6 years ago

Volume 9 Issue 6 - March 2004

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. Jazz profile: Dave

. Jazz profile: Dave Young, bass By Wally Wood "He's the complete bass player, says GeneDiNovi, the complete piano player. · "There are other goodjazz bassists, butputa bow in their hands. and you want to run out of the room!" he added. The 'complete bass player' he is talking about is Dave Young, the Toronto musician whose name, coincidentally but in my view rightly, headed the list of nominees for Canada.'s Bass Player of the Year at the recent National Jazz Awards in Toronto. YQung has had a life of many permutations: as the young man who studied economics and mathematics at the University of Manitoba, the person that stayed the_re to master business administration, the financial analyst in Toronto, the man who studied architectural design at Toronto's Ryerson Poly (now University), the artisan who renovates houses, and the consummate music man, whether it be playing jazz with people like Oscar Peterson or playing classical music with the Toronto Philharmonia. And, at 63, he practises maybe daily, trying to get it right., trying to get it perfect. He has five double basses. And, they all sound different. One of Dave Young's key musical associations is with DiNovi · and James C"ampbell, who teaches clarinet at the. University of Indiana at Bloomington, and directs the annual "Festival of th:e Sound" Summer Music Festiva'l in Pa1ry Sound on Georgian·Bay, The trio prod1c1ces a distillation of 'sweet' music, and has done so in diffe~ent corners of the world: iri Holland and Japan. You can get a .sense of them as a trio on DiNovi's Manhattan Echoe.s (Marquis) which evokes the t-ime and place where Gene DiNovi ~et down his musical roots ., - 52nd Street, late riight, after the crowds thin out and the traffic dies down, and the musicians begin again, this time for themselves, as they unwind after a long night. "Dave is a great colleague," said DiNovi. "When you're on the road, you get to know people. He's not only a professional musician, but between 'sets', he'll tell you how to improve the design of your basement! As a musician, he's played jazz with the greats, 1ike Oscar Peterson, and plays the most avant-garde classical music: he's experienced in both fields." Dave also had his teachers. He says he was playing jazz on a guitar at 16, and switched to the bass at 18, but credits the late teacher and principal bassist of the Toronto Symphony, Tom Monohan, as being a major influence in his development. Dave himself adopted the mantle of teacher, at Toronto's Humber College in the 1980s, and has been teaching music at the University of Toronto for about 10 years, However·, finding that being a musician is not the most lucrative .way to make a living, for maybe 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s he worked with a partner renovating houses: "working all day and playing all night!" He said he enjoyed the two different kinds of work, And, playing music has been one way for him to see the world, Young has taken his music to China, Korea, Japan, the United States, "pretty well all the countries in Europe", and most of the countries in South America, Last year, he was playing in a classical music festival in Holland, and with jazz groups and big band aggregations in Ontario festivals, playing ,with people like Phil Dwyer, Guido Basso, .Peter Appleyard, Ian McDpugall, P.J, Perry, Bernie Senensky and Reg · Schwager. Associations in music are paramount, of course·, but there are added fillips: "Joe Pass was a lot of fun, Oliver Jones was a party, and Joe Williams, the consummate 'pro' , was a great guy, and an honour to work with," Young said. Young got an enthusiastic ovation playing at the conference of the International Association for Jazz Education in Torontp last year. It may be hackneyed, but critics who listen to Young's playing are apt to reach for wo:rds like flawless and distinguished and perfection. His music is a delight to !is ten to. The list of people he has played with is long, but he has recorded with the likes of Oscar Peterson, Cedar Walton, Tommy Flanagan, Ellis Marsalis, Renee Rosnes, Oliver Jones and Phil Dwyer; the recordings include Fables and Dreams, two volumes of Two by Two, and Tale of the Fingers, all through Justin Time. Young has been named Acoustic Bassist of the. Year by the North American Jazz Report magazine twice, and got a.(Canadian) Juno A ward for the Best Mainstream Jazz Recording for Fables and Dreams (with Phil Dwyer). Despite the accolades, Young is probably happiest simply playing his music, with music generally, and the people he plays with. And he plays constantly: in Toronto at the Mezzetta Restaurant on March 3, at St. Catharines' Brock University on March 5, at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel with Peter Appleyard on March 6, at Toronto's Montreal Bistro on March 8, at Toronto 's Pilot Tavern on March 13, and with the Kingston Jazz Society, in Kingston, March 21. Iii Long & McQuade - MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. SALES - RENTALS - REPAIRS - !N STORE FINANCING TRADES - USED INSTRUMENTS BOUGHT & SOLD PHOTO: BRUCE AITKEN As he plays, Young often appears to slide down the bass, almost to get closer to the music, the notes: "For me, the thing that is important is the sound," he says. "Accuracy, the playing of the notes, is basic (no pun intended); the music has to be correct; but, more than that, the emotional content, how you feel, is important: y~u have to stamp the piece as yours!" In moments of inspiration, he becomes a composer. But, 'practise,' again, comes into the conversation. After decades of playing some pieces, the standards, the notes like friends come easily to the touch. Other pieces, like Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, for example, take practise-; and one has to be fit to practise. "It's tough!" says Dave Young, suggesting that to maintain a high ,level of accomplishment, one has to keep fit. "Be a musician, practise, and stay Young?" I offer. "Too glib!" he says. Toronto , 925 Bloi>r St.W. (416)588-7886 North York 2777 Steeles Av.W. (416)663-8612 Visit the North York store's large print music department! Scarborough 1133 Markham Rd. (416)439-8001 Oshawa 380 Simcoe St.S. (905)434-1612 Brampton 370 Main St.N. (905)~0-4334 Burlington 3180 Mainway Dr. (905)319-3330 Where the Music Begins. MARCH 1 - APRIL 7 200\

