7 years ago

Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Festival
  • Arts
  • Symphony
  • Quartet
  • Choir
  • Theatre
  • Musical
  • Bach
INSIDE: The Canaries Are Here! 116 choirs to choose from, so take the plunge! The Nylons hit the road after one last SING! Fling. Jazz writer Steve Wallace wonders "Watts Goode" rather than "what's new?" Paul Ennis has the musical picks of the HotDocs crop. David Jaeger's CBC Radio continues golden for a little while yet. Douglas McNabney is Music's Child. Leipzig meets Damascus in Alison Mackay's fertile imagination. And "C" is for KRONOS in Wende Bartley's koverage of the third annual 21C Festival. All this and as usual much much more. Enjoy.


MAX TELZEROW Beat by Beat | Mainly Clubs, Mostly Jazz! Just One Of Those Things BOB BEN It’s just my luck, isn’t it? It’s just my luck that two weeks after I plug Organic’s weekly engagement at Joe Mama’s in The WholeNote, that that gig shuts down permanently. I don’t know yet what will happen on future Sundays at Joe Mama’s. But hopefully they stick with the theme of high-level musicianship and unmistakable chemistry. The final Organic session on April 17 was fuller than I’ve seen it in a long time, and I think there’s a lot of irony in that. I think it very loudly says a lot John Alcorn about our responsibility as lovers of live music. But if it wasn’t loud enough, I’ll say it louder: if we, lovers of live music, don’t go out and support the bands we claim to love, then who will? Casual listeners with fat wallets? Fat chance! Jazz concerts are tragically sparsely attended and the only remedy for that is for us to attend. And I say “us” very deliberately here; I am not innocent in this. I do not attend every show I can, not even all the ones about which I loudly rave. And I don’t always have a good excuse. I know all the good excuses though. I know that life gets in the way, and sometimes it seems like bus fare two ways plus cover charge plus one drink is breaking the bank. I get it. I’m not trying to sit on a high horse, to lecture you, the reader, or to make it sound like not attending concerts is some egregious sin, or to imply that we are personally responsible for every gig that stops (no gig lasts forever, obviously). All I’m trying to say is that if we want to support live music, we should stop taking it for granted and go support live music. We all should. 120 Diner 120 Church St. 416-792-7725 (full schedule) May 1 6pm Alyson McNamara; 8pm Peter Campbell Sings Shirley Horn. May 3 6pm Miray; 8pm Lazersuzan; 10pm Weatherstone. May 5 6pm Mandy Lagan; 8:30pm Lilly Mason; 10:30pm Robert Scott. May 6 6pm Faith Amour & Friends. May 7 6pm SING! Festival: Duly Noted; 8:30pm SING! Festival: Hampton Avenue; 10pm SING! Afterparty. May 8 6pm SING! Festival: 4SKÖR; 8pm SING! Festival: Beatsync. May 10 8pm Arlene Paculan; 10pm Cityscape. May 12 6pm The Owls; 9pm Wonderfest. May 13 6pm Adrean Farrugia. May 14 6pm Linda Carone. May 15 6pm Chris Hercules; 8pm The Ault Sisters. May 17 6pm Michelle Lecce; 10pm Carlie Howell and the Deharms. May 19 6pm Janet Whiteway. May 20 8pm Kevin Quain. May 21 6pm Ben & Brynne . May 22 6pm Joel Sheridan; 8pm Caroline Martin-Rowe. May 24 6pm Christine Gaidies; 8pm Emily Rockarts; 10pm The Koopa Troop. May 26 6pm Natasha Roldan. May 27 6pm Kevin Barrett + One. May 28 6pm Denise Leslie Sings Ray Charles; 8:30pm Emma Cava. May 29 6pm Liane Fainsinger; 8:30pm Jeni Walls. May 31 6pm Tova Kardonne; 8pm iSpy; 10pm Aijia Waithe. D. In the Clubs (Mostly Jazz) Alleycatz 2409 Yonge St. 416-481-6865 All shows: 9pm unless otherwise indicated. Call for cover charge info. May 5 Von. May 6 Jamesking. May 7, 21 Soular. May 12, 26 Solo & Duets Concert Series. May 13, 14, 27, 28 Lady Kane. May 19 Carlos Morgan & The Flow. May 20 Taxi. Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne St., Hamilton. 