Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this year's Ottawa Jazz Festival. It was a very special honour for me to be part of the house trio hosting the jam sessions every night for ten straight days - the first year I went to the jazz festival (1996...) I probably went to eight of their late night jams. It was my first exposure to the music in a club setting - real professionals playing mere feet away, the sound came from the instruments as much as any sound system. I'm really happy to have had this chance…Read more
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Hey, just a quick note to say I've updated my calendar to reflect some Jazz Festival events, most notably the 24 hour jazz ramble which takes place from 10AM Friday to 10AM Saturday next weekend. I'll be on at noon with Mark Ferguson playing some Bill Evans music in the style of his overdubbed pianos records. I'll also be part of Ed Lister's quintet at 9PM. The whole event takes place at the Record Centre on Wellington.
I also had a blast playing all types of Indian music at City Hall last week for the…Read more
I've started rehearsals with Vinay Bhide for a show May 10th at noon at City Hall. Vinay has asked Mike Essoudry and me to join him to play what we feel fits in the performance of two pieces. One is based on the Raga Rageshri, on which I have previously written an original piece, "Pas De Deux". In the key of C, the notes for improvising are Bb-C-E-F-A-Bb-C and the downward notes are C-Bb-A-F-E-D-C. After a few minutes of getting it in your ears, an accidental G sounds glaringly wrong.
I've also been…Read more
I wanted to share a few albums out fairly recently that I played on.
Brian Asselin's project "The Commotions Volume II" is an album of original soul music featuring many of my favourite Ottawa area musicians.
A rock album I recorded a few years ago Natural Selections by The Guilty Minds was quietly released across all streaming platforms this past year.
My hopes of a regularly maintained thoughtful content-filled blog haven't materialized in the face of my regular practice and teaching schedule. However, I thought this might be a great and easy way to keep track of fun news and things I'm doing as they happen, instead of constantly bombarding my e-mail list.
Alex and Michel were interviewed about the project…Read more
Here is the another video of a solo piano arrangement of a pop/punk tune. The first one you can find by clicking here.
I went to see the documentary about the band All and the Descendents "Filmage" when it came out and immediately became one of my favourite music movies. Musicians that I looked up to lived a very tough life on the road, playing music for food and gas. 20 years after first hearing their music, it all makes sense to me now, and I still have a soft spot for all of their records.
First of all, the very word "Bootlegging" has to do with clandestine action, and what started me thinking about this issue was the extremely overt and non-secretive manner in which people currently are reproducing live music.
We have all had that thought when someone holds their phone up to record a shaky, badly lit chunk of video from a live music performance. What are they thinking? Do they lack the presence to enjoy the experience without proof they were there? Do they love their phone more than the…
The first one is by Australian group Bodyjar- I saw these guys play sometime in the late 90s at a tiny club in downtown Ottawa that doesn't exist anymore, the Liquid Monkey maybe…Read more
During World War II, Hitler's regime forbade certain musical ideas and devices that didn't conform with their idea of artistic music.
From New Dutch Swing:
It [de jazzwereld's guideline for entertainment music in 1940] was mostly a detailed roster of forbidden devices and practices: plunger mutes, growls, smears and other dirty timbres, ostinato basses, background riffs repeated more than three times, charts written by black musicians, washboards, the use of the word 'jazz' were all off-limits.
How many…Read more
I had the great opportunity to perform this piece with the composer himself conducting during my time at NEC. Without him I don't think any of us working in jazz full time with a large part of that work coming from post-secondary education would be doing what we are doing.
I hope to get back to writing some of my thoughts on music for my online community of students and fans now that the school year is over. Have a great summer everyone.