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Volume 15 Issue 8 - May 2010

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  • Toronto
  • Jazz
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jazz vocalistOri

jazz vocalistOri DaganPERFORMING LIVE IN TORONTOTuesday May 18at The Reservoir Lounge from 7:00-9:00pmFriday May 21at Gate 403 with Alex Bellegarde 5:00-8:00pmFriday May 28at The Home Smith Bar at The Old Mill from 7:30-10:30pmTuesday June 8at The Reservoir Lounge from 7:00-9:00pmTD Canada Trust Jazz FestivalSunday June 27 at Gate 403 from noon-3:00pmOri Dagan’s debut CDavailable in stores and onlinewww.oridagan.comJIM GALLOWAYWe all know who Satin Doll is – but how many of you knowQueenie Pie? They both inhabited the world of Duke Ellington,although one was a lot more successful than the other.Satin Doll, a collaboration with Billy Strayhorn – and indeedthere was some question as to who was the real father – saw the lightof day in 1953; Queenie Pie had a much longer gestation period beginningin the early 60s and was still a work in progress at the timeof Ellington’s death in 1974. (I’ve reviewed a new recording of it inthe DISCoveries section of The WholeNote this month.)Queenie Pie was a musical, originally intended for National EducationalTelevision in the USA, which in 1970 became PBS. Thework was loosely based on the story of C.J. Walker who developedhair-care products and through her efforts and business acumen wasmillionaire.Jazz impresario NormanGranz remembered Ellingtonhaving begun the project in theearly 60s and that Ella Fitzgeraldwas supposed to play Queenie Pie,but PBS support was withdrawnand, necessity no longer havingto be the mother of invention, thework languished to the extent thatwhen the Duke died it was stillincomplete. What material therewas consisted of some lead sheets,lyrics and harmonic progressions.Duke Ellington. adapted from Ellington’s original story, additional lyrics were writtenand a score in the style of Ellington had been arranged.Now, here’s the 64 dollar question: Is it still Ellington? pletedby other musicians – Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10,Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 7 and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’sRequiem are famous examples – but they were certainly partiallycompleted, not simply melodic lines and harmonic suggestions.It has to be understood also that Ellington’s true instrument was hisorchestra and he wrote with his own musicians, especially his soloists,in mind, and was able to experiment with colourings, tonal effectsand the unusual voicings that were his hallmark. And having aworking orchestra enabled him to hear his music being played. It iswell known that in lean years the royalties from his “hits” subsidizedthe band, enabling him to keep using his “instrument.” In a Newsdayinterview in 1969 he said, “The writing and playing of music isto be impressed by accidental music.”It all leaves me just a bit uncomfortable about calling QueeniePie an Ellington work. Any thoughts?in jazz, a fact that is sadly overlooked by many. I’m referring toMary Lou Williams, who was the most important female jazz musi-bearing on the career of Duke Ellington; in 1941 Mary Lou traveledwith and wrote for the Ellington Band for about six months. One ofher arrangements was called Trumpet No End, based on the changesof Blue Skies and it is a prime example of just how well she couldwrite. Duke Ellington said of Mary Lou, “Her music retains, andmaintains, a standard of quality that is timeless. She is like soul onsoul.”22 THEWHOLENOTE.COMMay 1 - June 7, 2010

She was a composer, arrangerand master of blues, boogiewoogie, stride, swing and bebop.She also had to cope witha musical environment in whichwomen instrumentalists werehardly plentiful and womenarranger/composers were asscarce as hen’s teeth.Mary Lou Williams. posedthree complete Masses, one of which, Mary Lou’s Mass, wasperformed right here in Toronto. I was fortunate enough to knowher and privileged to assist in presenting that performance.If your travels should take you to Washington DC, the 15th AnnualWomen in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Centre will celebratethe 100th anniversary of pianist Williams’ birth with three eveningsof concerts featuring top female jazz artists: vocalist Dee DeeBridgewater, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, pianist Geri Allen,bassist Esperanza Spalding and saxophonist Grace Kelly; vocalistCatherine Russell, drummer Sherrie Maricle and the Diva JazzOrchestra.There will also be a celebration in New York on Williams’ birthday,May 8, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier. A very special ladyindeed.Right here in Toronto here are a few things worth the mention.On May 2 there will be a fundraiser at Koerner Hall for the GenevaCentre for Autism featuring Chaka Khan and Matt Savage and hisband. For info call 416-408-0208.On the 8th, St. George’s Memorial Church in Oshawa willpresent Jazz at George’s with vocalist Lynn McDonald, Dave Restivo,piano; Pat Reid, bass and Ted Warren, drums. Call 905-263-2791. On the 25th and 26th of the month at the Enwave Theatre,Harbourfront Centre, the Art of Time Ensemble will present “TheSongbook 4,” featuring vocalist Mary Maragret O’Hara, saxophonistPhil Dwyer, guitarist Rob Piltch and cellist Rachel Mercer. Forreservations call 416-703-5479.The Annual Ken Page Memorial Trust Gala fundraiser will beheld at The Old Mill on May 20. Warren Vaché and brother AllanVache, trombonists George Masso and Laurie Bower, John Sherwood,Neil Swainson, Don Thompson, Reg Schwager, Terry Clarkebe joined by a saxophone player called Galloway. It promises to bea pretty special evening. For reservations please call Anne Page at416-515-0200 or e-mail anne@kenpagememorialtrust.comI hope your May days will be distress-free. Happy listening.Jim Galloway is a saxophonist, band leader and the former artisticdirector of Toronto Downtown Jazz. He can be contacted at:jazz@thewholenote.com.Beat by Beat / BandstandJACK MACQUARRIEThere were a few musical events in my life in recent weeks thatfurnished a couple of topics for my column this month. TheIn last December’s Bandstand column I talked about choirs performingwith concert bands and how that form of joint venture wasvery popular over the Christmas holiday season. At that time we la-ation.Subsequently, I received a few letters on the subject, but littleevidence to contradict what I had written. I still found little evidenceof any conscious effort on the part of bands, choirs, arrangersor composers to rectify that situation. What a pleasant surpriseit was then when, a few weeks ago, I was treated to no fewer thanthree such works on a single programme.The event was a joint concert in lateMarch by the Oriana Singers of Cobourgand the Concert Band of Cobourg.With the assistance of a grant from theTrillium Foundation of Ontario these organizationswere able commission twospecial very diverse arrangements. TheA Ruth LoweCelebration, was a medley of tunesby that Canadian composer, including“I’ll Never Smile Again” and “PutYour Dreams Away.” I’m accustomed tohearing choirs perform with bands, butthere’s always the sense that separategroups are sharing the platform. Rather,in this concert, there was the senseCanadian songwriterRuth Lowe.smooth blend of voice, woodwind and brass rarely heard.Their rendition of Freddy Mercury’s Bohemian Rhapsody wasvery different. It bore no resemblance to the arrangement often performedby concert bands, and certainly did not indicate that itsroots were in a rock band some years ago. The third joint venturewas an original work on a sacred theme. “Benedictus” by StevenM. Baric exploited the unique tonality of these combined forces in away rarely heard.In a future issue I hope to be able to get some insight into theprocess involved with the Trillium Foundation for such purposes. Ialso hope to get information on how other groups might obtain copiesand performance rights for these works, which deserve to beheard more widely.In our concert listings in last month’s issue there was an announcementof a joint venture on May 1 by the Orillia Wind En-May 1 - June 7, 2010 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM 23

Volumes 21-25 (2015-2019)

Volume 25 Issue 4 - December 2019 / January 2020
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Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
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Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

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