905-543-8512 (full schedule) May 11 8pm Kite Trio: Eric Couture (guitar), Eric Dew (drums), Paul Van Dyk (bass) . May 12 8pm Jazz vocal jam with Sue Ramsay Trio PWYC ( suggested). May 13 8pm The Aubrey Wilson (voice) Quartet with Chris Bruder (piano), Tom Altobelli (bass), Sean Bruce Parker (drums) . May 21 8pm Hans Luchs Trio. Let’s make it a new season’s resolution. With that in mind, Justin Bacchus’ weekly engagement is still happening at The Rex for the foreseeable future, and for each Saturday in May the explosive and virtuosic R&B outfit will be joined by the marvellous Stu Harrison. I’ve only heard Stu Harrison three times – once when he sat in for one song at a Sophia Perlman gig, and twice when he subbed in the house band at Lisa Particelli’s Girls’ Night Out. He does not gig or record much, which is baffling to me – though he probably is awfully busy with his work for Merriam Music. When I heard he’d be at The Rex weekly in May, I made my plans immediately. Let’s hope I don’t break them, and let’s hope the whole city gets out to this gig – or some other gig, any gig! – at least once a week this month. Alex Samaras was introduced to me in the summer of 2012 by a friend who hails from the States and was acquainted with Samaras through their mutual association with a music camp in upstate New York. Samaras, too, was previously written about in The WholeNote, by Ori Dagan, and by myself this past autumn, when I plugged his gig with Bobby Hsu’s A Sondheim Jazz Project, which you can read about in the September issue. Samaras has a voice of clarity, precision, finesse, power and control. He clearly knows a lot about his instrument. It shouldn’t be a surprise, therefore, that he’s also an educator, who teaches voice at the University of Toronto. You can sample A Sondheim Jazz Project’s album, City of Strangers, on YouTube, and you can buy it on iTunes. I have only sampled it (I prefer to buy albums from artists in person), but I can already confidently recommend it. I was only introduced to John Alcorn’s voice recently: this winter. I had asked Mark Eisenman about recordings he had played on aside from his coffee-themed albums recorded with Chase Sanborne (which are also wonderful), and he told me about Flying Without Wings, an album which was reviewed in The WholeNote by Lesley Mitchell- Clarke earlier this year – so I won’t go on about it for too long. The singer and trumpeter on the album are, respectively, Alcorn and Bloom 2315 Bloor St. W. 416-767-1315 All shows: 19+. Call for reservations. May 8 7pm Amanda Martinez (voice) with Kevin Laliberte (guitar) (dinner included). May 26 7pm Alana Bridgewater Trio (dinner included). Blue Goose Tavern, The 1 Blue Goose St. 416-255-2442 Every Sun 4pm Blues At the Goose with the Big Groove Rhythm Section and special guests. Burdock 1184 Bloor St. W. 416-546-4033 (full schedule) Castro’s Lounge 2116e Queen St. E. 416-699-8272 (full schedule) All shows: No cover/PWYC C’est What 67 Front St. E. (416) 867-9499 (full schedule) May 7, 21 3pm The Hot Five Jazzmakers. May 8 The Wintergarden Orchestra. May 14, 28 3pm The Boxcar Boys. De Sotos 1079 St. Clair Ave. W. 416-651-2109 (full schedule) Every Sun 11am Sunday Live Jazz Brunch No cover. Emmet Ray, The 924 College St. 416-792-4497 (full schedule) All shows: No cover/PWYC May 15 6pm Jake Hannon Quartet PWYC. Fat City Blues 890 College St. 647-345-8282 Every Sun 8:30pm Fraser/Melvin Band. Every Thurs 8:30pm The Mercenaries. May 6 9:30pm Paul Reddick . 54 | May 1, 2016 - June 7, 2016

