8 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 3 - November 2003

  • Text
  • November
  • Toronto
  • Jazz
  • Theatre
  • December
  • Symphony
  • Musical
  • Arts
  • Composer
  • Choir

Then there is the

Then there is the grandfather of all the London jazz clubs - 100 Oxford Street which was a Mecca for traditional jazz during the post WW2 revival - long before many of the readers of this publication were born! It has perhaps seen its glory days, but still soldiers on, although it is 'best to check who's playing before committing. Moving away from Soho, there is the Jazz Cafe in Camden, which, in, spite of its name, doesn't always present jazz. (This is either an indication that the management can't make money on a steady diet of jazz or yet more evidence of how meaningless the word is today.) That said, it is worth noting that two nights before I arrived, the Jazz Cafe featured Phil Woods with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Now, I wish I had seen that! As in Toronto, .after the main clubs featuring largely import artists, there are quite a few jazz venues spread around the suburbs, operating sometimes on a once per week basis ~hich means that you really have to check them out before making the trip - and given the magnitude of London, it can be quite a cross-country expedition, making the distance between, say, The Rex and Gate 403 here in Toronto seem like crossing the street. Quite often your destination will turn out to be that time honoured institution, a British pub - and here is a useful tip. If you go into a typical British pub and sit at Brass - Woodwind - String Instruments - Guitar Buy direct from the Distributor AUTHORIZED DEALER FOR: Armstrong, Artley. Besson, Benge Boosey & Hawkes, Buffet, Conn Getzen, Jupiter, Keil worth, King Ibanez Guitars. Scher! & Ruth St~ing Inst. a table, one of you should go to the bar to place the order; many of these places do not have table service and it is a common sight to see a customer making his or her way ·through the crowd carrying an order of drinks to the table. A few of these outposts of jazz, with, I might add, some quaint names, are Shino's, Trafalgar Tavern, Le Quecum Bar, 606 Club, Two Halfs, Vortex, Half Moon Putney and J2K at George IV. You won't find yourself listening to household ·names in jazz if you decide on an evening in ·one of the suburban spots, but you might just find something well worth hearing and you'll certainly pick up on some local colour. Buy a copy of one of the local publications such as Time Out and prepare to be staggered at the huge amount of entertainment available in this amazing, but oh so expen-. sive city. By the way, if anyone is "still" interested, I found a shop in Soho that stocks 700 different single malts! NOTES FROM HOME Some weeks back Toronto lost one of its true pioneers of traditional jazz with the passing of bassist/ bandleader Jim McHarg. Before coming to Canada from his native Glasgow, Jim was an important figure in British "tract" circles. A catalyst, rather than a star player, Jim made things happen, often in ,~HARKNETT Musical Services Ltd. 1'4USIC BOOKS BEST SELECTION OF POPULAR & EDUCATIONAL MUSIC Piano - Guitar - Instrumental · Mid-Town Store 416-423-9494 943 Eglinton Ave. E. (W. of Leslie) (Next door to Robert Lowrey:s Piano Experts) Main Store 905-477-1141 2650 John Street Uust North of Steeles) places where one might have reasonably said it was too much of a long shot and would 'never work. But then Jim never did back away from a challenge. His name was synonymous with one of Britain's leading traditional bands during the "tract boom", the Clyde Valley Stbmpers and Jim also· enjoyed moderate success as a songwriter with a folksy little song called · "Messing About On The River". Like a number of his fellow musicians, Jim made his way to Canada and -chose Toronto as his new home. He immediately set about creating his own "jazz scene" in this town and the relative success of traditional jazz in Toronto from the 60s right through into the 80s was, in no small part, due to Jim McHarg's terrier-like determination. Throughout his career he more than once ruffled the feathers of those who did not share his own unswerving views on jazz, but no one could ever question his sincerity and love of the music. He is probably arguing the toss in that big jazz club in the sky with some other departed muso right now! You will be long and mostly fondly remembered, Jim McHarg. On a brighter note, one of the most attractive little performing. spaces in Toronto is the Heliconian Hall on Yorkville's Hazelton Avenue. It is the oldest building in that area and is a charming and intimate performance space. I did Fern lindzon a concert tµere years ago with a band . that,· if I recall correctly, included Milt Hinton, Marty Grosz and Ralph Sutton. On November 15th the vaulted ceiling will reverberate to sounds of a slightly different nature when "Even Divas Get The Blues" is performed by pianist/singer (and scrabble player extraordinaire!) Fern Lindzon, bassist Laura Cesar, visiting from Switzerland where she now lives, and special guest Kathryn Moses, whom I enjoy as a singer, flautist and . saxophone player. I'm not sure whether she is being one or all of the above on this otcasion. In addition, poet Myna Wallin will be reading some of her own work. Sounds like an interesting evening and if you are interested, you can find out more by calling (416) 225 6977. Check out the listings on page 54 for all the other sounds of jazz in the city. Dave Snider Music Centre . 3225 Yon ge S t. PH (4 I 6) 483- 5825 e Ma i I: s n ide rm us ic@sn i de rm us ic. com www .s n i dc rmus i c .com One of Toronto's Oldest Music Stores ... With The Best Selection of Pop, Jazz & Broadway Sheet Music in the city - For Beginners a11d Professio11als - Come in and browse over 25,000 sheet music publications. have a wide array of Woodwind, Brass, Keyboards, Guitars and Accessories.· Music Lessons offere~ on site.

