh and temperate - everyone was complaining about the long wet winter but sunshine arrived when I was there...did I bring it? LOL. Today in Toronto it's much like the coast temperaturewise and I understand it had been hot recently.

This old tree trunk was one of many that had new trees growing out of them - many many cedars, moss and ferns. To the right a waterfall in Manley Park near the in-laws place at Arbutus Ridge.

A major bonus at this time of the year a gorgeous floral display - rhododendrons in full colour..

This photo was taken at a nearby garden - Glendale I think it was called - stunning rhodo garden a Japanese garden, herb garden...lovely. They even have a cool little cafe on the premises - should have had lunch there...the garden is down the road from where we were staying in Saanich. My sister in law Brenda, our gracious host, is a member and avid gardener.

This funky outer space looking plant is euphorbia...

Another waterfall shot...and the beach below Manley Park above...I don't suppose you can see the zillions of tiny crabs scampering about.....

Aside from enjoying nature we had a great time visiting and also checked out the Lotus Pond Restaurant at the recommendation of Trevor from VIVA (Vancouver Island Vegetarian Association) - they have a yummy lunch buffet complete with dim sum goodies...I noticed there was a Polish restaurant next door offering veg options as well - vegan and gluten free - only in B.C.!

Our Saturday meal to celebrate my inlaws 60th was prepared by Sonja Limberger - former chef at Naam - a Vancouver institutions and it was delicious - a pear salad, an Irish stew over quinoa, and my fave - a wild rice and hazelnut casserole with miso gravy...for dessert? A raw cheesecake with strawberry glaze...mmmm. Her catering service is called Five Elements Cooking and she is working on a cookbook...

We didn't get to visit Greens as apparently they had a fire and were closed...:( Brenda did prepare a wonderful Mushroom Gravy Tempeh from their cookbook.

Had lunch one day with B and G at "The Garage" in Duncan - a yummy wrap and salad - it really is a refurbished garage - that contains a bookstore, grocery and upstairs a live music venue - 7 nights a week.

While downtown on the last day I did some shopping natch - lavendar bath salts (grown on the island) from Salt Spring Soapworks and wonder of wonders stumbled upon the teeny tiny shop of "Smoking Lily" - have two of their t-shirts - a fuchsia and grey with a seahorse screen print that I just loooove. Got a green printed v neck longish tee - so soft - I could wear it as a dress.

We didn't make it to any jazz but noticed Joe Coughlin was at Hermann's Jazz Club...oh time.

Friday night - checking out the Jive Bombers at the Rex - on a recommendation from our visiting friend Monique and then to C'est What on Saturday afternoon to hear Del Dako's group again. Check out the Banknote on Saturday at 10 p.m. for Jim Gelcer's Trio - with Justin Gray and Reg Schwager.

More later...still on B.C. time...and yes, GO CANUCKS! The fever has taken hold of that province let me tell you - even the West Jet staff were sporting the Canuck jerseys.