7 years ago

Volume 19 Issue 6 - March 2014

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Martin Loomer’s Orange

Martin Loomer’s Orange Devilscontent from the original LPs and issued a seven-album set, no longeravailable, although I have seen a brand-new set offered on Amazon fora mere 0!The artists featured on this box set are Earl Hines, Errol Garner,Ralph Sutton, Jess Stacy, Teddy Wilson, Joe Bushkin, Eddie Heywood,Max Miller – and to all of you fans of British Music Hall, it’s not thatMax Miller! – Buddy Weed .. and Bill Clifton.Clifton was active on the New York club scene into the 60s. Butfashions change and maybe with the exception of emerging artistslike Dave Brubeck, Bill’s style of melodic, accessible jazz was “square.”So work dried up for Bill and lack of funds forced him to take jobson cruise ships, a demoralizing, unfulfilling and depressing experiencefor a musician of his background and ability, playing forpassengers who wanted to hear songs like “ If You Knew Susie”and“The Whiffenpoof Song” or who might say, “Play something likeLawrence Welk.”One night it was all too much. After playing, Bill retired to his cabin,took an overdose of sleeping pills and died, leaving a note asking thathe be buried at sea. The ship authorities honoured his request.Ability and Vulnerability: Bill Clifton’s sad end made me ask myselfthe question – are there more suicides by gifted people? Are highability people more vulnerable? One expert source notes, “Thereseems to be a greatly increased rate of depression, manic-depressiveillness, and suicide in eminent creative people, writers and artistsespecially. The incidence of mental illness among creative artists ishigher than in the population at large.”A 2012 study by Swedish researchers also found that artistic productioncan be used as therapy in helping individuals to cope with psychologicalconditionsFor several centuries, stories of famous painters, writers and musicianswho were depressed and took their lives made people wonder.Only in the last 25 years has scientific evidence demonstrated thatcreative people are more vulnerable to depression and suicide, regardlessof whether or not they become famous.Some high profile jazz artists who took their own lives include:-J. J. Johnson. On February 4, 2001, he committed suicide byshooting himself.Sonny Criss. By 1977, Criss had developed stomach cancer anddid not play again. As a consequence of this painful condition, Crisscommitted suicide (self-inflicted gunshot) in 1977.Susannah McCorkle. A survivor of breast cancer, McCorkle sufferedfor many years from depression and committed suicide at age 55 byleaping off the balcony of her 16th-floor apartment on West 86thStreet in Manhattan.Ben Pollack. In later years, Pollack grew despondent and committedsuicide by hanging in Palm Springs in 1971Frank Rosolino. Rosolino committed suicide after shooting his twosons in 1978.Gallow(ay)’s Humour: So far this has been an atypically seriouspiece, and I feel I have to lighten things up a bit. So here are a fewfamous last words:-“Mozart! Mozart!”Who: Gustav Mahler, according to his wife, Alma.“Die, my dear? Why, that’s the last thing I’ll do!”Who: Groucho Marx“Every damn fool thing you do in this life you pay for.”Who: Edith Piaf“Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”Who: George Bernard Shaw, said on his death bed.And, finally, to round it off, a few epitaphs:In a Ruidoso, New Mexico, cemetery:Here liesJohnny YeastPardon meFor not rising.Fields, W.C.Here lies W.C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia.On a dentist’s grave in Edinburgh, Scotland:Stranger, treadThis ground with gravity:Dentist Brown is fillingHis last cavity.And finally, on the grave of one Jonathan Fiddle,Hartscombe, England:On the 22nd of JuneJonathan FiddleWent out of tuneI wish you happy listening and try to make some of it live – anddon’t go out of tune.Jim Galloway is a saxophonist, band leader and formerartistic director of Toronto Downtown Jazz. He canbe contacted at some of Toronto’s best jazz musicianswith a brief reflection by Jazz Vespers ClergySunday, March 9‘KIND OF BLUE’ TRIBUTE TO MILES DAVISSteve McDade - trumpet ; David Braid - pianoPerry White - saxophone; Scott Alexander - bass; Brian Barlow - drumsSunday, March 23‘A LOVE SUPREME’ TRIBUTE TO JOHN COLTRANEKirk MacDonald, Pat LaBarbera - saxophones; Brian Dickinson - pianoNeil Swainson - bass; Bob McLaren - drumsSunday, April 6 - TBAChrist Church Deer Park, 1570 Yonge St. 416-920-5211(north of St. Clair at Heath St.) Admission is free; donations are welcome.St. Philip’s Anglican Church● Sunday, March 9, 4pm | Dixieland VespersBob DeAngelis Band● Sunday, March 16, 4pm | Jazz VespersHilario Duran Trio● Sunday, March 30, 4pm | Jazz VespersNathan Hiltz QuartetSt. Philip’s Anglican Church | Etobicoke25 St. Phillips Road (near Royal York + Dixon)416-247-5181 • • free will offering20 | March 1 – April 7, 2014

