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