Those keeping an eye on the scene were recently treated to a month-of-Tuesdays at the Rainbow, hosted by the wonderful Mellotone Organ Quintet, led by Hammond organist Don Cummings.
In this refreshing and captivating group, Don's organ ruminations are accentuated by a horn section comprised of Ottawa's best. Rob Frayne on tenor sax, and Ian Babb on alto, rounded out by Mark Ferguson on trombone. Mark's frequent appearances around town as a tasteful and knowledgeable pianist/accompanist haven't made us forget what a great, great horn player he is. The group is rounded out by guitarist Chris Swain and drummer Steve Tevlin. Look for them ! They also get the Best Poster Award.
I thought an evening listening to the thoughtful and articulate pianist Matthew Newton would be enough reason to go to Vine's on June 8th... not knowing he was being accompanied by the monsterous Pierre-Yves Martel on bass. Some players are well studied on their instrument, and some players have lots of natural soul. This studious fellow is both. My, my..... One to keep an eye on, as comments in our guest book attest !
Congratulations to the Sugar Sticks and leader Ken Kanwisher on their long standing and successful Wednesday night tenure at Pub Italia on Preston St. The group plays alot of inspired original material as well as fresh-sounding takes on standards. Those attending the June 18th session were willing to forego the terrific blowing of the group's regular trumpet player, Don Patterson, for a guest appearance by ace trumpeter Bill Rowat. We missed you when you were away Bill, welcome back to the scene.
The author had a unique experience at Pub Italia while attending a Wednesday night session last winter; one table of guests was a German men's chorus, who broke into song when the Sugar Sticks took a break. Now, I ask you - How many places could you sit, drinking Scotch Whiskey in an Irish pub in Little Italy, listening to a German choir ?
The 100 Measure Dash
Piano player John Steele received a nervous phone from virtuoso clarnetist Scott Poll at his office in Renfrew (60 miles from the city) at 5:10 p.m. - Could he make a gig on Parliament Hill for 6:30 ? He must drive like he plays piano, because 6:25 p.m. saw his tuxedo-clad self slip into the Centre Block and quietly assume his place on the piano bench.
The guy just likes to play, I guess.
Speaking of guys that like to play, trumpeter Charlie Gordon gets the Jackrabbit Jammer Award.
Following his attendance at Gerry Shatford's Cafe Paradiso gig last Thursday, Charlie hurried to the Bayou to support the last weekly jam session (for the summer). Barely breaking his stride, he descended the stairs, dropped his case, walked up on the stand and blew a great chorus with the band. Gerry must have inspired him.
The author has a new favourite Ottawa piano bender. Just when I thought I'd heard everyone twice! One of the supporting musicians behind Charlie that night was pianist/multi-instrumentalist Stephen Boudreau, who made everyone in the place sit bolt-upright in their chair. The man plays a fistful of piano. Hopefully we'll hear more of him around the city soon !
Ottawa has so much to see and hear, we're a lucky bunch. Please support live music in Ottawa !
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