8 years ago

Volume 10 Issue 2 - October 2004

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • October
  • Choir
  • Concerts
  • Musical
  • November
  • Orchestra
  • Theatre
  • Jazz
  • Choral


JAZZ NOTES by Jim Galloway The Soundies of Music We are in an era where music videos make up a significant part of the music environment. This is particularly true of the pop music scene. I remember a radio programme recently on which a young pop musician discussing his new CD at one point said - "You really have to see the video to appreciate the music." Pretty strange, I thought: music that can't stand on its own. Later I realised that, in fact, some music videos I have seen and heard looked a lot more creative than they sounded' So it's big business this, the vast majority of it for pop artists, but with an increasing number of jazz and classical videos also turning up. A new concept? Hardly! Let's go back to the 1890s because that's when a man named George Thomas came up with an innovative plan for emertaining an audience. His idea was LO combine music with projected photographic images. These illustrated songs, ancestors of today's video were a nationwide craze by 1900. It all began with a song called .. The Little Lost Child." The photographic images of people acting out the story of the song were printed on glass lide , and coloured by hand. In the theatre, the slides were projected on a screen as musicians played and ang the song. Things gm olT to a bad, in fact one might say, disastrous start for Mr. Thomas when he inadvertently projected one of the images upside down. The somewhat less than sympathetic audience fell about jeering and laughing. But it was only a temporary setback and by the second performance he had everything under control. This time the audience loved it. "The Little Lost Child" did the equivalent of today's going gold - and a new entertainment industry was born. At the height of this new-fangled, hugely successful enterprise, there were around 10,000 small theatres across the continent presenting illustrated songs. It was a gold mine. Nowadays, record companies use music videos to sell CDs. In the early I 900s, there was no recording industry as we know it today but lots of people played musical instruments; gathering round the piano in the parlour was typical home entertainment. Sheet music sold like albums do today and illustrated song performances helped music publishers to sell sheet music to these living-room musicians. . To boost sales, publishers rented or gave song slides to theatre owners so they could put on illustrated song shows, knowing that people who left the theatre singing a tune would probably buy the sheet music. And it worked. Sheet music of songs like "The Little Lost Child" sold by the1ruckload. Between 1890 and 19I4 literally millions of glass song slides were produced. Large studios were created giving employment to models who posed for the photos and artists who coloured the slides by hand. You might even say that song slide makers created the first "special effects" when they sometimes sandwiched two or more slides together to create the illusion of say, a couple floating on a cloud. Initially, illustrated songs were popular in vaudeville theatres, and as movies became popular, song slides showed up at the movies where the beautifully coloured song slides thrilled audiences. The boom lasted until about I914. Movies were more exciting and the phonograph industry took hold, allowing people to listen to hit songs of the day at home whenever they wanted. The illustrated song was a thing of the past but Mr. Thomas could have had no idea what he had set in motion. ST. PHILIP'S ANGLICAN CHURCH d-niz.iz. ""'Vespers Roselyn Brown and Friends Flute and Sax Jazz Standards and Smooth Jazz Tunes Sunday October 24, 2004 at 4:00 pm 25 St. Phillips Road, Etobicoke (Dixon"Road at Royal York) 416-247-5181 An offering will be received in support of the Church and the Musicians Sponsored by: JSL Musical Productions We jump forward to 1940 for the next fascinating development in the story ... SOUNDIES. These are the real, and reel, precursor to music videos. Soundies were a brand new form of entertainment conceived in early 1940, born in January I 941. They were produced from 1940 until mid-1947 and were made to be seen on self-contained, coin-operated, 16mm rear projection machines called Panorams. Soundies were three minute black and white films with an optical soundtrack and situated in bars, diners, nightclubs, roadhouses and other public places throughout the States and Canada. Eight soundies, featuring a variety of musical performances, were generally splicei:I together on a reel which ran in a continuous loop. The Panoram was a complicated device using a system of mirrors and with a screen mounted on top of a stylish cabinet. To achieve the widest possible distribution, soundies touched all the bases in terms of popular musical styles - country and western, hillbilly, Gospel, Latin American, Hawaiian, dance, musical comedy, vaudeville, Irish tenors, ... and lots of jazz and big band swing music. Many African-American performers like Dorothy Dandridge, Louis Armstrong and Stepin Fetchit, who were largely absent from mainstream films except in minor roles, were featured in soundies. One reel of eight Soundies was released each week, with more at holidays and other peak times. To many the term soundies has come to represent any short musical film, regardless of source, from the 1930s, 1940s or 1950s but true soundies were made specifically for showing on panorams and made between 1940 and 194 7. More next month on this topic! The wealth of material that was produced gives us a unique opportunity to see and hear the music from that era. See and Hear - Live! This month's comprehensive listings tell us that it is another busy month. Some of the events that caught my eye include the Toronto Progressive Jazz Series which will present the Dave Holland Quintet featuring pianist Jason Moran at theWeston Recital Hall in North York Oct 1 at 8pm.Then, Oct 27 the series continues with pianist Brad Mehldau at the Glenn Gould Studio and rounds out the month Oct 30 at The Opera House on Queen St. East with Charlie Hunter, guitar, drummer Bobby Previte and DJ Logic . Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards will stomp dff with some classic jazz aiso Oct 27 at Markham Theatre for Performing Arts. Oct 22 at the Glenn Gould Studio, the Hugh Fraser Quintet with Fraser on trombone & piano, Campbell Ryga, soprano & alto sax, Ross Taggart, tenor sax & piano, Ken Lister, bass and Dave Robbins, drums will bring a taste of music from Vancouver. The second monthly big band night at The Old Mill Friday Oct 29 features the Eddie Graf Orchestra reviving memories of the swing era. Last, but not least, Oct 4 at 8pm WholeNote Magazine presents the first of Nine monthly Monday Concerts, this one titled Music by Threes, at the Music Gallery : The evening will feature Robert Aitken, flute; David Hetherington, cello; David Swan, piano and yours truly, with Reg Schwager and Rosemary Galloway. If you don't attend, your tv will self-destruct. Happy listening! In the Jazz Listings ... p 48 Toronto is full of first-class, home-grown musicians; it is also a destination for performers from across the country, as well as around the world. October sees many of these out of town artists coming into Toronto to perform not only in the concert halls, but the clubs. This month, The Rex will be hosting Denmark's Kluver's Big Band (Oct 9), and Germany's Gary Hoopengardner (Oct 14), Lula Lounge presents the UK's Sarah Jane Morris (October 1·9, 20, 21), and Top O' The Senator will be featuring one-night with Branford Marsalis, as a part of the Toronto Progressive Jazz Series (for more info, see the concert quick picks). What is the home-town crowd up .to this month? Perhaps most notably, is the annual "Jazz for Herbie" Benefit Concert being held this year at The Rex (Oct 30). Hosted by Ron Davis and Leah State, 31 bands will perform "Songs My Mother Taught Me", to raise funds for the Hospital for Sick Children. For tickets or information, call 416-406-3566. It's all in the listings, page 48 and 49. See you there! Sophia Perlman WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM OCTOBER 1 - NOVEMBER 7 2004

