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Issue 004 September 12, 2004

Issue 001 June, 2003

Issue 002 August 2003
Issue 003 October 2003



No News Is...

Glad to be back after a sabbatical from writing. The good news is not news at all; many of the wonderful jazz presentations in Ottawa are going strong - The Royal Oak, Ken Kanwisher's Pub Italia gig, Gerry Shatford and company at Cafe Paradiso, the Social, Diane White and Dave Arthur's groups at Zoe's, Yves LaRoche at Cafe Nostalgica and the Vineyard's duos are all still swingin'.

Don't take it for granted, take it in.

The Jam Is On

The Bayou is about to start another season of their successful jam sessions following the summer break. Check our events calendar for specific dates. It's a great atmosphere for newer players to get their feet wet with some of the more established players on the scene.

As well as the many promising newcomers, many of the regular working players in the city have made an effort to support the jam, which is very commendable. Spotted lending a hand on various nights have been bassists Adrian Cho and Pierre-Yves Martel, pianists Peter Hum, Steve Boudreau and John Steele, saxophonists Brian Asselin, Rob Frayne and Mike Tremblay, trumpeter Charlie Gordon, percussionist Mike Essoudry and many others - not to mention the various house trios and jammers who have given their time to support the idea. Bravo !

On the Fringes

Yes, there is jazz out there. Players who keep the flame burning on the outskirts of town deserve a nod too. The very tasteful pianist Clay Young has been presiding over Sunday duo gigs at Fiddleheads Restaurant at Perth for some time now. 

Brunch in Perth is always a nice time... but it would be worth the drive just to hear Clay.

John Steele is the Renfrew correspondent, and appears occasionally in that area as well as his various appearances in Ottawa. He'll be taking his trio to Coco Jarry's in the 'Frew on Thursday Sept. 30, with the Steve Boudreau Trio taking the reins one week later, October 7. Rumour has it John has been spotted out playing pedal steel guitar with hardcore honky tonk bands in between jazz gigs. When in Rome....

Vocalist and pianist Peter Brown has been spinning his tunes from Carleton Place, appearing at various functions around town as well as at Kelly's Loft. Carleton Place is a beehive of musical activity, and Peter looms large in the scene in both the jazz and blues genres.

Speaking of Kelly's Loft, the dedication of the Loft in supporting live jazz is unique. We hope everyone takes in a show there. Ardent jazz buff Ivor Allen has been instrumental in organizing their regular jazz functions. Again, see our calendar for specifics. I can testify to the fact that the staff and management are charming, the food is good and the jazz is wonderful.

The Swan at Carp has become a destination in the last few years because of trombonist Peter Turner, who has presented an entertaining and varied program which has been warmly received. They even have a "live at the Swan" CD !

Patrons wish former proprietor Stan Dugdale a long and happy retirement. He's the only guy in Canada who could build a reputation on sardonic humour, mushy peas and jazz.

A little known fact: Did you know Peter originally "won" that gig on a bet with Stan during one of his appearances at Vineyard's ? Never play "stump the band" with Peter Turner !

Everyone agrees, Carp is the better for it.

So there you are - the fringes are alot hipper than you supposed.

After the Ball is Over

We hope everyone has come down from the euphoria of the Ottawa Jazz Fest and is ready to get out to support the live scene again. I'm sure everyone is still carrying images in their head - of thousands of people standing in the rain to listen to Herbie and Wayne, of Bela Fleck and the awe-inspiring Flecktones, of the youth group blowing at the late night jam (a truly professional yet uproariously fun event hosted by local bassist John Geggie), of Marion McPartland holding the entire concert grounds in the palm of her hand.... one could go on...

But yes, there's a tiny sliver of that goes on almost every night somewhere in the Ottawa region. If you take the time to sniff it out, you'll be rewarded.

I know I'll be there, the fly on the wall.

-Justin Tonation

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