Given the quality of the players –Miles Black (piano), Phil Dwyer (sax), Daniel Lapp (trumpet), Tom Wakeling (bass), and MacNayr on drums – this promises to be one of the more adventuresome jazz events of the year.
“These musicians are all people that I have been fortunate to work with in different settings here in Victoria, in Vancouver or in Washington State,” says MacNayr. ” Each brings a certain energy and chemistry – I’m excited to see what happens!”
MacNayr has chosen to record in front of a live audience, rather than going into a studio where the group would have the luxury of several takes to perfect the material, an approach that is bound to ensure that everyone is on his game and the excitement level is high.
Some of the best recordings in jazz have been produced at live concerts. The Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard, The Paul Desmond Quartet Live (recorded at Bourbon Street in Toronto), and Keith Jarrett’s The Koln Concert are just three that come to mind.
MacNayr is taking bold new steps with his latest projects. This may be the best yet. Highly recommended.
Thursday and Friday, February 2nd and 3rd at Hermann’s Jazz Club. Advanced tickets are available from Hermann’s and Larsen’s Music. $20/$18 (VJS, UJam) $15 student. Reservations recommended. (250) 388-9166 or at email@example.com.
Award-winning vocalist Joe Coughlin makes a rare Victoria appearance this Sunday, January 29 from 2-4 pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria when he kicks off the 2012 edition of Jazz at the Gallery.
Coughlin will appear in an intimate trio setting with Jodi Proznick on bass and Tony Genge on piano.
A three-time National Jazz Award winner, Coughlin has garnered critical praise around the world and is arguably one of the best interpreters of the American songbook performing today.
The concert is a co-production of the AGGV and U-JAM.
Tickets are $30 ($25 for AGGV and U-JAM members). More info here.
Vancouver trumpet and flugelhorn master Brad Turner headlines the Victoria Conservatory of Music’s January Jazz concert on Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 pm, at Alix Goolden Hall.
Appearing with Turner are George McFetridge on piano, Gord Clements on sax and clarinet, Joey Smith on bass, and Damian Graham on drums.
The quintet will present Turner’s award-winning compositions and standards from the jazz repertoire.
They’ll also host a jazz master class at 3:30 where they’ll answer questions as they rehearse for the evening concert.
Turner is one of Canada’s greats. Highly recommended.
Tickets: Adults $25 / Students & Seniors $15
call 250.386.5311 / in person – 900 Johnson St – VCM Front Desk
More info here.
The Victoria jazz community is deeply saddened by the sudden passing of drummer Josh Dixon last Wednesday at age 41. The coroner’s report identified a congenitally enlarged heart as the cause of death.
Tributes to Josh are pouring in not only from the Victoria community but also New York and New Orleans where he lived for a number of years and performed with some of the top names in jazz including Herb Ellis, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, and Kurt Rosenwinkel.
An informal jazz jam tribute is planned for this Thursday, January 26, 8 -11 pm, at Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria.
A formal memorial service will be held at Hermann’s on Saturday, March 3 starting at 4pm.
Josh’s wife Jennie is creating a website to honour him. It is up now and will be completed in February.
I’m currently working with Sean Drabitt on an extended article that will pay tribute to Josh and document his life as a musician. Stay tuned.
I want to thank Ken Lister for filling me in on the details of the upcoming show at VIU in Nanaimo because this is a concert that jazz fans up and down the Island won’t want to miss, particularly those with a hankering to hear a Hammond B3.
The Nightcrawlers, fresh off a WCMA win for the best jazz album of 2011, appear at the Malaspina Theatre on Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30pm.
Dedicated to recreating the sound and feel of the great B3 bands of the ’60s (think Booker T and the MG’s), this Vancouver quintet, led by drummer Jesse Cahill, has been praised in Downbeat magazine for its authentic sound, swagger and swing.
The WCMA win is for their latest album “Down in the Bottom” which features not only the quintet but also a big band, which they’ll have with them at the VIU show.
These guys sound awesome. Have a listen and get yourself to the concert. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students.
The Nanaimo jazz scene is pretty quiet these days according to a report from James McRae but there are a few things happening:
Percussionist and impresario Kelby MacNayr asked if I would write a review of his newly-minted “Night of the Cookers” series that launched at Hermann’s last night with an appearance by Phil Dwyer accompanied by MacNayr on percussion and Ken Lister on bass.
I thought I probably wouldn’t because I’ve written a lot about Dwyer lately.
Then I went to the show and was once again gobsmacked by this giant of jazz who lives amongst us mere mortals here on Vancouver Island.
Covering everything from Coltrane to Evans to Rollins on sax and piano, along with a few original compositions and arrangements, Dwyer and the trio wowed a packed house that included a number of Victoria’s top jazz musicians.
Actually “covering” is the wrong word because Dwyer does more than that – he channels the jazz greats, all the while infusing their music with his own soulful and playful energy.
It goes without saying that he’s technically and musically brilliant, but he also brings a drive, energy, and joy to his playing that elevates the music, his audience, and his band mates as he challenges them to go beyond themselves.
Both Lister and MacNayr rose to that challenge, with Lister delivering several gorgeous bass solos and MacNayr, ever the consummate and subtle accompanist, playing with added muscle.
It was a thrilling show, made all the better by Dwyer’s witty and adept handling of the drunk at the back who insisted on shouting out questions every time he introduced a tune.
Just before jumping into the closing piece, a slightly exasperated but still-in-good-humour Dwyer responded, “I don’t need to talk to you, I can listen to the voices in my own head.”
That pretty well silenced her and ultimately it was the music that spoke the loudest.
First on the list is Phil Dwyer’s appearance this Saturday January 7 at Hermann’s in Victoria as part of Kelby MacNayr’s new “Night of the Cookers” series. I’ve written plenty on this site about this great saxophonist, pianist, composer, and educator, and so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice to say that with the subtle and sympathetic support of Ken Lister on bass and MacNayr on drums, Dwyer will deliver an amazing show. Don’t miss it. It will be one of the best of the year (8pm/$18,$15, $10).
The jazz vespers folks have lots going on too. Drummer Bob Watts welcomes Andrew Slade on piano and Bruce Meikle on bass this Sunday, January 8 at St. Phillip Anglican Church on Eastdowne in Oak Bay. Watts is doing something different with his series in that all of the music played by his rotating trio is sacred music. Makes for a relaxed and contemplative Sunday evening in the intimate setting of a small church (7:30pm/by donation).
On Sunday, January 15th, Ken Gray’s and David Enns’ series at the Church of the Advent in Colwood welcomes the Bruce Hurn Jazz Orchestra Collective, a reincarnation of the Monday Night Big Band that used to perform at Hermann’s. They sound big and bold and brassy and with the likes of Monik Nordine as a featured soloist are sure to deliver a rousing show (7pm/by donation).
Also on Sunday, January 15th, Ron Hadley’s The Old School House series in Qualicum presents An Historical Tribute to the Jazz Clarinet with not one but three outstanding Vancouver clarinetists. Francois Houle, Tom Colclough, and Liam Hockley, supported by Hadley on piano and Joey Smith on bass, will cover everything from traditional New Orleans to contemporary sounds in this unique show. Houle alone has released more than a dozen albums that have garnered a string of Juno and West Coast Music Award nominations. Highly recommended. (2:30-4:30 pm/ $16).
While I’m at it I should put a plug in for shows at the Acme Food Company on Commercial St. in Nanaimo. They are running live shows every weekend and have some good jazz coming up. You can check out their calendar here. Incidentally, despite the name, this is a restaurant not a warehouse!
Stay tuned. There’s more to come.