8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 8 - May 2009

their jazz, but, great

their jazz, but, great as they were, their earlier work is, for me,much more interesting.If we jump ahead to the 50s the Four Freshmen immediately cometo mind and an album they made in 1952 called “The Four FreshmenAnd Five Trombones” epitomizes the rich harmonic quality oftheir singing. One of the greatest vocal jazz groups of all timeemerged in the late 50s: Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Their firstalbum in 1957, “Sing A Song Of Basie” has incredible vocal re-creationsof solos from classic Basie recordings with lyrics by JonHendricks. Since the ground-breaking work of L H & R there hasbeen a succession of notable vocal groups: Manhattan Transfer,Singers Unlimited, Swingle Singers, Take 6, the Real Group (fromSweden) and New York Voices, to name some of the better known.As a result, vocal jazz groups are very much an integral part oftoday’s scene and have drawn a great number of listeners to the music.Of course, there are also stories of musicians being prejudicedagainst singers, and some jokes that have given rise to this perception,such as:Singer: So, what do you think of my singing?Band leader: It could be worse.Singer: That’s not a very nice thing to say.Band leader: Okay, it couldn’t be worse.Or: How many singers does it take to sing “My Funny Valentine”?Probably all of them.Or, Orson Welles’ critique of Donny Osmond: “He has VanGogh’s ear for music.” And finally, English poet, critic and philosopherSamuel Taylor Coleridge regarding a volunteer singer:Swans sing before they die – ‘twere no bad thingDid certain persons die before they sing.”Anyway, it’s not true, it’s not true. Musicians do like singers, butonly the good ones!Happy listening!MAY THERE ALWAYS BE HOUSE GIGSBy: Ori DaganBEAT BY BEAT: JAZZ IN THE CLUBSRamblin’ Son, thesophomore releaseby blues songwriter,singer, guitarist andpianist Julian Fauthtook home the Junofor Blues Recordingof the Year. Fauth( every TuesdayJulian Fauthnight at Gate 403along with James Thomson on bass, Tim Hamel on trumpet and,recently, guest drummer Paul Brennan. To quote Rambling Son’sliner notes: “I now play 800 times a week, mostly for beer and tips,but I also do a lot of benefits, which don’t include beer and tips.”Please tip generously; this band deserves it.The Old Mill is an upscale, touristy landmark that romanticallydoubles as a picturesque inn and spa. At its intimate Home SmithBar, indulge in lively live jazz every Friday and Saturday 8-11pm fora cover charge. Ron Davis books both instrumental and vocalresident artists. Brand new: a permanent residency for the RussLittle Trio, Thursdays from 7-10pm. A food/drink minimumapplies per person.Vocalist Terra Hazelton releases her anticipated sophomore album,Gimme Whatcha Got, at The Rex, May 30. This magical singer( is perhaps best known for shining with thelate Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards. Today she sings and plays snare inthe wildly entertaining Hogtown Syncopators every Friday from 4-6pm. Hogtown is rounded up by Drew Jureka on violin, alto saxand vocals, Jay Danley on guitar and vocals, Richard Whiteman onpiano and James Thomson on bass.CONTINUES ON PAGE 4018 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COMMAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009PHOTO: ORI DAGAN

BEAT BY BEAT: BANDSTAND & PODIUMby Jack MacQuarrieDistractionsWith the myriad of spring concerts behind most community musicalgroups, it seemed like an opportune time to express some personalopinions which have been festering in my head for some time. Overthe past two weekends, during which I have attended three concertsand one play, and played in one performance, a few pet peeves haveboiled to the surface of my consciousness. This seemed like a goodtime to pontificate on my aversion to the many distractions to whichconcert goers and performers are subjected. Let’s just lump these allunder the heading of distractions.Before mounting my high horse about audience decorum, I feelcompelled to recall two incidents years apart that evoke laughter forme. The first happened many years ago when I attended my firstsymphony concert after my arrival in Toronto. It was at a time whenthere were regular “Prom Concerts” at Varsity Arena. These werepromoted as less formal than the winter concerts at Massey Hall.Unfortunately, the interpretation of the term informality by the twoelderly ladies seated directly behind me, went too far for my liking.Throughout the entire concert I was “treated” to the incessantrhythm of clicking knitting needles.The second incident occurred a couple of years ago, during a solopiano recital of a renowned pianist (Emmanuel Ax, I think it was) atRoy Thomson Hall. A cellular phone in the audience rang out loudand clear. With amazing will power, this artist continued playingwithout so much as a break in the continuity of the music. He turnedto face the audience and calmly stated “If it’s for me, tell them I’mbusy.”I’m tempted to say that I long for the days before cellular phones,I-Pods and digital cameras. I could then reminisce about the dayswhen the major annoyances at concerts were such simple distractionsas talking, contortions restricting one’s view, rustling of programmesand possibly the unwrapping of candy. By now most of usare well acquainted with the standard cautions prior to most performancesasking audience members to turn off their cell phones andrefrain from popping off the flashes of cameras. However, at themost recent Hannaford Band’s recent Festival of Brass I was subjectedto new “silent” distractions. As I savoured the solo performancesof the young competitors, there were within my field of view,half a dozen members of the audience, cell phones in hand, textmessaging. Whether they were exchanging views of the performancewith friends in the audience or staying in touch with others moreremote. I asked one simple question: Why?Two days later, at the concert featuring guest soloist Joe Alessi,the person sitting directly in front of me felt compelled to photographevery nuance of the soloist’s slide movements. Throughoutthe entire solo performance, held up directly in my field of view,was the LCD screen of his digital camera. With modern technology,a flash was not necessary: the rules about flashes were not violated,but I required considerable will power to refrain from taking thecamera from this man.CONTINUES NEXT PAGEPETER MAHONSales Representative416-322-8000pmahon@trebnet.comwww.petermahon.comtoronto all star big bandWithBennyJune 27 - 2 pm @ St. Lawrence CentreCall (416) 366-7723MAY 1 – JUNE 7 2009 WWW.THEWHOLENOTE.COM19

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