Monday, February 28, 2011

The Monday Morning Paradiddle

Busy times these days.

-I had the pleasure of accompanying Vancouver tenor saxophonist and pianist Ross Taggart over the weekend at Calgary's premier Jazz venue, The Beatniq Jazz & Social Club along with Keith Smith on guitar, Rubim DeToledo on bass and Allistair Elliott on trumpet. The concerts were sponsored by the JAZZ IS Society of Alberta and Ross is truly one of Canada's national Jazz treasures. Vancouver is very lucky to have such a talented and world-class musician in their midst. The depth of his swing and creative ideas was inspiring and I think everyone rose to the occasion. Some of the weekend's highlights for me included Taggart's rendition of Cedar Walton's "Holy Land" and one of my all-time favorite bebop heads, Dexter Gordon's "Fried Bananas". His bluesy and harmonically/rhythmically angular solo piano introduction to the blues finishing off Saturday evening's show also had me shaking my head. Good times.

-Rehearsals start to get much more frequent and more intense this week for the upcoming Decidedly Jazz Danceworks production of Wilds choreographed by Kimberly Cooper with original music written by Rubim DeToledo and Chris Andrew. I'm really excited to be a part of this creative project. I have lots more to say about my involvement with this but I will save that for another later post...

Here's a brief little production video showing us workshopping some music for the show:

The making of the music for Wilds from Decidedly Jazz Danceworks on Vimeo.

For more information about this show and the company check out their website here: www.decidedlyjazz.com

-I learned a little about Newfoundland Jazz history today via these following two clips. Newfoundland vibraphonist (and tenor saxophonist) Jimmy Thomson was described to me by my trusted colleague Patrick Boyle as being an "institution" with regards to the history and development of Jazz music in the province of Newfoundland:

Apparently Thomson is recovering from recent heart surgery. I wish him all the best, a speedy recovery and I hope to someday meet him and pick up some vibraphone tips from him.

-Thanks to the kind people over at Evan's Drumheads, here's a great clip of Kim Thompson in action, a drummer who's definitely one of my favorite groove/swinging drummers these days who plays really great whether with Beyonce or Mike Stern or Kenny Barron:

-Oh yes, congratulations to Team Saskatchewan that recently claimed victory and demonstrated their curling dominance over at the Scottie's Tournament of Hearts this weekend (just a quick shout out here to all my readers who also happen to be fans of women's curling!)

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