Beat by Beat | Choral SceneGreat Works,Fresh EarsBENJAMIN STEINEver heard a purported “Great Work of Art” and been thoroughlyunderwhelmed? At least one of the well-known compositionsl’ve written about this year – perhaps even in this column– has regularly left me cold, either when performing or listening toit. I won’t say which, because I don’t have any intention of steppingon other musicians’ hard work and dedication. But on occasion I’verecalled Glenn Gould’s remark about one composer’s reputation beingbased entirely on gossip, and wondered if there isn’t something aboutthat in our approach to certain works by certain names.It’s relevant to this column’s exploration of new choral works,which are not to be found overmuch in this month’s listing – the midseasonpart of the year is often when choirs essay the well-knownworks of the choral repertoire, and exploration of new music gets leftfor another time.When hearing a new work, our attitude is often, “Okay, impress me”– or to use a sports phrase, “You got game?”. But when encounteringmasterworks, we expect to be impressed or even overwhelmed, to feela sense of connection to transcendence that we know others beforeus have undoubtedly experienced. Our thought is something like – tocarry the sports analogy back to its schoolyard roots – “Can I play too?Pick me!”.This is not a bad thing, of course – a sense of openness andRant Maggie Rant performs in London, Hamilton, Toronto,Waubaushene, Caledon, Brantford and Stratford from March 7 to 17.receptiveness to music is vital for a satisfying listening experience. Thekey is to carry that sensibility into the realm of the unfamiliar, eventhe uncomfortable. In this season of masterworks there are still waysto do it – attend a concert that features music you have never heardlive, or find a choir in your region that you have not heard perform.Or pick a composer whose works you have never liked, and go to theconcert with that sense of receptiveness you reserve for your favouritemusic alone.Elijah in Guelph: Speaking of masterworks, I am pleased to seethat Guelph is going to be treated to a performance of Mendelssohn’sElijah on March 22, by the Guelph Chamber Choir, Western UniversitySingers and the Musica Viva Orchestra, with Daniel Lichti in the roleof Elijah.Greatly popular in the 19th century, Mendelssohn’s reputationsuffered in the century that followed. His oratorio Elijah has neverBach/Kaiser/HandelSt. Mark Passion (1747)First Canadian performance!Daniel Lichti, JesusLenard Whiting, EvangelistStephanie Kramer, sopranoJennifer Enns Modolo, mezzo sopranoSteve Surian, tenorKirk Lackenbauer, bassKenneth Hull, conductorSpiritus Ensemble ChoirNota Bene Baroque PlayersSt John the Evangelist Anglican ChurchDuke & Water Streets, KitchenerAdults & Seniors / Full-time Students Tickets available at:, Words Worth Books, Music PlusSunday, March 30, 2014, March 1 – April 7, 2014 | 21

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