BAND STAND by Merlin Williams Thompson-Fonseka and tenor Ni­ First off this month, rwo updates to the Band Roll Call from last month's WholeNote. If you missed the feawre i11 the magazine Whitby rass Band Conductor: Roland Hill Contact: Phil Crossley or Ian Redfearn 905-666-2049 Rehearsals: Thursdays 8-lOpm at the Centennial Bldg, 416 Centre St. N, Whitby Instruments needed: all brass band Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra Aftistic Director: Colin Clarke Contact: Adrienne Pluim 416-712-6582 tywomanager@tywo. ca Website: www.tywo. ca Rehearsals: Su·ndays - please call/email for audition info The University of Toronto Wind Ensemble is starting off its season Oct. 14 with a bang. Conductor Agm:s Grossman will lead the group in a programme including in transcriptions of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks, as well as Dvorak's Serenade for Winds. The Weston Silver Band is presenting Brass Night at the Proms with guet soprano Lesley Andrew on Oct. 23. The concert is under the baton of Larry Shields, at Central United Church in Weston. The Etobicoke Community Concer Band is presenting a concert entitled "Pizza Music". The programme features famous choruses and arias from Italian opera. Guest vocalists are soprano Caroleve ha! Fonseka. John Edward Liddle directs the band at the Etobicoke Cl auditorium on Oct. 29. The Toronto Youth Wind Orches­ "tra under artistic director Colin Clarke kick off their season on Oct. 29 with special guests the True North Brass at George Weston Recital Hall, 5040 Yonge St. Either of these groups on their own is a must-see, so in combinati"on . . . ! The City of Brampton Concert Band is presenting "Bram Smith - A Musical Tribute" on Oct. 23 at St. Paul's United Church in Brampton. Featured soloist will be trumpeter William Bramwell Smith Ill, son of the renowned cornet soloist and conductor, the late Bram Smith. Smith is currently featured with the U.S. Army Blues Big Band, and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, a unit which his father founded. The concert will feature some of Bram 's favourite solo features and concert band works. The Canadian Band Association is presenting its Festival of.Bands at Crescent School on Bayview Ave. on Sunday, Oct. 17. The day will feature big bands and concert bands from as far away as Windsor. Performances start at lOa.m. and wind up around 8p.m. Tickets are $10, seniors and students . Call 4 I 6- 244-3745 for more info. Wpodwi11d doubler Merlin Williams is an Artist/Clinician for Jupiter Music Canada. If you would like an 11pcoming band evem to be featured in the Bandstand column, contact Merlin by e-mail, or phone 416-803-0275. You can also find him on the web at http:// £HRISTMAS - --Jfl - - ____ !J )> .. .. n " m c " m "' 0 ..,, 0 c Conductor & Artistic Director: N.Jel Edison NORTH YORK TEMPLE BAND OF THE SALVATION ARMY Bandmaster Glenn Barlow FANFARE TRUMPETERS OF THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S 6 HORSEGUARDS REGIMENT 0 0 FRIDAY OCTOBER 8, 2004 7:30PM YORKMINSTER PARK BAPTIST CHURCH z w ci 1585 Yonge Street (Just North of St.Clair Ave) 0 u Tickets: ·00 !::: z

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