BAND STAND byMerlin Williams I think it's a.II too easy to rest on cause if it's not. ..I know a guy who our laurels as band musicians. Much can make a very nice lamp out of of the music we have to perform is your instrument. not really that challenging. Oh, I know there are the occa- Here endeth the rant. sional licks that pop .up here and there that we have to spend a little bit more There is a multitude of concerts time on, but so much of the music worfuy of,your attention this monfu. we play is in easy keys 'and is scored The Toronto Youth.Wind Orchestra is presenting fueir fundraiser, within a limited range. The works that we're called upon to perform "Dinner and a Movie: A Tribute to that confr~mt us. with our inadequacies are often written off as being Pare Banquet Centre. On fue san1e the Silver Screen on March 7 at Le "impossible" or "unplayable,.. evening, and just a few miles away I have heard some of the great at the Markham Theatre is the works in the band repertoire referred Markham Concert Band performing De Meij 's Lord of the Rings, as to disparagingly by .people whose only exposure ro them was tl1eir own well as selections from The Music incompetent performance. Man. The Hannaford Street Silver Band, guest conductor James I got shaken out of my personal · Curnow and euphonium soloist musical csnpplacency recently. I had Meaghan Allen take centre stage at to learn parts on an instrument (not the Jane Mallett Theatre on March one of my majors) to get a gig. I 14 with "Pageantry and Procesleamed the hard way that my skills sions". There's also a pre-concert were not up tQ the standard required. chat at 2: 15 with composer/conduc­ I could have made excuses, or just tor James Curnow. given up, but I didn't. I decided to The Etobicoke Community apply myself to bettering my musi- Concert Band is presenting "Silver cal performance. I worked.hard, and Screen" on Mar. 26 & 27 at the Eto­ I mean REALL y hard. I persevered bicoke Collegiate Auditorium. One and I was ultimately successful. of the notable works on tlle program I think that anyone playing in a is .Toronto composer Ron Royer's community group who is not taking "Overture to an Unscripted Movcare of their musical responsibilities ie,,. 1 recently had the opportunity to is compromising the quality of the perform this piece in its orchestral band. Just showing up and wann- incarnation with the Scarborough ing ihe chair isn't good enough. You Philharmonic. The work will soon have to play with decent tone, good b e avai -1 a bl e th roug h E"ghth Note 1 intonation, rhythmic skill and musi- Press, and I would recommend it to cality. If you aren't meeting these any bands looking for new, origirequirements, get yourself a good nal, and accessible Canadian reperteacher. At the very least, you should toire. ask the leader of your section for ~ The Encore Symphonic Concert some assistance. Don't just sit there Band is presenting a fundraising and hope you'll pick up fue music concert at Trinity United Church in from fuose around you. Playing in a Uxbridge on Sunday Mar. 28. The community band is much more gratifying when you know you're con­ theme is " A Musical Journey Through the Twentiefu Century". tributing to fue performance. Isn'.t The Encore Band was formed 18 artistic satisfaction fue reason you years ago as ah outlet for retired professional musicians. For the play an music in fue first place? Be- past Brass· Woodwind· String Instruments • Guitar Buy direct from the Distributor AUTHORIZED DEALER FOR: Armstrong, Artley, Besson, Benge Boosey & Hawkes, Buffet, Conn Getzen, Jupiter, Keilworth, King Ibanez Guitars, Scher! & Ruth String Inst. 1-.J"'!'!!'!!!!!.~HARKNETT Musical Services Ltd. MUSIC BOOKS BEST SELECTION OF POPULAR & EDUCATIONAL MUSIC Piano • Guitar · Instrumental Mid-Town Store 416-423-9494 943 Eglinton Ave. E. (W. ofleslie) (Next door to Robert Lowrey's Piano Experts) Main Store 905-477-1141 2650 John Street Uust North ofSteeles) several years the band has developed a strong relationship with a school in Thornhill, Ontario. The band rehearses weekly in the music room of the school, and performs regularly in joint concerts with the school band. In addition, band members act as ·tutors and mentors, passing on their musical skills to their young fellow musicians. Please check the main listing section of" WholeNote for complete information on fuese, and many oilier concerts in Soufuem Ontario. Remember, if you're not going to someone else's concert ... who will come to yours? Saxophonist & woodwind doubler Merlin Williams is a private woodwind teacher and freelance musi- James Curnow cian, and an artistlr;linicianfor Jupiter Music Canada. If you would like an upcoming band event to be featured in the Bandstand column, feel free to contact Merlin at (416) 489-0275; bye~ mail,· on the web, -merlinw/. Violins, violas, cellos, and bows Complete line of strings and accessories Expert repairs and rehairs Canada's largest stock of string music Fast mail order service Canada~ foremost Violin Specialists 201 Church Street Toronto, ON MSB 1Y7 e-mail MARCH 1 · APRIL 7 2004 WWW. THEWHO(ENOTE .COM

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