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Issue 001June, 2003

Issue 001 June, 2003

Issue 002 August 2003
Issue 003 October 2003
Issue 004 September 2004




Genre Benders
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!

Brass and Strings
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, read on....

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 house band. 

Myself, 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 year.

Keep listening,
Justin Tonation


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