BAND STAND by Merlin Williams November is shaping up to be who play in a concert band setting an interesting month for me. I'm to gain some knowledge about looking forward to sleeping in on working in the jazz idiom. Alex's at least a couple of weekdays, just sense of humour (\nd encouraging because I'll have the freedom to manner ·makes all of his clinics do so. I've taken an early leave enjoyable. package froin the Toronto District Check out his website at School Board in order to pursue for more info on my musical career. It will also mean Alex's credentials and experience. time to do some more composing Daniel and arranging for concert band and ·Rubinoff small ensembles. I got the bug to write again last February. The Brampton Concert Band was scheduled io play for a civic awards ceremony, and I'd gotten a bit tired of the same old fanfares being used for the presentations. I put my mind to the task and managed to turn out a dozen fully scored fanfares (score and parts) ·in one weekend. I'm determined to see ifl can produce something viable in the way of a work for band. Lord knows I've played enough published material that barely merits the paper it's printed on. (A discussion on this would probably fill an entire Bandstand column!) Long and McQuade again offers their very popular fall clinic series starting on the first Saturday of the month. Jazz saxophonist Alex Dean is presenting a beginning improvisation clinic entitled "I Can't Get Started!" on Saturday, Nov. 1. This is a chance for those of you RECORDS LIMITED returns on November 15 to present his c 1 in i c, · "The Secrets of Sax." The clinic material will cover the fundamen- Daniel Rubinoff tals of saxophone playing: tone, technique and articulation. This is a must for every concert band saxophonist in the area. This is like getting a free group lesson from one of the top classical saxophone players in Canada. Make sure to bring your horn! On November 22, Don Johnson, master brass player and teacher will be at Long and McQuade's offering .one-on-one coaching to brass pl.ayers seeking help with their embouchure,-tone and technique, as well as signing copie.s of his book: "A Comprehensive Practice Routine for the Aspiring Brass Player." This is a golden opportunity to meet with a man who is widely acknowledged as one of the brass diagnosticians anywhere. For that matter, Don is able to diagnose breathing problems and tone production problems for just ab'out any wind musician. When I was at Humber ·College in the early eighties, Don was able to spot and suggest a remedy for the breathing and phrasing difficulties I was having on clarinet at the time. Thanks Don! There are a number of promising so4nding programs being offered by bands in the · GT A this month. The University of Toronto Wind Ensemble, The York University Wind Symphony and The Hart House Symphonic Band are all offering programs featuring significant band works. Hard-working and dedicated chorus has an immediate opening for a director. All 38 members are goal, oriented and committed to musical excellence. Our management and musical leaders are strong and well qualified. Our rehearsal facility, located in Scarborough, Ontario, is within easy reach of all main highways. If you have the ability to teach, have well developed people skills and fhe desire to push your musical talents to the limit with a group that is anxious to sing and perform barbershop harmony - then. we should talk! For further information or to set up an audition, please contact: Marg Otter Phone: 416-225-9929 E-mail: Make sure you check the complete concert listings and the Further Afield section, as The Burlington .and Hamilton Concert l,l11nds are aiso presenting concerts this month. •· sclxophoni$t Merlin Williams is a private woodwind teacher and an 'Ariist/Clinician for Jupiter Music Canada . .If you would like an upcoming band event to be featured· in the Bandstand column, feel free 'to 'contact Me'rlin by e-mail,; on the web, - merlinwl. And make sure to get listings for December and January to by no later than November 15.

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