Two of Ottawa's favourite blues guitarists have been spotted around
town lately, performing as acoustic bassists in jazz formats. Peter
Newsom has appeared numerous times with the John Steele Trio in the
last few months, laying down a steady beat. Chris "Jarhead" Breitner
has been collaborating with the Josee Deschenes Group, and is also
appearing around town and at the Jazz Fest with pianist Peter Brown.
Welcome aboard, jazz dudes!
The crowd at the Swan at Carp were pleased to learn that ace guitarist
Bill Gobby was the featured guest with the Peter Turner Trio. Bill's
recent return to the Ottawa Jazz scene is a welcome treat.
The tasteful leading the tasteful
Vine's Wine Bar (Ottawa's longest continuously running jazz gig) seemed
to take on a special air of elegance on July 19 when altoist Dave Ward
appeared, accompanied by the wonderful Steve Boudreau on piano. Some
day we'll all be saying "I remember when
that guy played at Vines!"
The Jazz Fest
Once again organizers have put together a stellar festival, mixing big
name acts with lesser-known greats. On the first night, the Rumba Club
and the Samba Squad fired the opening shots with an offering that made
everyone get in the groove. John Scofield mesmerized the crowd with his
crack band, serving up some selections from his new Uberjam release.
But to learn about the sparkling local jewel in the Jazz Fest crown,
When the main acts in the festival grounds call it a day, nightowls
know the wise thing to do is to head for the Late Night Jam Session at
the Ramada on Cooper. I don't think anyone actually expected John
Scofield to come walking in with his guitar, ready to jam... but that's
what happened. The spectators were treated to a Scofield they
perhaps hadn't heard, ripping off jam-friendly bebop standards with the
I think JS was drawn into the jam room by the joyous sounds of the
house band. Ottawa jazz fans should all be proud of this collection of
world-class musicians, all of whom cut their musical teeth right here
in swingin' little Bytown. Anchored by the tremendously respected
Ottawa bassist John Geggie, his two compatriates journeyed home from
Toronto to test their mettle with the jamming crowd. Pianist Gordon
Webster has developed into an astounding player, fully in command of
all the modern concepts, but never foresaking the basic building blocks
of Melody and Swing. Drummer Nick Fraser, with his relentless drive and
keen listening skills, compelled Scofield into a scalding session of
trading fours. Nice addition to your resume, guys, you should be proud!
This reporter just had to come up for air mid-festival to urge you all
to support not only the Jazz Fest, but all the hard working jazz
musicians who pour out their soul in clubs around the area 52 weeks a