Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Humber Studio Jazz Ensemble with strings....

IMG_4285.jpgI do love going to the free noon hour concerts at the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre - especially when there is jazz!

Under the very capable direction of Denny Christianson this was a great way to spend an overcast Tuesday lunch hour. How lovely to have the addition of strings to the group - especially since I spied one of our upcoming "Jazzology" guests - Aline Homzy on lead violin - she did a splendid job on the intro to Denny's arrangement of that Miles Davis classic "All Blues" - a highly charged, grooving start to the program. Also featured on that were guitarist Sam Dickinson (who I remembered from the Humber Community Outreach program) and saxophonist Andrew Greenwood.

In fact, I saw a few familiar names from my scheduling on the performer's list - one Kyle Woodard who had a sax solo on Gord Sheard's "Seven Doors" - of course with a Brazilian influence and with Gord conducting and I spied Soren Nissen on bass and PJ Anderson in the trombone section....The arrangements "Angel Eyes" and "Lush Life" featured the sinfully rich vocals of Lydia Persaud and special appearance by Shirantha Beddage on tenor - normally I hear him on baritone as do most people - but Denny related that he not only doubles but triples and quadruples....including piano. Mr. Beddage was exquisite on "My Foolish Heart". And of course it does my heart good as always to hear the "kids".

Coming up this week - a dilemma - to go and hear the lovely Maureen Kennedy at the Home Smith Bar on Friday or Ben Dietschi et al at the Miles Nadal Centre on Bloor and Spadina - he will be there with the Spectrum String Quartet, Patrick Reid, Colin Power, David Occhipinti and Andrew Downing.

Tomorrow night - Mary McKay is at the Reservoir from 7 p.m. and on Thursday Norman Marshall Villeneuve has a trio at Cool Runnings - which is at 2708 Danforth Avenue.

I have heard rumours of another jazz venue opening....the Savoy? I'll keep you posted.
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