Warren Vache. Eisenman had, and I say this affectionately, pestered me about these two musicians before. Each time they’ve had gigs in Toronto in recent years, Eisenman had told me to go, and I had failed to every time. After hearing the album, I will not make that mistake again. One of my favourite moments on the album comes on the first track, Just One of Those Things, on the final chorus, when Vache and Eisenman are sort of trading response lines in the cracks between Alcorn’s phrases, and Alcorn opens one phrase with a second – literally, one second – of what sounds like the beginning of a scat solo, before diving back into the words. It sounds so spontaneous and unhinged. There is such palpable excitement on the part of all the players, particularly the three responsible for the quasi-counterpoint of the moment. This seems like a small thing, but something else I really respect about the album is the fact that songs with verses are done with the verse. Songs with beautiful verses which supply the rest of the song with extra clarity, or just emphasis – such as Autumn in New York, A Sleepin’ Bee, and But Not For Me, the latter of which is on Flying Without Wings – are too often performed with the verses omitted. Such recordings are valid and often great, of course, but the kind of fidelity to the song as it was originally conceived, shown by Alcorn, commands a lot of respect, especially when executed, as it is here, with such passion and faculty. I was thrilled to come across Alcorn and Samaras listed together for the evening of May 22 at Jazz Bistro. They will be accompanied by Mike Downes on bass and Dave Restivo on the Bistro’s Red Pops Steinway piano. This will be the third time the illustrious quartet has appeared together in Toronto, but it will be a first for me. It’ll be a lot of firsts for me, actually. It’ll be the first time I see this particular quartet. It’ll be the first time I see John Alcorn live. If they’re selling CDs, it’ll be the first time I buy an album featuring Alex Samaras. I’m going to, as I always do when I go to shows at Jazz Bistro, call for reservations the day of the concert, and I’m hoping they’ll tell me the place is almost full and my choice of seating is limited. Can this city collectively make that happen? I’m tired of empty jazz clubs. Let’s make ours unbearably crowded. Happy spring, Toronto. See you in one club, or another. Or both. Or more. Bob Ben is The WholeNote’s jazz listings editor. He can be reached at D. In the Clubs (Mostly Jazz) Gate 403 403 Roncesvalles Ave. 416-588-2930 All shows: PWYC. May 1 5pm Grateful Sunday feat. Trevor Cape & The Field. May 2 5pm Mike and Jill Daley Jazz Duo. May 3 9pm Jazz Forge. May 4 9pm Julian Fauth Blues Night. May 5 5pm Bruce Chapman Blues Duo with feature guests; 9pm Darcy Windover Band. May 7 5pm Bill Heffernan and His Friends; 9pm Melissa Boyce Jazz & Blues Band. May 8 5pm Hello Darlings. May 9 9pm Chris Staig Trio. May 11 5pm Michelle Rumball with friend; 9pm Julian Fauth Blues Night. May 12 9pm Kevin Laliberté Jazz & Flamenco Trio. May 14 5pm Bill Heffernan and His Friends; 9pm Julian Fauth Blues Quartet. May 15 5pm Rob Thaller & Joanna Reynolds Jazz Duo. May 17 5pm Sarah Kennedy and Matt Pines Jazz Duo. May 18 5pm Rick Maltese: Rick’s Three in One; 9pm Julian Fauth Blues Night. May 19 5pm Concord Jazz Quintet. May 20 9pm Tiffany Hanus Jazz Band. May 21 5pm Bill Heffernan and His Friends; 9pm Sweet Derrick Blues Band. May 24 9pm Kalya Ramu Jazz Band. May 25 9pm Julian Fauth Blues Night. May 27 9pm Fraser Melvin Blues Band. May 28 5pm Bill Heffernan and His Friends; 9pm Donné Roberts Band. May 29 5pm Six Points Jazz Orchestra. May 30 5pm Mark Rainey Jazz Band. Grossman’s Tavern 379 Spadina Ave. 416-977-7000 (full schedule) All shows: No cover (unless otherwise noted). Every Sat The Happy Pals Dixieland jazz jam. Every Sun 10pm The National Blues Jam with Brian Cober. Harlem Restaurant 67 Richmond St. E. 416-368-1920 (full schedule) All shows: 7:30-11pm (unless otherwise noted). Call for cover charge info. May 6 The Sean Stanley Trio & Sokhna-Dior. May 7 Gyles. May 13 Simone Morris & Mike Freedman Jazz Duo. May 14 Jazzbiscuit. May 20 Lisa Michelle. May 21 Madette. May 27 Jennie Laws. May 28 Kristen Fung. May 1, 2016 - June 7, 2016 | 55

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